Based in Los Angeles, Jeff is a self-wellness writer and editor. His content focuses on mental and spiritual health that draws from his education in psychology and theology. He’s a lifelong martial artist and practices Japanese and Hawaiian healing arts.

Keep Your Form

I've been studying and performing judo throws for the last five years. Neck throws, shoulder throws, hips throws, sweeping throws and so on. Each throw is composed of three parts: Tsukuri (entry), Kuzushi (off-balance) and Kake (finish or execution of the throw). And like anything, if you have an experienced teacher and time to put the reps in you'll get better and better. Ideally.

But then physics come into play.  

Aside from the steps listed above to make the throw happen, there other factors at play. Factors like height and weight. You see, I stand at a healthy height of 6'3" and ideally it would be best for me throw someone my height or taller. Why? So I can create a fulcrum (the point on which a lever rests or is supported and on which it pivots) with my body positioning and the other person can go over me. 

This doesn't mean that its impossible for me to throw someone who is shorter than me. I can still create that fulcrum; I would just need to get my waistline lower than their waistline. But this notion violates the economy of movement. Why would I hip throw someone whose hips are lower than my own? It's a waste of energy in that it increases my effort and likely lowers my effectiveness. It would make more sense for me to leg-sweep them if the desire was to put them on the ground.  

But to my point. 

To throw well we must take our opponent's center.  We must invade their central point of balance and become the new center that everything else will revolve. Not only must I take the center, but I'll need to maintain it as well. This is done by keeping my form. I must ensure that my base is strong and that I'm balanced all the way up to the top of my head.

If I bend too much one way or the other then I've divided my own center. 

And this isn't so unlike the nature of our character. Some of us obsess over a goal. Some of us endlessly ruminate over why a relationship ended. And some, if not most of us battle daily with feeling like we're not enough; be it that we're enough to love and be loved, enough to achieve the thing we long to achieve or having enough courage to face the truth of our pasts.  This is the bending of our character. 

We must become more aware of the things that seek to take our centers. If we let them take us, then our center becomes compromised and we find ourselves further from having a strong sense of who we are and what we really want in life. 

So whats been taking your center? Fear, doubt, resignation, unreconciled pain? If you don't master your center, something else with do it for you.

Don't let yourself get thrown. Keep your form. Be honest about the problem and seek to get the help you need. 

The Poison of Unforgiveness

How to Endure Divorce