Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seth Godin on aikido and judo

Photo courtesy of Seth Godin via Squidoo
I read Seth Godin's blog because he is truly a braniac! He writes (on the surface) about business, marketing, communication, and advertising, but what he has to say about his domain of knowledge applies in many cases to other domains, like aikido or judo. For instance, today's blog is particularly practical and useful in the context of martial arts...

There's always a gap between the short-term results of a well-polished system and the first results of a switch to a more efficient one. If you stick with that thing you've worked so hard to perfect, the next few hours or weeks or months will surely outperform the results you'll get from the new thing. That's because there are switching costs, glitches and a learning curve... The end result is that organizations that choose to switch are usually the ones with the least to lose. The upstarts and the outliers. One reason they're always leapfrogging the market leaders. One way to stay innovative is to understand that this gap exists and to budget for it. Denying it won't make it go away.

You can brute-force your way through martial arts, even including aikido and judo, and get to a certain point.  You can even get into the black belt ranks with this approach, but you are self-limiting.  You will reach an age where you cannot continue to put more and more into it in order to get better and better.
At some point you are going to have to buy into the "maximum efficient use of power" ideal in judo or the aiki ideal in aikido.  When you do, there will be a while during which you aren't able to get the results with the weakness approach that you used to be able to get with the strength approach.  In other words, while you are becoming more efficient, for a while you'll suck.
You can get over the suck, but what you can't beat is the self-limitation of the strength approach.
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282
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