Bugs and Features
Over the course of training people change. Whole new qualities appear.
Some start out thinking they are unstoppable. They learn about the limits of talent, and the benefits of training.
Some start out feeling that they are behind the curve, because they are learning something new, and don’t know how to do it yet.
There is no way to fake it. Not with martial arts. Not with anything. That is a good lesson to learn early on.
It is sometimes possible to fool people who don’t know anything. But that can only take you so far. It is good to discover that being confident works better than pretending to be confident. That skill is more effective than swagger. It is good to learn to do the work you need to do to become the real thing.
Animals and bugs have a hard life. They can’t learn much from us, but we can learn from them. That eastern swallowtail caterpillar above is doing his best to look like a snake. It’s only for a while, until he can grow up. It seems silly. Who is he fooling? Birds with bad eyesight? Birds in a hurry, birds who are nervous, birds who are not the brightest bird in the tree? Maybe. But still, camo works a lot of the time, so you do what you need to do. And if it does work,
what he turns into is this:
No one can tell for sure, when someone starts, what they will become as the result of training. But everyone can be sure that it is for real and, for everyone who sticks with, it works.
Photo of eastern swallowtail caterpillar by Jeff Brooks
Photo of eastern swallowtail butterfly by James Kampeis via Pexels