There is a chapter in the book, Zen in the Martial Arts, by Joe Hyams, called “Lengthen Your Line.”
In this chapter, Joe Hyams tells a story about when he was a new student of martial arts master, Ed Parker.
Ed Parker is a famous Kempo Karate instructor who students included Elvis Presley and many other celebrities.
According to the story, Hyams was a new student and was sparring with an experienced student and could not score any points. Hyams became very frustrated.
Ed Parker took Hyams aside and drew 2 lines on the floor with chalk. The first line was longer and represented the more experienced student. The second line was shorter and represented Hyams.
Master Parker asked Hyams how he could make the first line representing the more experienced shorter? Hyams gave several solutions attacking the skills of the more experienced student including one in which he proposed cutting the longer line into shorter pieces.
Master Parker then responded, “It’s always better to improve and strengthen your own line or knowledge than to try to cut your opponent’s line.”
Master Parker suggested Hyams spend time developing his own knowledge, skills and ability to “lengthen his own line” to match that of the more experienced students.
Joe Hyams situation is a very common situation for students of all levels in the martial arts and in life.
You do not have to be student of the martial arts to use the wisdom of this lesson.
How can you apply the lesson of “lengthening your line” in your own life?
Lengthening your own line is a good way to make a positive impact in your own life.
Out There on the Edge of Everything® …
Stephen Lesavich, PhD
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Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.
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