Time to Learn
Time… The main subject of this post is time. It is extremely important to be patient with one’s self in training and in life. This small bit of wisdom was highlighted to me yesterday during my acrobatic training. Right now, I am in the process of learning the backhand spring. So far, I’ve been able to learn the Macaco and the Cartwheel and apply both moves into combat. The next acrobatic move I want to master is the backhand spring because it is so very beautiful and practical.
My enthusiasm aside, there are progressions that I feel I need to master before attempting the move. First I need to be comfortable in a standing back-bend, and secondly, I need to be able to comfortably do a back-bend kick-over. Once I get these two things down, I will be ready to attempt the full backhand spring.
Yesterday, I was not being patient with myself; and though I had a great time training, I was starting to feel a shadow of negativity towards my current level of acrobatic ability. But fortunately, I recognized the negativity and quickly banished it from my mind and soul.
It’s been a while since this concept had been made fresh in my mind, but it takes time to learn any new skill. Especially one that is physical. Being in my current stage of martial arts, I must not forget this. I remember back when I first started learning advanced kicks – at first performing them was extremely difficult. There was even a time when I wanted to give up learning kicks and figured I would just stick to using my upper body to strike. Thankfully, I didn’t stay in that toxic self-defeating mindset.
I broke free from those shackles of doubt and allowed myself to take the time I needed to move forward.
I recollect how awkward it felt when I first picked up a pair of nun-chucks, and how out of place a sword felt in my hand. But after consistent effort and the proper amount of time, my brain learned how to move with them – and wielding them became automatic for me. Once again, I find myself in the same situation all these years later. I can wield nun-chucks, swords, fighting sticks, tonfa, and bo staffs; and I can kick, punch, strike, evade, sweep, etc… But the new challenge for me is becoming a far more nimble fighter. Make no mistake, my body has the capabilities of performing each of the acrobatic feats I am learning, but before I do, my brain must first learn what to do. And in order to do that, I must allow it the time it needs to fail, fail, fail again, and then succeed.
Time to Return
The second aspect of time that this entry touches on, is the fact that it is time for me to return to the sport of MMA and compete in amateur fights.
In the past I have been apart of combat sports in some way or another, but I was held back by circumstance and a plethora of other obstacles. But now, the time has come for me to start fighting in a semi-professional way. My partner, Roman, and I went down to a local MMA Gym and spoke with who I assume was the owner. We were looking for some information about pricing and what’s offered. The MMA coach that we need to talk to in order to get the details on the amateur fights was not there. But he will be there tomorrow night. And Roman and I will go down there to talk with him.
My intention is to start fighting in amateur leagues this summer, starting probably in late May and June. I’m looking forward to establishing myself in the MMA community and make a few extra hundreds of dollars to help pay for tuition of my last year of college.
I’m not worried about getting hurt or anything. I realized a long time ago that MMA is a sport, it’s not actual combat. I train for actual combat. And in my experience, the most frustrating thing for me in the combat sports arena is not being able to do the things I would normally do in an actual fight, in the octagon. The money I spend for gym fees and/or transportation, I see as a direct investment in myself and my credibility to the public.
One thing that really excites me about the way my life is turning out is the story that I have to tell. Think of it: I can say that I am a 7 year self-trained martial artist, who went into amateur MMA to help pay tuition during my last year of college, who then facilitated after school martial arts programs in inner-city schools, before opening my own local martial arts school that spread around the nation. That’s not even mentioning U.S. F. M., ( a self-defense course that I designed and taught last year). My story is turning out to be quite the tale. One that I am proud and grateful to have.