Friday, February 21, 2014


I am not a terribly speedy person.

This has become more of an issue of late, both in my professional and personal life.  In my professional life, there is some concern that I do not move projects forward quickly enough.  In my personal life, I am finding that my activities such as Iaijutsu and Highland Athletics are hampered by it.

It was most clearly presented to me last night when my friend The Viking was working with me on my Sheaf tosses last night (the sheaf, for those who do not know, is a 16 to 20 lbs bag which is tossed for height by a fork).  I can do the motion but my height suffers a great deal.  He kept having do it again and again, watching me.  Finally he said "You need to find a way to speed it up.  Without speed you will never get height".

What is it about speed that I lack? I am the first to admit that I am not the sort of person that necessarily acts speedily.  Part of that is simply in my nature:  I am person who tends to move slowly rather than quickly.  Another part is the fact that in some cases my lack of speed is a learned behavior from years of acting too quickly and suffering from bad decisions.

But there is a third part: am I simply reluctant to become speedy?

What is speed?  Speed is explosion, it is acceleration, it is execution in a quick manner.  It is knowing what you are doing to the point that you can concentrate less on the motions and more on acceleration.
 And it is effort.  It is pushing yourself beyond what you think are doing to what you think you are capable of doing.

So my speed may be less of an inability and more of a reluctance to push myself to a higher level.

The solution?  Relatively easy.  Make myself move faster.  If there are physical impediments - lack of strength, for example - fix it.  If there are mental impediments - I am unsure - master the material.  If there is indecisiveness, learn to gather facts more quickly.

But above all, learn to get faster.  Learn to be quicker.  Learn to move things with the speed of force and let the effort of gravity - physical or mental - do the work.


  1. I don't know about highland games type stuff but in swordsmanship we used to work on the mechanics first and then allow speed to come after the person got comfortable with them.

    I might say it could be a scientific v. artistic thing though. I usually take things slower at first and like to work all over the place until it comes together. Speed comes after the basics are finished and the artistic approach finishes slower in parts but overall about the same.

  2. That's true enough Preppy - one of my throwing buddies has a saying "Slow and light until it's right". I guess what I am questioning is more the question of if I lack speed because I am not pushing myself. At some point with practice, I should be picking up speed - it does make a difference, at least in throwing and in practical martial arts. And in some cases I should be achieving speed with the arrival of familiarity. I am wondering why I am not doing so as quickly as I would think.


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