Do what your body will let you. This is a saying I’ve heard from several masters for quite some time. It is usually referring to the fact that some people have physical limitations that keep them from achieving the same stances as a younger, more fit practitioner. However lately, Master Bruce has been using it with me in regards to me being regularly injured or otherwise incapable of performing as I should physically.
Lately, this has been more true then ever. I’ve had several very physically demanding days at work over the last few weeks, and it has left my body in a very worn out and injured state. It got to the point were this last week I had to sit out of class and watch simply because my legs could barely hold my weight and my arms ached lifting even the smallest of things.
This morning I woke up feeling much better though, and I decided I needed to make up for sitting out of class this week. I wasn’t even ten minutes in when my shoulders started aching and even holding onto my sword became difficult, and yes I did stretch out properly before hand. This says to me that my body has not fully recovered and today was a bad time to try to push it.
But I say to myself, my arms and shoulders may be giving out, but my back and legs feel just fine. Master Bruce has been getting after me about my stances lately, or lack there of I should be saying, so I take this opportunity to work on those.
I ran through my routine as I normally would. Focus drills, Gyukgum, Gumbeob, all of it. Just doing so without the use of my arms and focusing entirely on my foot work and stances. It becomes a completely different routine when your focus shifts that much, and you realize just how much you have yet to fix when you’re only focusing on the bottom half of your body.
So, if you’ve ever heard any of the Masters say this line to you, listen. Cause just because you may have a hard time doing one thing because of your bodies condition, doesn’t mean that your redirected attention can’t make you infinitely better at another thing.