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Flexibility and Adaptability

Excerpt from Master Convento’s Black Belt: The Winning Edge!

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. ~ Charles Darwin

Being Flexible and having the ability to Adapt is just as important as having conviction and dedication. While you may have a plan of what you want out of life, who you want to be, and a time frame within which you want to accomplish your dreams, you must have the Flexibility to roll with the punches life will throw at you. Without this Flexibility, you will not make the most of the obstacles you will face nor the lessons they will offer in an ever-changing world.

While I was in the Navy, I quickly learned I would have to master the art of Flexibility and Adaptability. For example, every one and a half to two years I had to move to a different location. This involved moving everything I owned, looking for a new home, and Adapting to a new environment. Regardless of the location, I discovered how to make the best of it.

I was fortunate to have lived in Rota, Spain, and Omaha, Nebraska. These are two completely different worlds. I loved Spain, the year round warm weather, the breathtaking beaches, quaint small towns, and the friendly people. However, being in the Navy meant I would have to move sooner or later. I was relocated to Omaha as my last shore duty assignment. Omaha, Nebraska, was very different from Rota, Spain. It had difficult winters and no beaches. Rather than sulking about my new duty station, I chose to make the best of the situation. I attended seminars on the business of Martial Arts and participated in Toastmasters. Instead of having a negative view, I took the time to build my business skills in Omaha and opened my first studio there. The rent was cheap, and it was in Omaha where I implemented the ideas I learned in seminars.

In Martial Arts, being Flexible and Adaptable to different situations is emphasized again and again. Being physically Flexible allows the practitioner to have fewer injuries, have an arsenal of techniques, and therefore Adapt to an opponent more readily. Every opponent you face has different strengths and weaknesses. You must be able to adjust your form, your movements, and your stance to overcome your opponent. If you are facing a new opponent in the sparring arena, you must change the strategy to defeat the opponent. If you simply carry out the same strategy with different opponents, you are going to be defeated. You must be Flexible and Adapt in order to flourish in an ever-changing environment.

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