Entering Our 7th Year and What I Have Learned

cflCome October, Central FL Systema will be entering our 7th year.

In the beginning, I was not sure we would make it past 7 minutes, yet alone all of this time. It has been an unpredictable, enjoyable, sometimes difficult, life-changing ride. I thought I was learning a martial art. Instead, I am learning how to be a better person. In the process, I am blessed with the opportunity to teach others what I have learned and perhaps, nudge them forward on their own path.

Here are just a few of the countless things that I have learned at Central FL Systema this year:

  1. Size does not matter. I have had incredible classes with 16 people and not so good ones with 2. I have dramatically great classes with 2 people and so-so classes with 16. The numbers of people really do not matter. The quality does. Over the years, I have learned to treat a 1 or 21-person class the same way — give it my very best. That was one of the first lessons students taught me. Maybe the best one. . . at least so far.
  2. Gratitude does. I am firmly convinced that if you want “magic” in your life, be grateful. If you want your life to be happy, joyful, exciting and prosperous, live with gratitude. This year taught me that it is pointless to react over what was, what could be or what should be and simply appreciate what is. The minute I switched gears, our classes became big, happy and productive again. And yours truly was as happy as a clam.
  3. Don’t wish, work. If you want to improve your skills, come to class. If you want to get better at Systema, come to class. While you are in class, pay attention, do your best and have fun working on your skills. Wishing or wanting to get better does nothing. There is no replacement for participation and dedicated work.
  4. Accept. Accept how a person kicks, punches, chokes or uses a knife and movement will spontaneously come about. Accept that not everyone is a fit for the school or the art and peace will be the end result. Accept that not everyone will handle every situation with grace and class and all will be right with the world. Accept yourself and you get the message of Systema.
  5. Endlessness. Systema never ends. It is a journey that does not have a finish line. Knowing this, enjoy the ride. Each moment of each class or seminar is the only time you will experience THAT moment. Soak it in. Enjoy it. Smile and keep moving forward. The journey matters. In fact, the journey is all there is.

Ask me next week or next month what 5 lessons I learned from training in Systema and being at Central FL Systema and there is a good chance it will look entirely differently. That is the beauty of this art. There are endless opportunities for those who have the will to move forward.