Punching versus Do Not Enter
When you try to enter a club without permission to do so, the bouncer will intercept your attempt by placing his hand out and pushing you backward. When sparring, rather than blocking a punching attack, it is easier to use your jab to intercept attempted attack. This way, you not only prevent the attack, you are initiating your own attack.
Punching versus Tracking a Duck
When firing a shotgun at a flying duck, you track the duck with the gun, aim at the location you think the duck will be when the pellets arrive, and then, at the right moment, you pull the trigger. When sparring, you should track your target, anticipate where the target will be when you fire (accounting for any defensive action by the opponent), and then fire.
Sparring versus Pinball
Competition sparring is similar to playing a pinball machine. You have to be quick, your timing must be precise, and you must make split second decisions on how to react so as to get the highest score. In pinball, if you want the highest score, you have to play a little play close to the edge of fairness. You have to jiggle, nudge, and shake the machine to get the ball to go where you want it to go, but, if you go too far, you will "tilt" and lose the game. To get the most points in competition sparring, you also have to flirt with the rules and play close to the edge, but, if you go too far, you will be disqualified and lose the match.
Learning versus Freeing Butterflies
One spring a young boy approached his father with something he had found; it was chrysalis. The father told the boy that this was a great find; that if he cared for the chrysalis and gave it time, a beautiful butterfly would emerge.
The boy cared for the chrysalis but then one day, through the walls of the chrysalis, the boy saw that the butterfly was beating its wings against the walls of the chrysalis, trying to escape. Fearing the butterfly could not escape, the boy opened the chrysalis to free the butterfly. Instead of a butterfly, out came a wet, ugly thing that quickly died.
The boy ran to his father crying. The father told the boy that he should have let the butterfly struggle to escape on its own. The butterfly's beating of its wings against the wall of the chrysalis may have appeared fruitless, but it made the butterfly's wings stronger and stronger until they were strong enough for the butterfly to break out of the chrysalis. At that point, the wings would have been strong enough for the butterfly to fly, and the struggle would have given the butterfly the strength and confidence it needed to survive as a butterfly.
When you see a student struggling to achieve rank, if you feel sorry for the student and make it easier for the student to achieve the rank, you do not help the student; instead, you destroy the student. If a student makes rank without the struggle, the student will not be able to survive as a martial artist. The student will quickly lose interest in training and will soon quit training. You can show a student the path and encourage the student in the struggle, but if you make the struggle easier, you will only destroy the student.
Learning versus Dish Washer
You get your first job as a dishwasher in a restaurant at a minimum wage. You work hard to become the best dishwasher and most dependable employee in the restaurant. After years of hard work and dedication, you are still a dishwasher working at minimum wage. Hard work and dedication will not make you successful. You must continuously strive to learn new things, reach new goals, and achieve expertise in new things. A dish washer who does his or her job well, but also learns, seeks, and works at all the other jobs in the restaurant business may one day own a restaurant. If you are able to perform a highly effective round kick and you use it all the time, you will become the best round kicker in your school. However, if you try other kicks and use them regularly, you will become the best kicker in the school. If you are only doing what you do best, you will not progress. To progress, you must constantly attempt things that you cannot currently do.