Watching my almost two-year-old these past several months, I’ve enjoyed seeing him interact with the world more and more. Some of my favorite moments is when he sees something in the world that is, to most adults, something mundane, but to him is a thing new and full of wonder. Often he’ll point, and say ‘Woah!’ in his toddler way of marveling at what he’s witnessing for the first time.
It’s an attitude I try to remind myself and my students to have about training (and well … everything). It is so easy to look at a technique we’ve worked on for a few years as ‘that one’ or think ‘I know that’. But keeping that sense of wonder that we all had as a new student or a young person, helps keep everything fresh, helps us see important lessons we may not have noticed before.
Going through our daily lives with a sense of curiosity and wonder keeps us aware and taking in information (important for self-defense) without turning us paranoid or putting us on edge. Looking for an attack around every corner keeps us jumpy, and helps us find an enemy even when there wasn’t one. But being ready and aware, yet curious and looking for the wonder around us, keeps us alert without being alarmed or angry. A subtle difference maybe, but I think a very important one. There is enough anger, dullness and despair out there as it is. My goal this year is to see more wonder, to point and say ‘woah!’ in excitement a bit more often.