Monday, July 21, 2008

From Crisis Comes Opportunity

On Saturday, I went to the Honbu for a workout. I often mention Hanshi, my instructor and President of the Federation. Today, I want to talk about Kyoshi. Kyoshi is one of my instructors and Vice-President of the Federation. She is a pioneer for women in the martial arts and an excellent role model. I have been fortunate in my karate training to be taught by a strong female instructor. She promotes and encourages women in the arts. She wants women to succeed! She has blazed a trail and my path has been made easier because of her.

I was able to talk to Kyoshi for a few minutes before the workout. During our conversation, she asked about my knee. I told her that the injury/recovery was difficult but it has made me stronger. She smiled briefly and said, “from crisis comes opportunity”. This is a saying that I have heard her say many times before but it really stuck with me on Saturday. The claim is that the Chinese character for Crisis is composed of the characters for Danger and Opportunity. There is much debate on the translation as discussed by Victor H. Mair.

I have been thinking about the statement “from crisis comes opportunity”. It was the right time to be reminded that our approach to situations greatly determines the outcome. When I teach karate, I use the word opportunity often. If I am focusing on beginner material, I tell the green/brown belts to use the opportunity to refine their technique. When we practice self-defense and a student cannot get a technique to work, we look for other opportunities that would work for them. When examining bunkai, we examine how different opportunities present themselves when we vary partners, strikes or grabs.

Tonight, I am going to approach my meeting at the car dealership as an opportunity. My conversation with Kyoshi helped to put things in perspective.


Martial Arts Mom said...

Michele, I too have a strong female sensei as well as a strong female brown belt who teaches as well. They have my admiration and respect, too. I like the motto "From crisis comes opportunity". I will try to keep that in mind when my many opportunitites hit the fan. LOL!

Michele said...

MAM: I seem to be having my share of opportunities lately! One right after another. I am hoping to have my car problem cleared up by the end of the month.

Anonymous said...

Michele, due to the calf injury, your post couldn't come at a better time - "from crisis comes opportunity" is a great way to sum up my frame of mind, now that I'm past the "AIIIEE!!!" panic stage

I don't have a strong female sensei, so I'm looking at it as an opportunity to BECOME one... someday!

TwentyThree said...

Prior comment was me - hit a wrong button. :)

Hack Shaft said...

One of the 2nd degree black belts commented on how my sparring has really improved. Keep in mind the last time he saw me was on the floor with a torn ACL in December, 2007!

My 6+ months off gave me lots of opportunity from that crisis. I'm a visual learner, and I studied a LOT of video during my down time.