John Coltrane

Doubts about my decision to not have a coach for my next competition have already set it. I started to wonder “What if I freeze? What if I go blank?” I guess if I do, that’s a good thing to know about myself, and it’s something I would need to work on.

Shihan tells a story about a jazz musician he knows, who when asked about his preparation before going on stage, replied “I just say to myself ‘let it make sense’“. Shihan says we should apply that same philosophy to our martial arts. Keep it simple, keep it practical, let it make sense. This is the mindset I want to have for my upcoming competition.

When the jazz players are on stage freestyling, they aren’t playing something pre-written, and there is no conductor telling them what to do. They just have to free their mind, rely on their knowledge, and hope that it works. Without a coach, I will have to think like they do, and try to feel the flow. I just need to play as well as I can, and hope that it makes sense. It may not be a John Coltrane performance, but I think I can pull off a decent Kenny G.

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