We never truly know where life will take us.
As much as we are active participants in our lives, we are also along for the ride.
Our actions, decisions, and choices make up only a small fraction of our total experience.
Beyond our will, reason, and desires, there are many other forces at work on us at all times.
Whether we view these forces as fate, chance, or divine providence, we are constantly being confronted with and influenced by events, circumstances, and occurrences that are outside of our control.
To a great extent, we can neither predict nor prevent these things.
They are as real and powerful as we are.
Often, the best we can do is to adapt.
When it is clear that we are face to face with forces we can neither avoid, stop, or change, we can either choose to fight them to our own demise or we can embrace the reality and inevitability of our new circumstances and ride their momentum in the direction they take us.
A conscious decision to adapt should be seen as neither giving in nor giving up.
Adaptation is a necessary component of our evolution and nature demands that we either evolve or get out of the way of those who do.
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 Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.
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