Never let an opportunity go by…

  • Posted on May 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

“Never let an opportunity go by”. ~ Milton Heywood

This was a phrase that I heard many times while I was growing up. Today, it was reinforced by my MMA instructor.

You see, today he decided to teach us a cool new move which is not in the curriculum of our style of martial art. He referred to it as the “scissor takedown”.

My instructor first demonstrated it on one of the eager soon-to-be black belts, and then asked for volunteers who would like to give it a go. I encouraged one of the other high-ranking students to give it a try, all the while feeling a bit nervous about doing it.

My nerves were twofold – firstly because it was something new, and I haven’t really been challenged physically with anything new for a while so my confidence in my physical abilities has dropped off a little, and secondly because it is the sort of move that requires full commitment to the technique to be able to pull it off. There are no half-attempts possible for this one!

Now when the time came for me to have a go, I chose to put my concerns aside and go for it. I know that the feeling of regret of missing out and not giving something a go is worse than any embarrassment of messing it up, so I stepped forward and did it. And it was surprisingly easy!!!

In fact, all the fear and hesitation had been a total mind projection.

Scissor Takedown

Scissor Takedown

The technique was so simple that Dai Sempai encouraged all of the members in the class to give it a go, even the white belt experiencing his first class. A number of us had been hesitant when we’d first seen the move demonstrated, but all felt elated afterwards, realising that it was really quite achievable.

As our instructor wisely pointed out, this was a lesson in rising to the challenge. It was a metaphor for giving things a go, rather than taking yourself out of the game before you’ve even attempted it. You see, had he not insisted that we were ALL doing it, possibly only half of the class would have volunteered to put it in action. And the rest of us would have left wondering…

So the moral of the story is,… if you have a chance to learn something new, give it a go… never let an opportunity go by!

I would love to hear your stories of times when you have risen to the challenge and attempted something that seemed difficult, of times when you have overcome your mind’s tendency to over-protect you, and escpecially of any times where you were able to inspire others with your give-it-a-go attitude.

With love and courage to you,

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