Friday, February 5, 2010

The Silly Season

Currently, I am on holiday at the moment. No, given how porous information is on the internet, I am not going to say where, but suffice to say; it's about as far away from the mats as possible.

But with social networking these days, it's almost impossible not to stay connected even though I may be miles away from everything, and through Facebook updates or Tweets; one is reminded of how much training one is missing out on. This was definitely the case in previous years. If I missed just one training session, there was an implied sense that your 'game' would slip and that things would slide downhill etc, etc.

I am glad to say that I have finally moved away from that silly nonsense in 2010. In other words, I can enforce a break, and not feel guilty about it. Yes, I will gain weight during a holiday because that's what happens on a holiday. No, I won't be training as the body, mind and spirit needs a break occasionally - no matter how good you feel. More importantly, I need to take an enforced break because no matter how much I like doing Judo, Jits etc - in the big scheme of things..and wait for the's relatively unimportant

We need to challenge the consumerist mindset that says that "more is good". Somewhere along the line, this has been incorporated into the realm of martial sports. More seminars, more training, more sparring. Then you will get 'better'. For what, I might ask?

So that you can spend less time with your family? Or less time at church? So that I can pretend that my problems don't exist by working out like a maniac? As if problems solve themselves by doing one more set of crunches.

The corruption of participating in something healthy like martial sports comes when we use it to escape into a world that is unrealistic and untenable. Bills, problems, issues of life and death do not dissapear miraculously because one has a roll on the mats for a couple of hours. So in one sense, the practice of a healthy sport has become inherently selfish where all you are concerned about is my own self and what I get out of it. Who cares about the outside world?

The Silly season comes when we build our own little world on the mat with training partners who share our view that the world is no more than a 12x12 set of rubber mats. The real world is people dying of malnutrition, disease, wars and neglect out there. And it can benefit from you taking some time out to pray for them, give them money or lend a helping hand. But it will not benefit from you constantly using your God given five senses and perfectly functional limbs in the dojo, kwoon or gym everyday and at all times