Keep Trying Until The Timing Is Right

“The right technique with the wrong timing is the wrong technique.”

—Brazilian jiu-jitsu saying

Kogen Dojo owners Matthew Van Valkenburgh, Dwayne Bowie, and Robert Van Valkenburgh at Kogen Dojo’s 2nd Anniversary. Photo by Haley Arias Photography

Recently, the martial art school that I own and operate with my brother and our friend celebrated its second anniversary. While these past two years and the potential for the future that they represent are certainly something to be celebrated, what I was struck by was the thought of how much time, energy, and effort preceded even the thought to open our own school. There are so many of little, seemingly unrelated things we each did in our past, leading up to this moment, that may have seemed like failures at the time, but were actually just practice.

Simply because an idea does not manifest the results you hoped for does not mean that it was necessarily a bad idea. Your timing may have been off. Just because something you did for someone else was not received well or appreciated does not mean that it was the wrong intention or action. It may have simply been the wrong recipient. If you fail while doing the right thing, do not lose hope and do not lose heart. Certainly, do not cease to do the right thing. Be patient and do it somewhere else, with someone else, and for someone else.

There is always a need in the world for quality, for caring, and for innovation. If you have thoughtful, generous, and creative ideas, but they are not well received, you simply have not yet found the right audience. This is not an excuse to be snobbish or stubborn with bad ideas. Your ideas must have depth and weight. They must offer positive change for people looking for that kind of change, even if they don’t necessarily know it yet. You must continue to try, to practice until your best ideas, your best work finds the right person or people, the right setting, and the right timing because the right technique with the right timing is magical.

Holistic Budo: As in life, so too it is in budo. As in budo, so too it is in life.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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