bravery

New Year, New Beginning

I’ve finally managed to find a few moments to get some much needed writing down on my blog.  I hope everybody had a great Christmas (if you celebrate it) and New year.  It’s been 6 weeks of major changes personally for myself.  Early December saw me hit the big 30 and since then everything seems to have changed.  They say life begins at 30 and if that saying was written for anybody it seems quite fitting when I look at my own life.

I only mention this as I feel it has a link to my karate (so bear with me!)

Without getting too detailed I made a big decision which in essence has cost me what I consider to be my best friend.  I had a choice to make and that was to either continue existing in a relationship that was just comfortable or dare to dream that there was something more out there waiting for me.  In short this decision would take me out of my comfort zone and lead me in to an insecurity of the unknown, some may say exciting, but nevertheless scary.  This decision was so hard to make, I wanted to have my cake and eat it.  To have somebody in my life that I loved, but in the capacity of a friend and I knew that I couldn’t have both.  Either way, I took the plunge and made myself vulnerable. Now call it coincidence, luck, fate or whatever but I now find myself in a position with so many opportunities opening up.  I feel for the first time in a long time a sense of purpose of what I want to achieve, more importantly a plan and support to achieve my goals.  I’m not looking back and continue to ask myself how is this possible?  Is it luck?  And then I realise, it’s not luck, it’s because of me.  It’s  because I made a choice to be brave and to trust my instincts. So what has this got to do with karate?   Well it has got me thinking about my karate training as a whole.  If I can reap benefits by pushing to better myself in one aspect then why am I not following this through with my karate?  Sure I’ve done it to a certain degree, but if I take a step back and ask myself honestly now if I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone with new combinations then I don’t think I can answer that with a positive yes.  I always give my all when training, pushing my fitness levels and heart rate to its’ limit, that for me has never been in question, moreover it is during times that I face up to a partner for Kumite.  Deep down I feel as though I confine myself to an (albeit large) artillery of attacks, they nevertheless remain the same.  It’s time for me to try new things and to add new tools to the shed.  Attacks I’d never have dreamed about previously, reverse ashi barai for example after let’s say a mawashi geri.  It might work, it might not, it might have potential and I’ll practise it some more.  I could fall over flat on my backside but so what? I ask myself,

“What am I going to lose, my pride?”

Not possible as my training is to develop me, not impress someone else.

“My ego?”

I can’t lose what I don’t have, even if I did have one Sensei would tell me to leave it outside the dojo anyway. If we don’t put ourselves in the vulnerable position to find out then we’ll never know.  In years to come I’ll end up regretting it and I don’t want to live a life filled with regrets and what ifs.

My karate new year’s resolution?  To try at least one audacious new combination when given the opportunity during jiyu kumite.  I’d like to hear some of your resolutions.  Knowledge is power, let’s get learning!

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Hats off to this cat

I read an article in the Daily Mail last week that inspired me with the bravery and courage shown to write this short piece.  A tiny wildcat took on 4 lionesses in a wildlife park in South Africa after they ganged up on the creature reportedly 30 times smaller than themselves.  Unfortunately the wildcat ended up the worse off paying with its’ life, but that didn’t stop him from getting a good scratch to the face before his inevitable end.

 

Images sourced from the Daily Mail

 

ImageA wildcat is approached by a lioness in a wildlife park South Africa

 

Image3 more lionesses surround the wildcat

 

ImageThe wildcat snarls and hisses at lionesses putting up a tremendous display of courage

 

ImageThe wildcat gets a scratch in across the face of the lioness

 

The sheer bravery this cat showed is an example to how we should be when doing karate or any other martial art for that matter.  In this “game”; bravery and determination is half the battle.  If we don’t believe in ourselves and make it easy for our opponents before we start then we may as well not show up at all.  It is important for us to not give up and to fight to the bitter end.  If we fail ourselves in this respect and don’t have the confidence to not go down without a fight, then how can we expect anybody else to respect us come the end.  As sensei Ronnie Christopher so correctly puts it:  “It’s you or me, and it’s not going to be me!”

 

Full story can be found here (opens in new window)