In Martial Theory, Musing, Poem

A friend posted this today: “It’s surprising, considering the impact relationships have on people’s overall well-being, that more attention is not paid in education to learning how to have relationships that work. People tend to learn through example ( parents, siblings, teachers, and friends ), piecing together as they grow up a way of dealing with others when they do not agree, often based on their particular fight-flight-freeze response. These piecemeal methods have varying levels of success, and the cost across all areas of well-being – health, finances, overall satisfaction, and relationships – can be quite high when these methods don’t work.From “From Conflict to Connection,” by John Kinyon & Ike Lasater with Julie Stiles.

The elements are so pervasive that we can take them for granted, assume we fully understand them. Maybe we do. Each element represents a way of interacting with people. But understanding doesn’t mean that we own that knowledge. The road to Black Belt in To Shin Do increased my understanding and my ability to chose an element to interact from. The number one reason I give people for training is to be able to chose, rather than reacting from half-learned instincts inherited from others as unskilled as we are. I hope you enjoy this next installment of my journey.

Lessons of the Water

I step back.

I’ve been absorbed in the details,

Perfecting my footwork, and my energy

But now I’m someplace new.


I pick my angle.

I don’t have to fight the problem as it is presented.

It is its own solution.

I find strength in my spine.

I generate rotational power,

Like a wave pulling back from the shore:

I carry the attack,

Transforming it from their threat

to my strength

I rearrange their body,

Changing our relationship

So that I don’t lose myself in this conflict.

I evolve.

Like a snake,

I can snipe at soft targets.

Pulling back to see the big picture

Moving in to the perfect place.

I calculate balance:

To perceive the precise alignment of the body

To know exactly where to go.


I am clever and capable.

Ready to change the world.

Come on.

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