Sometimes people tell me that I am a person of contradiction being a martial artist and self defence instructor as well as an IT professional. I don’t see the big contrast as to me both martial arts and IT are two areas which reward individual drive, learning and commitment and both provide abstract concepts as solutions to real-life problems. Just as I challenge myself and grow as a martial artist I am also constantly updating my IT professional certifications and knowledge as new products and operating systems are released. This is what excites me about both martial arts and the IT field; the fact that to succeed you have to be committed to being a life-time learner.
Both IT and martial arts provide me with skills that intimidate people. It is what I love doing but am never totally satisfied as I am always looking to improve and grow. One parent told me the other day that she likes that I go hard in drilling the correct stances in my Taekwondo classes. I would be doing my students a great disservice if I did not correct them. There is no grey area either the stance is correct or it isn’t. Often it is not enough for me to teach and demonstrate the skills in class I expect my students to get familiar with the techniques by doing some repetitions at home. As the moves become embedded in the neuromuscular memory the dreams of competency will become a reality.
I find that life is complicated enough as it is so I try to keep things simple. My side of the agreement is to show and explain everything in a straight forward fashion but the agreement from my students is to practice these skills at home. I have observed measurable results from those who came to me as novices. Most importantly I am looking to foster the correct attitude. In both IT and martial arts there is an onus on dealing with the human element; how you deal with people, how you deal with a live situation.
Finally I find both IT and martial arts get us to set and achieve goals and challenge us. An IT exam or a martial arts grading is simply a hypothetical way to test our skills and knowledge, a bit like a show where we are the stars. Going to an exam prepared there is no longer a reason to be nervous but rather a reason to be confident. By breaking through fear, having full control of our emotions and mastering our physical body and mind we are able to eliminate the self-defeating thought patterns and behaviours and progress towards our goals.