Have you noticed how our society frowns upon making mistakes?
Granted, there are some professions where making mistakes is deadly. Snipers. Air traffic controllers. Nuclear plant operators. Yup. Mistakes are bad.
That’s why these people train extensively before they get on the job to reduce the chances of errors.
For all of us in martial arts, most of our time is spent in training. And while this may come as a shock, IT’S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES. That’s why it’s called “training”.
It’s important to develop a mindset that focuses on the positive and doesn’t dwell on mistakes. Whatever you did “wrong”, keep in mind there was a time that you couldn’t have even done what you did wrong in the first place. You have improved, and continue to do so in every class where you’re giving an honest effort.
Consider some of the elements of a basic “big men” strike during drills.
- Start at the proper distance
- Big swing
- Have good posture
- Have good footwork / fumikomi
- Hit with the right part of the shinai
- Achieve ki-ken-tai
- Have good zanshin /follow through
There’s a list of 8 things that need to happen to make ONE good hit (and there are multiple items within each of those if you want to get picky). Chances are you do at least some of these things. Great!
Now, instead of whining about how you got items #1, 3, 5 and 7 wrong, focus on making them right.
Pilots go through a checklist to make sure the plane’s working properly before they even taxi to the runway.
Go through a mental checklist yourself on these points. Evaluate how you did and instead of being negative, intend to improve next time.
There’s always a next time.
You can always improve.
Learn from mistakes.