Ripple Effect Martial Arts instructors have a knack for keeping spirits up (even when they seem to have a slightly sadistic tendency to make your legs ache from kicking exercises). Jokes during sit ups. Shouts and hand claps during forms and combo demonstrations. Raise-the-roof gestures. Mr. Worth grinning and leaning on your ankle while you’re trying to hold a belt-level sidekick.
It’s funny. It lifts your sagging spirit. And during the more grueling parts of class I appreciate the levity, because it gives me extra grit to push through.
There’s a power, a clarity of possibility, that comes with positive thinking. Think of the words “optimism” and “optics.” I’m not certain there’s a linguistic relationship there but one seems to suggest the other. Our vision is razor sharp when it’s not clouded by doubt, by fear of failure.
This is very evident when trying to break a board (or two or three). It’s not supposed to be easy. But the challenge is more mental than physical. That’s why it’s amazing to see the more pint-sized participants at a board break smashing through.
After one or two failed attempts, you can almost see all fear, all doubt, all hesitation go whoosh, just disappear. It’s like you’d been hitting an invisible stone wall erected by negative thinking. You couldn’t get through. Then a blast of positive thought makes the wall vanish and your fist (or foot) just flies. Kaboom.
Thanks karate instructors for always psyching us up. We love the feeling of a breakthrough.