Thursday, August 28, 2008

P is for Plateau

C may be for Cookie but P is without a doubt for Plateau. Unlike a plateau in running or lifting weights, in martial arts it is largely if not entirely psychological. So it pays to identify one when as it happens and to know what it feels like. With that mindset you can turn a potentially frustrating moment into a very exciting one.

In the last month I've been very frustrated with my performance on the mat. Almost as if I thought that I was once better and am now worse. After every class I see very clearly where I went wrong. Consistently I feel as if my weight is not centered (almost as if I'm top heavy), my entries are not deep enough and I can never get low enough for a hip throw without having to muscle people around. As for the last one, that one may actually have gotten worse, because I was sure that I was getting low enough at some point.

Yet in spite of my self criticism, I've realized something important and my frustration has just washed away. All of the aforementioned problems are things that I feel. For the first time in my training, I can sense these things myself. This may not be the equivalent of progress but it's a huge leap forward for me.


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