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Thread: Good vs. Excellence

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    Default Good vs. Excellence

    just finished reading an interesting article and it was entitled "Good is the Enemy of Excellence" at first the idea didn't sit right with me but then it dawned on me. I had my ideas what this meant and then proceeded to read the article and I have to agree that Good is the Eneny of Excellence.

    In your training do you strive to be good or do you strive for excellence. If you go to 2 restaurants andand food is identical in all manners do you go back to the palce with good service or excellent service. We all love hearing, "Good Job!" but we beam when we hear, "Excellent".

    Do be satisfied when you hear "Good Job" anymore push yourself harder to hear "Excellent"
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    John M. La Tourrette (03-29-2007)

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad
    Do be satisfied when you hear "Good Job" anymore push yourself harder to hear "Excellent"
    I suppose it depends who is saying it. I had an instructor that 'good' from his was the same as handstands and cartwheels from someone else. Good was maybe a nod. (Ray Arquilla)

    I've been told 'excellent' from a high-ranking instructor at a seminar, but I knew he was just blowing smoke. I knew it was just so-so when I did it.

    So I guess the question is more of an internal one. I ask myself for excellence sometimes and accept 'good' at other times. It depends on my mood, my level of energy and my focus.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Excellence is, to me, a journey of constantly striving to live your integrity form your authentic self. As this is ever changing and growing with the experiences we have in life, the bar is always moving. Excellence is not, to me, a point on a map, but rather the visible effect of a commitment to an ongoing process of perserverence towards improvement.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    If I hear good I would strive for excellent. If I hear excellent I strive for amazing. If I hear amazing etc...

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    This thread has a concept that I really like to strive for wheneever possible. I am not happy if I am only good at something, i always want to be getting better at something.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Just to complicate the issue a little...

    I definately agree with this attitude when it comes to our training, we should all strive for excellence. OTOH, I once heard/read (don't remember exactly where) something from an instructor who said: "Best is often the enemy of good enough."
    Granted, he was talking about our mindset once the fight has begun. Kinda along the same lines as the K.I.S.S. principle or Gen. Patton's saying "a good plan or technique* executed with audacity NOW is better than a perfect plan or technique executed too late" (italicized portions are added).

    So, can these two attitudes coexist? Can we have the "good is the enemy of excellence" attitude in training but allow ourselves the leeway of a "whatever gets the job done" attitude in actual aplication?

    Thoughts? (am I making any kind of sense or do I just need to shut up and go to bed )
    The test: "Will this work so that I can use it instinctively in vital combat against an opponent who is determined to prevent me from doing so, and who is striving to eliminate me by fair means or foul?" ~ Col. Rex Applegate

    Matt K.

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    I believe the pursuit of excellence is something that I strive for. I tend to be overly critical of myself, but I believe that your worst critic (yourself) is the best motivator. I feel as though if I cannot work something at 100% then I am cheating myself. That is exactly why I left my previous art. After numerous injuries I was just not able to go at 100%. To me I felt as though not giving at least 100% was disrespectful to my art, training partners, students and teachers. I felt as though me going at less then all go would result in another injury or an injury to a training partner.
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    setting lofty goals puts to much pressure on one's self, or if you are speaking as a teacher, you may be placing that pressure on another. this usually results in setting time oriented milestones, which also add to one's pressure. self criticism, perceived failure, and comparison with others can be very self destructive. it leads to frustration, and manifests itself outward as anger (towards someone) or depression (towards yourself).

    honesty is a better policy, understanding your strengths and limitations or helping others to understand themselves. perfection is impossible, and excellence is subjective; good maybe just how you feel.

    so free yourself from ego driven goals, accept yourself and others for what they are, be honest with the amount and intensity of your training, and make changes necessary to balance your mind and your actions.

    everything will flow from there...

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    In training it is good to get an uplifting comment. I like to know that my instructor is able to see progress. I have a difficult time seeing my own progress from week to week. I can see it over a longer period, but usually the changes that occur in all aspects of my life happen when I am caught up in the moment and partaking of the experience. I am my own worst critic and will always be moving the bar. I have an idea of what the technique should look like, but I need to feel "in the zone" to notice improvement. My instructor and training partner provide a view from the outside that is very helpful. They are the other half of my training experience. I need both parts to be whole!
    Hands on Healer

    "If you can not be King be a healer."

    "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer"

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    It's an attitude, a mindset. Not a goal nor unrealistic expectations. It's just how you aproach your training. What you really want out of your Kenpo.

    Dan C

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Every class or everytime I train I try to work on one specific thing that I may have been corrected on. I will work it at a slow pace until it becomes more natural.
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Just because perfection is an "impossibility", should we not still reach for it?

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    I shoot for perfect, and practice to achive it. Even if perfect is only a perception.
    There is nothing so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.
    Unquestionably man has his will - but woman has her way! - Bruce Lee

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Angel View Post
    I shoot for perfect, and practice to achive it. Even if perfect is only a perception.
    Well said!

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Quote Originally Posted by crane557 View Post
    Just because perfection is an "impossibility", should we not still reach for it?
    only if you enjoy the consistency of failure. 'reaching' in a physical sense causes in imbalance, which is why many injuries result from reaching for something. if you remain grounded and balanced, and honest to your self that you are doing the best that you can at that point in time, then you will enjoy the consistency of success. practice to improve, continuously find those things that you'd like to improve, and recognize yourself as those improvements materialize. its great when somebody guides you through this process, but the heart of the matter is within you.

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    I don't think there really is a best. Best means that there is nothing better and there's always room for improvement.

    I agree with Rob -- 'Better' is the goal.

    Even Tiger Woods wants to get better. Doesn't matter if he's winning or if he always wins.

    There is always something that can be improved upon.

    I'm a big fan of video now. I take some video of myself doing forms or techniques periodically and then I go back and look. Already I see improvement. That's all I can ask for. One twist stance better than before. One place in my kata where I step in greater alignment or I have greater focus or just a little more power/flow.

    Even if I was the super grandmaster, bigshot deal kenpoist and people were looking at me in awe, (cough, sputter), there would always be something to improve on.

    And in a fight, best is the one who walks away when it's done.

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    Ask yourself a question after each training session... "Am I better at ________ than I was the last time I worked on it?"

    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
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    www.trianglekenpo.com

    "I know Kenpo!" "Cool... do you know how to use it?"

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    The thing I go back to is when you don't think there is room for improvement is when you fail. Everyone always strives to improve something. To an example; Jerry Rice always worked on something he felt needed improvement every off season and made sure he worked it until he felt it was natural.
    "Fear is the true opiate of combat."

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    I'm not sure I agree that good is the enemy of excellence but I do believe that those who say "good enough" and not work towards improvement may as well be doing something else.

    Life is not about achieving mediocrity nor perfection but the journey in between. If you don't take that journey, you're missing out on life.
    Loyal student of Sifu DangeRuss
    Sam Pai Kenpo

    "Jeet Kune Do: it's just a name; don't fuss over it. There's no such thing as a style if you understand the roots of combat." -Bruce Lee

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    Default Re: Good vs. Excellence

    I think Rob is right on. Good is not excellemt. You don't win tournaments with good Kata. There is a lot of that out there. You have to be above good and that is excellent.

    Our students will tell you that i really don't buy good when They are capable of excellent.

    I recently visited our sister school. I asked several Brown Belts to do certain Katas. There wasn't a one i could buy. Why, they were from fair to good. No one was excellent!! I told them they need to be at the Black Belt excellent leval and not to practice the way they had been. If you don't get any better with practice ,Why bother?? Every time they did it it was with the same intensity. I told them the next leval is Black and it MUST be excellent. I had them re do one kata each. They would get maybe 3 moves before I stopped them and we talked about the moves, intensity and execution and pauses where required. After about an hour of stop and restart all of them had improved a great deal to better, Not excellent yet but getting a lot closer.

    Rob. you are right about not accepting good from someone who could be excellent.

    I am Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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