Posts Tagged ‘Adapting’

Every morning in the wild a gazelle awakens. One thing is for sure for the gazelle for that day, as every other: She must run faster than the fastest lion. If she cannot, she will be killed and eaten.

Every morning, a lion awakens. For the lion, too, one thing is certain. This day, and everyday, he must run faster than the slowest gazelle.

Whether fate names you a gazelle or a lion is of no consequence. It is enough to know that with the rising of the sun, you must run, and you must run faster than the day before, for the rest of your days, or you will die.

We all have to run; run the race of life. – An African Poem, Race of Life, Netflix 2017

Occasionally instead of putting on my usual Netflix debauchery, I find it soothing to watch a nature series or documentary. Recently, I started to watch the shot Race for life on Netflix. The beginning starts with the poem as written above.

Of course, I have seen variations of this quote prior usually on motivational posters or in business guides, but this is so far my favourite.

It seems to me despite what the Lion King taught us about the circle of life, the newer generation either do not understand it, accept it or simply ignore it. This two is applied to evolution and how it operates. There is a common myth believed by most that evolution has some kind of definitive set end goal. The truth is it does not. It is simply a mechanism following some kind of not tangible universal code based on the principles of action and reaction.

For the gazelle to avoid the lion it developed speed and agility, and for the lion to catch the gazelle it must rely on explosive power, strength and strategy. Evolution is simply the action of one species or entity reacting to its environment or predators so that it can best continue to exist as a species. The saying, Adapt or Die could never be truer.

As you can see above, each species reacts to the others defence mechanism so that it can better survive.  – Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

When it comes to the environment for example, though I fully support sustainable practices, it is also a myth that the environment must stay in a constate static state. With or with out human intervention or existence it operates on an action reaction potential. Species have lived and died for millions and millions of years prior to human existence because they like us now operate based on the same universal code that guides the evolutionary process.

Let’s take a look at the free market and apply the evolutionary process as well. Cars to be specific. If you look at any decade you can often see a distinct style and specification for cars. There was once a time for example when big cars with big engines were popular. Now it’s all about fuel efficiency and safety. So how do the evolutionary principles of adapt or die apply here? Simple, Auto makers must adapt their product lines to which are being sold based on the consumers purchasing power. If an automaker continues to make the same thing because that’s what they are known for unless they are trying to be a small niche market, they too will most likely die because they failed to adapt. As the consumer no longer demands the product that they are offering.

We can sit here and pretend things will always be the way they always were or are but this is foolish as this does not seem to be how things work, anywhere.

lion-vs-gazelle quote.jpg

I recently wrote an article called The Specialist vs the Generalist. One of my students told me there definitely needs to be specialist which I do address albeit briefly, and yes I agree. However, just like in nature specialist do not adapt well to change. Usually, species that are overly specialised will parish should anything drastically change such as their food source adapting to them or the environment changing. While species that are more generalistic in nature can either adapt to the new settings, such as find a new food source. or move to a new location and adapts as has happened many times in the past. For example species in the past that were once land dwelling but are now aquatic or were aquatic but are now land dwelling.

I again make the argument that for the time being humans when compared to other species are in general generalists.

As always I like to connect things to Krav Maga and Self defence when possible. In a given self defense situation, it is unlikely that things will go according to the way you trained in the gym. And this is to be expected. A good Kravist can evolve and adapt in the moment based on their training, experience and ability to survive any given situation. This is why I focus heavy on critical thinking in training in addition to our moves. The ability to critically think in the moment gives you the greater chance to evolve and adapt while still applying Krav Maga principles like retzev (Continous Attack).

This is probably why so many traditional martial arts fail to be practical in realistic self defense. They chose to stay rigid and strong to the cultural and regional beliefs or methods that did not apply in other areas of the world. Or they adapted in the wrong way to focus more on sports application thus making them less adapted for the street.

I really do not know, at least on an intrinsic level why people fear change so much. I guess it’s currently a primal reaction that we are having difficulty evolving out of. The reality is, whether you are a gazelle or a lion, rich or poor, black or white, a planet, a sun the universe. If you cannot adapt to the change around you, you will only struggle, stagnate and die (literally or figuratively).

So just like the Gazelle or Lion keep on running and learn to adapt in a way that gives you a long, healthy and meaningful life.

Greg F fighting Josh Hensman in Krav Maga sparing

During the past year and a half that I have been practicing Krav Maga, I’ve invested my time to learn the proper techniques and apply the principles that we learn practicing Krav Maga at UTKM. While I feel that Krav Maga is a complete system, overall I realized that there are more styles and methods to learn that could benefit my development. This idea led me to pursue training at Contenders boxing in Vancouver. Lucky for me at the time they offered a 2-week trial program, perfect for entry-level boxing. boxing-3 While boxing and Krav Maga are totally different practices in their respect, I felt the training I have done thus far with UTKM made the movements and techniques of boxing easier to understand and adjust to. By no means was it easy, training in Krav Maga allowed me to understand and follow instructions properly. That being said, I was humbled by how intensely my body was beat up after that first day! The intensity of boxing, even at this level, definitely proves just how athletic and agile boxers have to be in order to excel. Over the course of the two weeks I adjusted to the progression and each day felt like a new technique was taught. One of the key points emphasized is how important footwork and stance is in fighting. Krav Maga applies this principle in a similar way. Both styles emphasize being light on the feet, allowing a fighter to make quick movements without sacrificing balance. Having a solid stance with the ability to move around gives the fighter many options to overtake an attacker or opponent and push forward. Boxing technique focuses more on moving in on an opponent while delivering a series of combinations and resetting. This forces the fighter to be aware of their body positioning in and around the opponent. The area I observed which differentiated boxing from my Krav Maga training was the endurance factor. Drill time was highly focused on fighting endurance during many of the boxing sessions. I didn’t leave one training session without feeling like I had been pushed to the limit… At UTKM, we focus mainly on technique rather than fighting endurance. The difference here is that boxers are built to endure multiple 3-minute rounds of boxing, whereas Krav Maga is designed to maximize movements and finish the job in as little time as possible. The takeaway from my experiment was that proficiency in one fighting system does not guarantee the same level in another. It may be easier to make adjustments and refine movements, but it definitely takes more than a couple of weeks to fully understand what you are learning. For those of you interested in building a solid foundation to supplement your Krav Maga, I would highly recommend cross training with another fighting system. Being well balanced will definitely improve your abilities as a kravist. There are so many martial arts in the world that your possibilities are endless, do some research and take the next step towards developing your talents.

Written by: Greg F