Well if you were in class last night or this morning you might have noticed something a little different about me. I was wearing an eye patch over my left eye. No to worry. My eye was and is fine. The reason I wore it was because my Master makes it a requirements for her upper Black Belts to spend a day blind, with one eye, in a wheel chair, deaf, mute, or something along that line. The purpose of this exercise is to learn how to relate to others’ situations and learn how they feel and deal with their situation in everyday life. To have compassion and understanding for others around you.
So basically I choice to spend 24 hours with the use of one eye only. This was inspired by master Chip Townsend. Chip lost his right eye at the age of 3 years old. Since then he has become a 14 time world champion in martial arts, and successfully runs Taekwondo schools in Texas and Oklahoma. Super successful guy. He never let his supposed disability slow him down. He achieved greatness by working hard and never giving up.
Anyway i started with using only one eye as of 1pm Monday October 1st and went to Tuesday October 2nd at 1pm. I started wearing the eye patch when I left Oshawa yesterday. I noticed that the sight out of one ye was quite great. I didn’t realize how wide your vision is out of one eye. When I got home I had my early dinner, cleaned and feed the chinchillas and took my afternoon nap. I then went down to the dojang and did some office work. I practiced some colour patterns, a few black belt patterns, and did some meditating. I found there was no real difficulty doing the forms as I have done them 1000’s of times before that my mind and body can do them without sight or any thought process. I had a few people come in and ask for information about our programs so I had to tell them why I was wearing the eye patch. They were quite interested in the reason and found it interesting that we would do that to learn how others live their lives.
Anyway I then taught three Taekwondo classes. Two children classes and one adult class. Once again I found doing the punching, blocking, kicking, and patterns to not be of any real difficulty as I have performed them so many times before. I was a little more careful doing self defense as I did not want to hurt my training partners. I did find that I had to move my head around more to keep everyone in my view. I also used the mirrors more to keep my eye on everyone. It turned out quite nicely. The big thing was that our Taekwondo classes are very structured so it is easy to manage and I know where everyone is at all times anyway. I did explain a lot why I was wearing the eye patch though. It fitted nicely with the word of the week which I will get to in a moment. Fitness Kickboxing was a little more of a challenge as it was quite a large class and less structure than the Taekwondo classes. I definitely had to keep looking around more. It all worked out nicely though. My students are very supportive of what i was doing.
I went home after classes, had a snack and watched some television before checking my emails before retiring to bed for the evening. I woke up the next morning and had breakfast. I had a shower, got ready and went down to the dojang. I did some office work. After that it was time to work out. I did my skipping routine, some push ups, some sit ups, some kettlebell swings, practiced some kicking on the heavy bag, practiced with black belt patterns, practice some katana forms, practiced some bo staff forms, and play around with some different nunchaku moves and spins. Finished with some meditation. I found I had no real issues performing all the things I just mentioned. The big thing was just trusting that you know what you are doing and everything will take care of itself. I then taught my last adult class that I would be teaching with one eye. We did some patterns followed by kicking on the bag. The only kick that seemed to play with me a little was the back kick. I could do them no problem but if I did a lot of them it seemed to play again my balance a little. But only after several kicks. I also noticed I had to turn my head a little more when performing the spin kicks to see the target sooner.
After class I did a kettlebell workout and went home. I had my lunch and had a nap. Basically my 24 hours of being an one eyed Samurai was up. Okay so I stoled the ONE EYED SAMURAI saying from Chip. I don’t think he will mind. Just don’t tell him. Shhh! Meanwhile he is probably reading this right now. Thanks for inspiring me to do this Chip.
Now how does all this relate to this week’s work of the week. Well this week’s word is CHALLENGE. See most people that appear to have a disability simply have an extra challenge in life. Not a problem as most people say. I view a problem as a negative thing that cannot be overcome and is a negative aspect of your life. A challenge on the other hand is a positive thing. It creates obstacles that you can overcome and achieve something. Any type of supposed disability is a challenge. It is not a negative part of a person’s life. The reason I say it is a supposed disability is because most people learn to adapt and overcome the obstacles. They live their lives as everyone else does. They may just do a few things slightly different. What may not be the normal for you is the normal for them. Try not to treat anyone different. Would you like to be treated different. No you won’t.
Let me let you in on a little thing you may not know about me. I was born with zero hearing in my right hear and I have about 40% of my hearing in my left ear. Do I have a hearing problem. Nope. I simply have a hearing challenge. I do just fine. I learned to adapt. Also my left eye is lazy so I use my right eye for reading. No problems there. And I was also born with a narrow windpipe. So you would think I would have problem breathing. As anyone seen me get really winded or so I cannot breathe? No they haven’t. I have learned to control my breathing. I spend a lot of time when I am meditating focusing on my breathing. I am not a person to complain about any of this as this is just simply who I am. I have learned to adapt and control my own body and mind. And you all know how I like a challenge 🙂 Simply tell me I cannot achieve something and I will try it and in most cases succeed at it. i simply choose to succeed and not let anything stand in my way. I think everyone needs to have this attitude in every aspect of life.
Well I think I have done enough writing here. But I would like to thank Chip once again for the inspiration behind this. I would also like to thank Master Veronica DeSantos for making us doing these kind of challenges to remind us that we are all humans together. That we are all facing challenges in our daily lives and it is up to us to make the best of it.
Thanks for reading.
Master Jonathan Field
Great post. Gets me thinking about the times when I have been temporarily disabled from injuries or sickness and how much of a set back that feels like when trying to advance. What a challenge it must be to deal with a setback on a permanent basis.
Also, I have wondered why you sometimes never responded when I greeted you. I am glad you have cleared that up.
Thank you Jonathan for your wonderful blog. We have printed here at home for the boys to read and we’ll post it on our family board as a reminder to us that their is no CAN’T- just a challenge!
Johnathan, that was a great message you sent!!! VERY inspiring! There is much I could say about this msg, but to make it simple,..”I loved it and it really opened my eyes to A LOT of issues going on day to day in my own personal life!”