Monday, June 12, 2017

Thousand Times

In my training sessions, I share that martial arts films have similar stories. The protagonist is a simple, nice guy. And the antagonist is an expert in martial arts. In the fight between the good and the bad, the bad one wins as he is stronger and skilled. Hence the hero goes to a master to learn self-defence and attack.

He is exasperated when the master teaches him only a single move and insists that he practise it again and again. The hero pleads with his master, ‘Please teach me more moves’. The wise master replies, ‘it is not the thousand moves that you know that will help you… it is the one move you have practised a thousand times!’

We see it all around us. Singers and musicians involve in the ritual of riyaz! Batsmen practise the same stroke that they want to become better at. Bowlers strive to bowl the yorker again and again, in the nets. Novice artists keep drawing the same strokes till they become proficient. Actors keep repeating lines till they are flawless.

Of course, it is not just enough to do something a thousand times; one must do it the right way. Pedro says is you keep practising the wrong way; you will get it perfectly wrong! The constant and conscious drill of doing the right thing in the right way gets us to be better and better.

So should we restrict to only single moves? While it is good to know many moves, the ones that matter will be ones you have done many times! Interestingly, in every sphere, the fundamental moves are few and the rest are variations. So it makes sense to work a thousand times on the fundamentals.

Never mind thousand moves that you claim to know
Those done a thousand times are the ones to show!

~ Pravin Sabnis

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