Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: (Wo)man in the mirror.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

(Wo)man in the mirror.

When training on my own, self-correction is very important, so there are a few things I do to determine whether or not my technique is as it should be.

The first is by feel. Sometimes I close my eyes and execute a move – immediately I can feel if my stance is too wide, narrow or just plain wrong, if my punch is at the correct height, or if my shoulders are relaxed or not etc. I've learned to trust this approach, because my body will always tell me the truth, whether I want to hear it or not.

The second is by looking in the mirror. That (wo)man in the mirror is never perfect darn it! She's always got something that needs fixing and it is my job to change her ways – I often become frustrated though at how easily she becomes frustrated, but I do try to remain patient with her. I make sure to take the time and really look closely at every detail - of course this slows the training down, but there are days when you just have to take a step back and work from the ground up, making sure everything from toes to posture is correct, in other words: take a look at yourself and make that change.

However, when all else fails, sometimes it is better to let Sensei step in. He's much more kind to her than I am.

And one final note for today: Happy Birthday.


  1. This post goes right along with what I've been dealing with lately. I get so frustrated very easily when I self correct at home. I'm a perfectionist and too hard on myself.

    After reading your post, I wrote a post of my own on self correction and using video to help.

    Oh, is it your birthday today? Happy birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day!

  2. Ah yes, we are our own worst critics aren't we? I get so frustrated with myself the second I feel something isn't quite right and I stop in my tracks and start over - I won't let myself get away with much.

    It is actually my Sensei's birthday today - he didn't want anyone to make a fuss, but I just HAD to say something.

    I read your post, nice work!

  3. I wonder if the greats I admire sigh and self-correct when they see themselves on video? I'm sure they do - because even if 99 percent of it is awesome, I bet that jacked-up one percent is the part that sticks out to them the most.

    Self-correcting is good, I think. We need to know how things feel and use that as a guide to make it work as best as we can for us. But when we focus so much on perfection that we can't move forward, I think we can paint ourselves into a corner. A rock and a hard place, for sure, but I'm convinced there is a happy medium somewhere (although I am still trying to find it!)...

    Nice post - and happy birthday to your sensei...

  4. Hi Felicia! I am a perfectionist at heart, and do expect a lot from myself. Not quite there with the Video thing yet, that might just make it worse!
    For now I am trusting my Sensei's when they tell me what needs tweaking - but I know I am in for a surprise when I finally decide to hit the record button... someday.