Making it “look easy”

I was teaching one night when one of my students said to me “you make it look easy sir”.  They were practicing a new weapon technique and it was proving to be difficult. I smiled and told them that they just need more practice. But as I drove home that night, it got me thinking. When did things change? I remember many times watching my instructors do something and thinking the same thing. But isn’t that what an instructor should be? Someone you look up to, someone who makes it look easy, someone who flows, someone with all the answers?

The answer is simple, and I’d already said it. Practice. There were times when I was learning new material and I struggled. A lot. But I kept on practicing until one day it just sort of ‘clicked’. We often get frustrated as we get older when we can’t learn a new skill instantly, but think back. You must learn to stand before you can walk. Martial Arts is no different, we build a foundation upon which we learn and grow. Without a good foundation, a house will fall, yet a tree with strong roots will withstand the mightiest winds.

The Bamboo tree takes several years of care and watering before it emerges from the ground. That’s years of constant dedication, without seeing any growth. Once emerged, it grows at an incredible rate and within a matter or weeks it can reach 90 feet! We often think of the long-term result when we start something new – “I can’t wait to get my Black Belt!” (sound familiar?) But we can get discouraged when we don’t see instant results. Remember, the worthwhile things in life take time, so, keep watering your Bamboo plant, and one day…

There is no “easy”, you only get better.


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