Balance Is A Dynamic Skill

There is no balance without turmoil.

Life will never be truly fair and our relationships will never be truly even in terms of what is given and what is taken. Some people will always be more fortunate while others are less so, and some people will always give more of themselves than is necessary while others will always try to take more than is needed. While this may sometimes feel wrong, it is simply the way of things, and, instead of giving in to either denial or despair, our goal should be to find our own footing in the truth, to seek our own balance.

Balance is a skill, not a fact. It is not something born into us or our circumstances, but something found and developed over time. Balance is something trained and developed so that we have it when we need it, which is not actually when or because things are even, fair, or easy, but when and because they are not.

Balance is discovered and refined within our struggles, within the turbulence and the turmoil, and when things are uneven, unbalanced, and even unfair. Balance is the choice to find and maintain our dynamic center, to be upright and strong, but also flexible and yielding, and to do this through life’s difficulties, through the ups and downs of our relationships, while being pushed and pulled in all directions. Throughout all of this, balance is also the decision to get up and try again when we fall, because we will fall.


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

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

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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