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"Perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there". So says Master Chiang to his student Jonathan in Richard Bach’s story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. We are limited only by that which we cannot conceive. In the time before automobiles, airplanes and nuclear power, we existed within the limits of our own creative mind. That which we cannot conceive, we certainly cannot achieve.

As a martial artist the "I CAN’T" should not exist, for, if we choose to do so, we can simply take the necessary steps to attain our goals.

 Smithtown Karate Academy
Chief Instructor: Marilyn Fierro, 9th Dan 

The Limitless Spirit of the Martial Art

How many times have we read f the accomplishments of martial artists who are disabled in some manner? Were they truly disabled? No, because they took the necessary steps to overcome their physical limitations.

What about the martial artist whose negative thoughts prevent him from earning rank, winning trophies or executing a perfect side kick? Is this individual not the handicapped one? By replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, by setting goals and working toward achieving them, the possibilities are limitless.

When Bill "Superfoot" Wallace was told his knee injury would prevent him from training as a martial artist, was that the end for him? No! He took the steps necessary to develop left leg kicks, strengthened his almost useless right leg , and went on to become the undefeated champion of full contact karate.

The perfection is in setting goals, achieving them and resetting goals. It is in the striving to be even better. The archer who learns to hit the bulls eye 100% of the time, now strives to center his arrow, and then to split the arrow, again and again, an infinitesimal number of times. There is no end to this accomplishment , it goes on as long as the idea exists, as long as there is a whole there will always be a piece of it with which to work. This, then , is the perfection- it lies within the deed itself and the constant training needed to improve upon the tiniest detail.

We have a conscious and subconscious mind. What we think reacts on our subconscious mind to form a pattern for us. Thus, a negative thought will be reinforced and cause in action a great deal of negativity. This reflects into our world as the inability to attain success, the non-belief in ourselves and others, and ultimately, ill health. Conversely, a positive thought creates within us a proper mental attitude. Now we have the ability to attain anything to which we put our minds.

The key to this is simple, we cannot deny the existence of negativity but we can see it for what it is and allow it to slide by. We need not accept negativity! Replace negative Thought with positive and create for yourself a winning attitude. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in his book, PSYCHOCYBERNETICS, details the use of mental imagery to create this positive attitude.

Controlled scientific studies were conducted on tennis players of similar skill level. Four groups were formed. One was to play tennis each day; one was to watch films and use visualization techniques; the third was to do nothing; and the fourth was to both study and play tennis. As would be expected, the group which did nothing showed a marked decline in skill and the group which played showed a slight increase in skill. Unexpectedly, the group which used visualization also showed a small increase of skill level and the group which di both were able to demonstrate a marked increase. This type of survey was repeated with martial artists and the results were reported by Tom Seabourne in KICK ILLUSTRATED, September, 1983.

Time spent mentally practicing your technique can and will be rewarded with perfection of that technique. Mike Stone’s current motivational seminars contain within them this same idea. Knowing you are a winner, seeing yourself with the trophy and accepting nothing less as your reality. Ninety-three recorded fights and ninety-three recorded wins proves this idea to be true for Mr. Stone.

We have the ability to be whatever we wish to be, "there are no limits" simply conceive the idea, set the goal. Take the steps and be there. But, you must BELIEVE.

"To fly as fast as thought to anywhere that is, you must begin by knowing you have already arrived."

About The Author: Marilyn Fierro has owned and operated the Isshinryu Karate Academy in Smithtown, New York, since 1980. In addition, she holds a Sandan (7th degree) in Isshinryu Karate and is under the guidance of Nick Adler.

May 1988/Tae Kwon Do Times