The Way Out…. Is Through

This concept underscores all we do at maelstrøm.   It is an understated philosophy but you will find the spirit of it everywhere in our training.  Addressing life’s challenges – physical, emotional, and mental – means meeting them head on, sometimes walking a difficult path with skill, resolve, confidence, and a clear intention.

Developing those attributes – skill, resolve, confidence and intention – is a journey.  Every step matters, preparing you for the next one.  Walking the walk is what we strive for at maelstrøm.

It not just what you do and where you end up, but also how far you had to come that defines you as a person.  The journey matters.

The namesake and symbol of our club is a swirling and dynamic force – ineluctable, powerful, life-changing.  It serves as a reminder of what our journey is all about.  Entering a maelstrom is at times chaotic, confusing, overwhelming, wrenching.  It is can even be uncomfortable to experience – mentally, emotionally, physically.   It can also be exhilarating, exciting, fun and rewarding.  Particularly when you walk that path with friends.

Ultimately: a maelstrøm reshapes, it is transformative.

Our training strives to reproduce that energy.  Here you can have a lot of fun and excitement with good friends, but you can also shape yourself into someone stronger.

Both can make us more capable, less fearful, and thus happier people.

Training in any martial art is a recognition that some problems must simply be met and solved. Those kinds of problems require that you be prepared, be strong enough, able enough, and willing enough, to face them head-on (again: emotionally, not literally). It is not easy, it never gets “easy” – but it can get easier if you get stronger.

 

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A lucky few seem gifted with the strengths and talent to meet the challenges that life can throw at us. However, if you look around at the people you know that are able to meet their challenges, you will likely find many more that chose to prepare themselves. They worked for it.

It is easy to avoid those things we fear or find difficult, or at least easy to try. Moments that create stress, anxiety, pain, discomfort – all experiences we would rather not have – these are all things we instinctively seek to avoid. Again: we all feel that way.

But feeding into that instinct can turn a life of clear pathways into a labyrinth, and it means the course through it is set for us, not by us. This is one way, but does it feel like the best way?

Few things can match the feeling that comes from recognizing a fear and facing it. The fear may not go away, but it will no longer stop you, no longer control you. It cannot.

Succeed or fail, win or lose – it is the facing of the experience that makes the crucial difference. But it’s not just a feeling. It is a different state of being. You become someone different from who you were before. Stronger.

You gain that strength through hard work, and the confidence in that strength from testing yourself against real challenges. In short: you must be truly capable. In order to be capable you must often face discomfort or anxiety, not avoid it.

There is no right or wrong answer or approach. It is up to you to define your own personal challenges and find your level. It is up to you to figure out what you need, what you fear and what you want to do about it.

Then you can focus on becoming strong enough to face it and stride into it. On the other side is a rare kind of freedom, and, perhaps most importantly: it is one you craft for yourself. You cannot go around to that place.  The way out is almost always through.