We have a 4 month old – and two older kids. If you’ve ever had this dynamic in your house, you know that currently our main objective in life is to protect the baby from being smothered in hugs and kisses. But you also know that within the next year, that objective will change, and we will be dealing with the daily destruction created by what was once a helpless, little, cooing bundle of joy.
There will inevitably be times when the toddler-to-be ends up ruining something our 6-year-old has created with thoughtful effort. In trying to prepare her for handling this phase, I’ve explained it this way:
Your baby sister will always want to connect with you. One day, she will be able to work together, building things with you. But learning how to create things is much harder than learning how to tear them down. So, for a while, knocking over your lego tower may be her only option for playing with you.
The 6-year-old finds this prospect adorable – for now.
Alas, the destructive phase is something we all have to go through on the path to being builders. We tend to learn the power of our words first when we’ve hurt feelings. Later on in life, we discover how words of encouragement, given patiently and unrelentingly through life’s ups and downs, can build an unshakable confidence in a someone we are parenting, employing or mentoring.
No less is true in martial arts practice. We are learning a powerful art in the dojo, which of course can be used to hurt another. But harming someone is actually quite easy. People do it all the time with no training at all. As Queen Elizabeth II put it, “It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.”
So, through this practice, we discover that martial arts is actually not about destruction after all. It’s about learning to build, to create. It’s about learning how to take what is in front of you, manage it well, and lead it to its best possible outcome. We don’t necessarily get good at that in the first few belts, but it is an ultimate goal of the training.
This week is our second week with the element of Void. We’re exploring the theme of “Time to Build” in the dojo, as we work on:
- Backward Ukemi
- Uke Tori Responsibilities and Randori
- Muso Dori
- Arm Grab Escapes
- Katana Kamae and Strikes
We’re also building new connections! Our Ambassadors are getting ready for the big Open House we’re hosting on Saturday, January 13th. If you have a moment, please help your friends find this amazing discipline, join our FaceBook Event, and invite others!
Domo Arigato all! We’ll see you in the dojo,