Image courtesy of
Debivort at en.wikipedia [GFDL
None of us lives in a perfect world. Every day brings us unexpected problems of varying sizes. No one is immune to life’s bumps in the road. The larger question is how one handles the challenges of life.
When a problem arises would you prefer to be around the person who looks to point fingers at everyone else, or the person who says “sorry” but takes no action, or the person who is not interested in whose fault but how to overcome the challenge instead.
Society seems stuck with the first option – pointing fingers, assigning blame and spreading news (gossip) of the problem and blame wherever they can. The problem with this type of person is they strive to make themselves feel better by highlighting the short comings of others. They do not help resolve the problem, if anything they make it worse by distracting others with gossip, demoralizing those at fault and deterring those looking for the solution. Being focused on tearing other down instead of looking for real solutions bring nothing productive to the situation.
While the person who tears others down is detrimental, the person who acknowledges fault but does nothing to resolve the situation is not useful either. While we appreciate they are willing to take responsibility for creating the problem it would be more helpful is they took the initiative to seek a solution.
The third type of person does not get mired in pointing finger or stuck in accepting blame with no action. The problem solvers of the world do not find value in dwelling on whose fault it was – they recognize this behavior leaves them stuck in the past. Staying focused on the past does not move the situation forward to solution. They also recognize that acknowledging fault without action also leaves them no closer to solution than assigning blame does.
A martial artist does not see problems in a normal light. Where others see problems martial artists see opportunities. Every problem creates a variety of potential outcomes. When viewed in this light the martial artist / problem solver focuses on optimizing the potential solution from all available solutions.
The nature of martial arts training revolves around focusing on optimizing solutions. When someone is trying to strike you there are a number of outcomes: getting hit, evading the hit, blocking the hit, striking the adversary before their strike lands, The situation becomes more dynamic depending upon terrain, obstacles, number of attackers, avenues of escape, lighting, companions, etc… Every situation brings a multitude of facets to process and act upon. The goal is to be able to select the optimal solution not just one that works. Every training opportunity is viewed through this lens.
For the martial artists the process of optimizing is their normal mode of operation. This applies to all aspects of their life, not just the world of martial arts. Martial artists are solution optimizers not finger pointers.