I’m now posting my exercises on Twitter, as immediate listing helps me stay motivated.
You may have noticed I’m always coming up with schemes for self-improvement, and oftentimes those crash and burn.
Two or three elements come into play here.
First is my martial arts superpower. I’m not very good (yet). I often do things wrong. But I always keep fighting. When I fell while doing my Ren Fest demo, I incorporated the fall into my form. When I was thrown in Krav Club, I kicked my opponent three times on the way down.
In my favorite sci-fi TV series, Captain Taggart says “Never give up. Never surrender.”
Second is my disability. Parts of my brain are stunted. Physical fact. I’m called the Logic Monkey, in a way, not because my brain is big, but because it’s small.
When Daredevil loses his sight, his other senses strengthen to compensate. He has larger than life, radiation induced increases, but all blind people get this bonus package.
Because part of my brain never fully developed, other parts have grown to compensate. Some folk with disabilities choose to feel self-pity — and I’m not in their place, so I won’t criticize them.
But I have the option to be Daredevil. I have the option of not only overcoming my weaknesses with the resultant strengths, but of rocking with the resultant strengths.
I’m not a Taoist, but I appreciate Taoism and try to incorporate those parts of it that are not contrary to my religion, and Haidong is very deeply influenced by Taoism, as are most soft styles.
Taoism sees the world as forces, qi, moving in certain ways. Those ways are the tao, or the way. (‘Do’ in Japanese Judo and Korean Gumdo is a transliteration of ‘tao’). If you resist the tao, it will crush you. If you embrace the tao, you will ride it to victory.
That’s why in Haidong, we prefer to dodge rather than parry, and why our stances twist and turn, allowing us to face any direction in an instant. When we step out of the enemy’s path, we do not resist his qi. When we twist out of his way and cut him down from the side, or from behind, we join our qi to his and ride it to victory.
In the same way, my mental injury has its own qi. If I face it head on, I am liable to lose. But by using logic and research into efficient ways of doing things, methods of motivation, and the like, I ride the qi of my strengths as it seeks a way to sidestep the qi of my weaknesses, or even exploit it!
Thus I probe and experiment. Whenever I fall, I try to incorporate it into my form.
In one of my novels-to-be, the villain’s trusted lieutenant tells him, “Your experiment failed, master.”
His response? “An experiment, by definition, cannot fail.”
Because the purpose of an experiment is to learn. For it to succeed, all you need do is pay attention.
As always, be awesome!