The Energy of Success – A Reflection From Instructor Tammy Bauer

The Energy of Success

I often spend a large amount of time reflecting on, and thinking through tournament weekends. This is particularly true since I have become an instructor. What an amazing weekend it was! It was a weekend full of success.  It is comfortable to reflect upon all the great moments!  The gleaming moments of happiness and success, but within those bright moments of shiny success I also had the pangs of failure.  It has always intrigued me how the 48 hours of the black belt exam and tournament weekend can encompass such a beautiful portrait of feelings that range in the colors of the glowing light of success to the dull hues of failure.

This most recent tournament was particularly special to me because I had been asked to test for the edan (2nd) black belt rank.  As a school, we also had a respectable number of students competing in the tournament, along with a school demo to prepare.

As a student, competitor and a teacher I had to decide where my efforts should be directed to prepare for this weekend.  I had to make decisions based on the availability of my time, energy, and spirit.  Some of these decisions I realize now were intentional and some were not.

I directed a large amount of my thought, training time, and prayer towards a successful outcome of my belt exam.  Particularly, towards the breaking of boards.  I spent time working to remove self-doubt or at least not entertain thoughts towards failure and fear.  In the several weeks leading up to this exam I truly placed a lot of energy and prayer towards this objective.  At my teacher’s request I did not change the way in which I was training from day to day, and in class. (My training this past year consisted of training with the energy and objective towards improvement every moment I practiced.) The exception I made towards my teachers request was that I added training time towards board breaking.

When I stepped onto the training floor the night of my belt exam I experienced nerves and feelings of anticipation, but I can honestly say I have never felt more ready for a belt exam then I did for this one.

Another area I placed a large amount of energy, thought, and prayer towards was helping my students to prepare for the tournament, as did they.  I wanted to help them feel as comfortable as they could competing in both sparring and forms competition, and they also put forth the effort.  I worked with them to prepare them for their demos as well, and there is no question most of them took these lessons home for self-practice and preparation.

I did not put much energy, thought, or prayer towards my own tournament forms and sparring competition. The same applied for my demo board break.

The outcome of the tournament and test weekend was a direct reflection of the energy, thought and prayer that placed upon it.

I was able to pass my edan exam. I have no doubt that everyone one of my students competed with their best, many of them pleased with the outcome of their competition!  My students participating in the demo did well, finding success at board breaking and demonstrating techniques to their peers.

I was not as successful as I would have liked during the competition portion of the tournament, and was unable to break my boards during the demo.  I placed a very small amount of thought and energy towards those efforts in comparison to the preparation towards my belt exam, and helping my students compete confidently and successfully at the tournament.

I believe that I had the ability to be successful in the areas where I failed, but I didn’t offer it the energy, and thought it needed for a successful outcome. As always, those failures are worth reflecting upon to understand why they occurred, and to teach me.  They help me understand who and where I am as a martial artist and person.  They teach me where I can work towards growth, and how my decisions directly impact success or failure.

I think my biggest take away from the past tournament and test weekend is that while success is never guaranteed, it really isn’t even considered if you don’t place the appropriate energy, thought and prayer towards it.  I also am reminded that failure isn’t finite, it is simply a lesson towards improvement and accelerates self-awareness and growth if you want and allow it to.

I invite you to reflect upon both your success and failure in both life and training.  Treat them all as learning lessons.  Ensure that you are placing the proper energy, effort and thought towards your goals to ensure you have success! Remember, that failure isn’t finite, it is a teacher towards future growth and success.

  • Tammy Bauer

“Many of the familiar little things that we use every day have typically evolved over a period of time to a state of familiarity. They balance form and function, elegance and economy, success and failure in ways that are not only acceptable, but also admirable.” – Henry Petroski