As a practising karateka, instructor and student I sometimes find myself caught up in establishing a reason for everything I do. Questioning what will be the outcome, the result, the perceived benefit, and whether it is for personal or professional reasons. I think we can get too focused on the reasons for what we do, and wanting to see results or benefits against the amount of work we put in – it is only natural to expect something in return.
Whether it is for training, a grading exam, a competition, self protection skills, or coaching or instructing purposes, we all know that practice, goal setting and training plans are necessary tools to aid progress and maintain motivation. However, sometimes we need to lessen the burden on our minds and our personal expectations and simply do things for the pure love of it. Isn’t that often the primary reason why we start something anyway?
So drop the reasons, the expectation of benefits or the outcome, and simply do things because you want to.
When I play my guitar I know what I need to do to improve my playing and skill level – I have been trying for years! I know the songs I want to try, the scales and chords I need to practise, but usually the best guitar sessions take place when I just sit there and play. Not concerned with any outcome or attaining a goal, just playing whatever comes to mind and letting the moment influence me. The same can be applied to our martial art training.
We all know what we have to do to achieve our goals and aspirations, but every now and again the most liberating sessions are the ones that let you train freely, with no inhibitions and no need for a particular outcome.
Try it for yourself, whatever your next practice or training session may be – free your mind of the need for a result and do it for the love of it. It can be very refreshing and liberating.
Lee Taylor is head instructor at Lee Taylor Karate. Tel: 07976 914 617