Deep down we are always that kid on his/her first day.


Perhaps it is because I am a child of the ’50s, a Baby Boomer born with the responsibility of fixing the world after W.W.2 a whole generation taking the Great Leap Forwards we were encouraged to make lists, check progress, realign goals if needed but to always ask the question.

Why are we doing this?

What do we expect to get for our effort?

Is it paying off??

To be expected this applies to my Martial Art life just as much.

As a 67year old man with a degenerative spine disorder, one would imagine that this line of thinking would be very different than the one I had as a 7-year-old boy on my first day at the Blue Triangle Gym.

But given some thought, it becomes clear that it is not, the only thing that has changed is the body doing the work.

Deep down we are always that kid on his/her first day.

If it were any other way we would not still be here.

Still training.

Still working.

For the last few decades, I saw my expectations as more about maintaining rather than expanding my skill.

But the reasons remained the same.

Here is the kicker.

I can look back and honestly say that what I had been taught by the age of eight was all I ever needed.

It took a while for the penny to drop.

What I had thought of as 60 years of continuous training was more accurately 59 years of maintenance.

What was it I learned that I have been steadfastly keeping in place ever since?

It can be summed up by what our Boxing Coach would tell us every day.

Boxers don’t fight, Boxers Box, it is all about control.


In one way or another this simple fact was up-front and in my face all of my life, I just did not see it.

From pre-teens to my mid-forties I was actively involved in semi-serious amateur sports.

Ice Hockey, Judo, Soccer and Tennis, just grade level, but serious enough that we all trained together weekly and attended coaching clinics.

Frequently there was that one guy that did not appear to put in as much at training as everyone else, had a relatively basic skill set and narrow repertoire of moves, but on ‘match day’ was usually the best by a country mile.

In one and one sports like Judo or Tennis, he was predictable due to his shallow skill set but all the same, his wins far outweighed his losses.

Everyone knew what he was going to do, would see it coming and still not be able to stop it happening.

These guys get called naturals.

But what are they natural at?

Training with them week in and week out we know beyond doubt that they are no faster than we are, no fitter than we are and yet they always seem to get to the ball first and have plenty of time to do whatever they wish to do.

If it is not superior skill what is it?

It is the way they move.

They move efficiently, effectively but beyond anything else easily.

Frequently we will engage in other pursuits with these guys and find that their ease of movement is not sports specific.

It is just ‘easy’ movement that effortlessly transfers from one discipline to another.

Are they naturals or can any of us learn to move easy?

If not, why not.

I believe that we all have the potential to be Naturals, the question now is How do we transition from, move from, potential to reality?



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