Kind of an appropriate one for today, as I’m traveling about 6,000 miles roundtrip at an altitude of 30,000+ ft — and enjoying the passing scenery below of the entire United States!
One of the biggest paradoxes of martial arts is that everything is both incredibly simple and also incredibly complex at the same time.
Often, when we struggle to accomplish a specific goal or technique, we zoom in on the minutiae of the problem and seek to find understanding there. This can totally be a useful approach to problem solving, for sure.
But it’s all about balance. We can obsess so much over the details that we lose sight of the larger picture.
Everything is both complex and simple.
To truly master any skill you need to be able to keep a “bird’s eye view” and explain the problem and solution in extremely simple terms, and also have the ability to dissect and analyze each step along the way.
Though, as I’ve gotten more mature in the arts (this October is my 18th anniversary of starting Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), I tend to lean more towards the simple approaches. And I think that true mastery is more a function of refining and simplifying every problem, then expanding and complicating it.
With all that said, you only have so much time and energy. Make sure you’re not spending all of it “majoring in the minors.”
Understand the details, but keep a broad perspective, and always seek to steer towards simplicity and efficiency.
As Einstein said (and this is one of my favorite quotes of all time), “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.”
A simple explanation of a complex idea. I love it.