When I took combat karate a few years ago, I was having trouble getting the hang of a throw. After watching me attempt it a few times, my sensei explained that I was trying to use muscle to topple my opponent instead of relying on technique.
A karateka does not need to be bigger or stronger than her opponent, Joe said. She simply needs to apply the correct technique and trust gravity to take care of the rest.
I am reminded of that as I look back at the past couple of days.
Two days into the workweek, I am frustrated and exhausted. Meetings and parent phone calls have consumed every spare minute at school, NHS applications are piling up on my desk, a progress report deadline is looming, the big finale to my Hamlet unit — which I’ve been planning for weeks — has fallen through for reasons that have nothing to do with me, I’m drowning in unprocessed Trip Guide ads, and to top it all off, I seem to have come down with a minor but incredibly annoying illness that’s draining my energy and making it difficult to concentrate at work.
A week like this is much too heavy for me to muscle over on my own, but that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do — and I’ve been getting exactly the same results I used to get when I tried to rely on my own strength to put an uke on the mat in karate class.
How much easier would the past two days have been if I’d remembered to simply grab hold of my attacker, throw a little metaphysical hip into it, and trust Principle to do the rest?
Bring it, Wednesday. I’ve got a tai otosh over here with your name on it.