The Power of One

1It may be the loneliest number. It may be the slot that many are striving to attain. It is the starting point for every list.

I am referring to number one, and there is tremendous power in one. Yes, majority rules and groups dominate, but the power of one is subtle, strong and underappreciated.

The greatest lesson that I have learned training in Systema this year is the tremendous power in one.

During the summer at one particular class, a grand total of one person showed up. Initially, it was strange and a tad unsettling but we trained and trained hard and intense. Some special messages and lessons were shared that day, all because one person showed up. Kudos to Christy. One person who made a difference.

In an era where it is easy, if not cowardly, to send an email to deal with an uncomfortable situation, one person demonstrated that there are still men of integrity. There are still martial artists who believe in the old adages of respect and dealing with things face-to-face, man-to-man. Thanks to Sifu Jeff, a situation was resolved easily and happily. One person demonstrated that integrity matters more than comfort. One great message. One great friend.

One person pays attention to everything in class. He is the hawk who carefully and diligently watches and observes, soaking in all that comes his way. He works hard and applies all that is observed. Mind you, others do notice and are positively influenced by him. Hence, why Carlos Alvarado has earned the title of Dojo Cho, a most deserved honor. One person who wants to excel.

One person has a couple of daughters and a job that at times, takes him into the late night. Nevertheless, Chris Harrington comes to CFL Systema class on a regular basis and quietly has set the standard for effort. His skill level is continually growing and what really stands out his willingness to work harder than anyone I know. One person whose effort level is always 100%.

It was his first class and understandably, he was a bit apprehensive about taking a strike. Who wouldn’t be?! People train for years and are apprehensive about taking strikes. It is normal. Nevertheless, despite his inner dialogue, Johnny took the strike, stood tall and looked like a man who just was selected King. One person decided to become bigger than fear.

Systema consists mostly of men (at least that is what I have observed). Yes, there are quite a number of skilled and talented women who excel at this art. Go to most Systema school or seminars and the vast majority of practitioners are men.

It must be strange to continually show up in an environment that is filled mainly with those of us who have XY chromosomes. Despite any discomfort, Marina shows up, both for class and seminars. It takes courage, a skill not many are willing to explore. She is.

Sometimes, all it takes is one – one person willing to go over and above the average. One person who desires to swim in the Ocean of Possibility. One person who, just by being themselves, influences those around them. One person who will not let the demons of fear, laziness or discomfort enter their space.

Be you. Be the one.