A fist in my face
If I walked up to you and stuck my fist in your face, would you thank me? The answer is no I’m sure. I don’t know anyone who would thank me for that. Most people would offer me some choice words...if not a fist right back in my face. So when I found my face with my instructor’s fist a hair’s distance away from my nose, feelings of gratitude were the furthest thing from my mind. By the end of class, gratitude is exactly what filled my heart.
Now, Instructor did not just randomly put a fist in my face, the intention behind it was to help us understand how to engage our focus. My counterparts and I each faced that fist twice. Each time it came hurtling at our faces at lightning speed, with full intention to engage its target. That fist in my face elicited a lot of emotion, fear being at the top. My first encounter was completely ruled by this fear. I had placed my focus in such a way that all I could do was freeze and brace myself for the blow. My second encounter, with my Instructor’s prompting, I experienced the ability to relax in the face of fear. I placed my focus elsewhere and was immediately liberated from fear’s rule.
In Tumfo Tu, everything we learn on the floor can be translated to life. We can either focus in such a way we are forced to react because something pulls at our awareness; or we can focus in a way that allows us to choose our response to the matters at hand. That day, I learned to use my focus to free myself. And for that I am exceedingly grateful.