Wow. It has been a long while since I've sat down to write a post. Time flies when you're having fun -- or are way to busy to take the time to do the things you want.
I just finished my second year of college, so now I actually have an idea what 'free time' means again.
In my martial arts world:
Tae Kwon Do classes has given me a boatload of things to think on lately. My instructors and I have identified a major weakness that I have, and I'm working hard to overcome it. I'm still struggling with being able to explain it, so bear with me.
My instructors have been working with me on self defense the past several classes. One of the requirements for my next rank is that I have to come up with eight self defense scenarios. I not only have to be able to demonstrate them, but I must also be able to teach them and defend my reasoning behind the techniques and if they work. A couple weeks ago, Mr. G asked me how many of the eight scenarios I had at my disposal. I told him 5 and so for the rest of the class, we worked on coming up with the final three. Well, I had no idea what kind of scenarios I wanted to use to begin with, and I certainly did not have any techniques in mind. I ended up choosing a straight punch, so he did the punch at my face. I did a pass block...and completely froze, not knowing what to do next.
We've had a couple discussions on this since that day, and I think I understand the nature of the beast that is this mental block. It all stems from me not having enough confidence in my self defense. I'm very methodical and self defense does not have a "step by step" method. It's more about reaction and using what you know.
At my rank, more and more is expected of me, and a lot of what is expected of me is that I really start developing as an individual. I have a fair understanding of the physical aspect of Tae Kwon Do. I know the forms, the kicks, the techniques, and I feel that I can teach the physical side pretty well.
What I need to really develop is the mental side of Tae Kwon Do -- the understanding of concepts and ideas, being able to react instead of following a method, experimenting with how things work, and "what happens if I do this?"
Instead of the little nudges I've felt before, this time I'm being pushed out of my comfort zone that was how I learned when I was a beginner. My instructors would show me something, say a form, and I copy what they do. It's not monkey see, monkey do anymore. I have to take a step back and grow in my understanding of Tae Kwon Do. I need to ask more questions, do more self correcting, and experiment more. Right now, I'm pretty uncomfortable, but I am determined to become a more rounded martial artist. I think it must first start with overcoming this mountain that is self doubt.