Saturday, September 05, 2009

Problems Fixing Problems

Time for a statement from Captain Obvious! Everyone has their own problems to fix in Kendo. Some problems may be easy to fix within a few practices and others might take a lifetime to work out. Unfortunately, the path to fix these issues come with a bit of frustration and last week was one of those times.

The frustrating scenario happened this past Wednesday at the Corryville practice. For the past year or so, I have been told some variant of keeping my back straight, pushing more off my left leg and turn my wrist in to make quicker, more effective strikes. I have been working on these in some degree or another, but I just tend to regress back to my old ways later on. Despite working on it, it has gotten a bit on the frustrating side since it seems like there hasn't been that much improvement despite my best efforts.

I know that the path of Kendo comes with a lot of hardship, but knowing and experiencing are two different things. This frustration comes on several levels:
  • The pressure I put on myself to improve by fixing any known errors
  • The pressure I put on myself by trying to show that I am actually listening to everyone's suggestions and taking steps to improve myself
  • The pressure I put on myself with the frustration of getting that same advice said to me and wondering if there is actually some improvement.
I typed the situations like that to put emphasis on the fact that I am putting the pressure on myself, whether or not it's warranted. The first bullet point is pretty much the only sort of pressure I need to put on myself. The sensei and senpai that give me these suggestions know that I am trying my hardest to improve, or they would have given up on giving me any sort of advice a long time ago. And, despite what they actually think, I know for a fact that anything they say is somewhere in my mind which puts it at or near the top of the list of things to improve on, whether or not I am consiously thinking about it. Also, I do realize that different problems take different amounts of time to fix which is all dependant on how big or small the change is, how long one has been doing it wrong and general ability to think about it during all forms of practice, in and out of the dojo. For all I know, I could be improving, but I don't realize it. I could be getting closer to that point where I can do things in an acceptable manner, but I'm just getting pushed to make it better.

One thing I need to think about while fretting over fixing these issues is that, the longer I fret over it, the longer it will take for me to improve. That would just cloud my judgement and cause me to lose focus on the things that do matter. The important thing is knowing that I recognize these problems and have steps planned or taken to fix them in the best way possible, no matter how long it will take. The thing about Kendo (and anything in life really) is that, even after 30 years of practice, I'll never have my back straight enough, I'll never employ the use of tame enough, I'll never use my left hand enough, I'll get the idea. There will always be something that needs improving on. The thing that I realize about Kendo is that I am trying to reach that asymptotic region of 100% perfection. I know I can get close, and it might look like I am at that point from the outside, but I'll never personally reach that point.


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger