One of the challenges faced by martial artist is how to be successful in their technique. That is to say, the judo-ka wants to throw a person to the ground and the karate-ka wants to land a perfect strike. More often than not, forcing a technique is not very successful. Too much muscle, not enough skill, and often frustration makes a formula for failure.

Which brings me to a great real-world example of how to get what you need done and be successful. Seattle, Washington, USA, where I live, is a very poorly run city. There is no need to belabor this blog with numerous examples of ineptitude except for this one, because it is funny, factual, and demonstrates ingenuity and creativity, all of which make for good martial arts technique.

Because of a traffic reroute, a local neighborhood had cars using the neighborhood’s residential streets to avoid traffic lights during the morning and afternoon commutes. The result of this was a large number of cars on these residential streets, going faster than they should and endangering families, kids, cars pulling out of driveways, you name it, and overall just generally creating a bad situation.

So, the neighborhood petitioned the city for speed bumps. The long and the short of it is the city denied the request. So in an effort to protect their neighborhood, the leaders of that community bought their own speed bumps and spent a weekend installing them. City officials, upon hearing of these installed speed bumps, sent a crew about a week later to the neighborhood to remove them.

Now I am not really getting into all of the justifications involved in this situation, but I thought something one man said was very wise. He suggested that they should have just used a pick and a shovel and made a couple of potholes, essentially making a negative speed bump, because the city has a horrible record of road repair… problem solved.

So I try to do my best to apply a little creativity, like this guy that suggested the potholes instead of speed bumps, and be as clever as I can when it comes to my martial arts.

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