Welcome to the first week in Wind month! I’ve been reading a book by thought leader Gabrielle Bernstein called The Judgement Detox. It’s actually a step-by-step guide, in the style of a physical detox or diet plan, but this one is for your mind and the way you think about the world. Her main point is that judging ourselves and others is one of the primary things that prevents us from living an abundant and fulfilling life.
The first step of the judgement detox is something we actually have all of our Ninja Kids Club students do: witness our current behavior without judgement. In the detox, this step is about just noticing our judgmental patterns, but not adding on judgement of our own judgement. In the Ninja Kids Club, we have kids do a similar activity, where they simply notice how they are living the values of our school in their lives, without judging themselves, but just bringing awareness to their actions.
This is such an important step because it’s pretty much impossible to change anything unless we are aware of it. And if we have a knee-jerk reaction to negative judgments about our actions, well, of course we will turn a blind eye to them! In order to really change, we must be willing to look at ourselves. And to be willing to look at ourselves, we need a little self-compassion.
When I studied world religions in college, I found a similar practice in almost every one. Christianity focuses on confessing sins and accepting forgiveness, for example. Buddhists practice non-judgmental awareness on the path to relieving suffering.
Our quote at the dojo this week comes from Thomas Edison who said, “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.” What if we could really take that in whenever we are analyzing our own selves. What if, when we feel that knee-jerk judgement of ourselves come up, we could instead step back and see that we are complex and vast – there is so much more to us than what a quick judgement could explain.
This week in class, we’ll be practicing taking a step back, opening our minds, and allowing ourselves to get a more accurate picture of where we are in our martial arts practice now. Only then can we move on to new levels in our training.
We invite you to bring the practice into your life as well, and witness yourself as you are, and letting some of those automatic judgments relax a little.
Techniques of the Week
|Ukemi||Forward Break Falls (in Self Defense Scenarios for teens/adults)||Getting to Defensive Posture on the Ground from Front Break Falls|
|Technique 1||Blocks and Strikes from Kamae Set 1 (in Self Defense Scenarios for teens/adults)|
|Technique 2||Fu no Kata Basics||Fu no Kata Flow
(higher levels with partners)
|Technique 3||Side Angles in Evasions, and Strikes(in Self Defense Scenarios for teens/adults)|
- Handstand kicks from hoko and ichimonji postures
- Front, back, and side breakfalls
- Jumping over a distance and rolling upon landing.
- Dive rolls through bars
- Vault over an obstacle
Thanks for reading!
See you in the dojo,