We have spoken about how "when we open up, we are at once the most vulnerable we can possibly be... But also the most powerful." This is most fitting for our studies during swing kick month. Our focus is on opening up our body weight into our kicks, landing THROUGH the target...Not just "at" the target. While there are many variations and styles of kicking, we believe its most important to learn a strong base swing kick.
But as we mentioned before, maximum power means vulnerability- being on one leg and commiting your body weight can leave you open. Our offense/set up weeks will focus on how to decrease this vulnerability through combinations and timing... allowing us to open up with the least amount of risk.
That said, we want to touch on something matching this theme of vulnerability and power. You'll notice at YMT, the gym etiquette is to Wai (bow) to those we see at the gym. Instructors, students and staff alike will bow to each other regardless of level. As far as gestures go, one of the most vulnerable and submissive things you can do is bow to someone. In fact, in most other arts, students or juniors must bow first to instructors or seniors. But at YMT, our instructors and seniors alike will often bow first either because they are physically able to, or to share our gym's culture with someone new. It's a symbolic way of not only saying "I respect you", but also "I'm not above you. You are a part of my journey. I can learn from you. Let's grow together".
The next time you see a new face at the gym, put yourself out there. Be vulnerable and give them a Wai. If they aren't yet acquainted with our traditions, then you've got yourself a conversation starter :)