One would not think it would be possible to forget to breathe — to be completely and utterly unaware of being rigid when trying to complete a technique or form or while sparring — until… after, when reminded, once again.
Before I google the paradox of trying too hard to be relaxed, I would like to wax poetic (rant) about this frustration regarding myself and my martial arts training. They say the mat is a mirror, and in no way is this demonstrated to me more clearly than trying SO HARD to do something correctly that I, in essence, hamstring myself and prevent my very success.
I know the importance of staying relaxed intellectually. I know that relaxed muscles move quicker, respond easier, are more powerful. Circular techniques especially are my nemesis — tiger tail-tornado kicks, spinning heel kicks, sickle sweeps, crescent kicks — techniques that require the body to be loose and free.
And it’s a negative spiral — because continued lack of success produces apprehension which causes rigidness which causes lack of success which produces an almost fear response when facing something so completely inane as a KICK. The very “hobby” that is supposed to help me “let go” is knotting my stomach. This is a paradox.
Reset. Refocus. Remember to breathe.
Yes. Remember to breathe.
I have a black belt test coming up soon. March 15.
How can letting go be so hard?