Paradoxes and counter-intuitions

In a recent chat, one of the clients remarked that he doesn’t enjoy getting punched in the head in the boxing classes.
It may seem obvious to some but to the uninitiated, the paradox in this instance draws me back to an article I read many moons ago at the depth of my karate training, in paraphrase, “to learn how to defend against punches, learn how to punch.”

Some prospective clients visiting our training facility complain that they feel tired from work and raising a family and avoid exercising or feel lethargic and physically unmotivated. Science has proven time and again that regular exercise through physical exertion, especially with weighted resistance training has multiple benefits for the mind and body, including increasing energy levels. Some Fortune 500 CEO’s build a culture around regular exercise as part of their corporate lifestyle. One of my friends is an active runner and triathlete who also manages a successful property development organization locally.

In our Jiu Jitsu program, movement in a counter-intuitive manner often is the correct solution. One adage I’ve heard many times over is to “do the opposite what your brain tells you to do.” Granted, this type of thinking goes against every ounce of experience and survival instinct that you’re hardwired for but is one of the building blocks to develop an effective strategy in the Jiu Jitsu realm.

The lesson here it seems is to do the opposite to what you think is right. Often our judgement is clouded by ego-based logic. In the Asian perspective it could be the “face” talking.
In learning how to be proficient against head punches there is a specific set of skills including allowing people to attempt to punch you in the head. To feel more energetic, do more exercise. To escape from bad positions in Jiu Jitsu, often we yield to our partner’s pressure and energy instead of countering with more force and strength. Applying the same strategy to life, when there is sadness, smile because expressing more sadness will not make you or the situation better. As costs rise and working conditions are challenging in business, rally against increasing prices by offering promotions and discounts at the right time. Taking the opposite and unexpected action may yield favorable results.

In servitude,
Vince Choo