Every so often, you get your perspective shifted for you. You get one piece of data, or hear one thing, or look at the same problem from a slightly different angle and the whole world shifts. You don't just see the particular problem in a different way, you see the entire world in a new way.
On the martial journey, you'll occasionally hear a beginner say something with utmost sincerity and only later remember that you used to believe that, too. I've written about one experience here, a minor one:
Another one, as near as I can remember it--
I was hitting the heavy bag, doing as I had been taught, throwing fast, loose karate punches and tensing them at the moment of impact when Mac said, "You realize that's unnecessary, right?"
I was flustered. It was the way I was taught. I hit hard. I started to argue and explain.
Mac continued, "All you need to do is get these bones (he indicated my metacarpals) in line with these bones (the radius and ulna)." Then he completely shifted my understanding of martial arts "Tensing and clenching are what people do when they don't understand structure."
No one is stronger when they're tense. No one is faster. No one is more flexible or agile. We all know this. All of us. And even the instructors would pay lip service to it... but there was an awful damn lot of practicing tension while talking about relaxation. Misunderstanding of structure.
Haven't been writing for a while. Had one of those paradigm-shifting whacks upside the head. Took me some time to get equilibrium back.
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