Martial Arts + Media Training—Turn lead into gold

SUMMARY: In Aikido training, receiving direct criticism was unusual, leading to discomfort among peers. The experience was viewed as a chance to “polish the spirit,” akin to turning lead into gold, aiming for equanimity amid criticism. This approach parallels media training, where navigating trigger points fosters resilience and smooth interaction, ultimately leading to mastery over reactions and responses, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

Turning lead into gold with media training – A lesson from Martial Arts

I was training one night in Aikido, Japanese martial arts, and there was a senior teacher teaching. My footwork was a little bit off and he came over to me and started shouting at me. And saying: “Your footwork is always catawampus.” Really the whole class just stopped and stared at me.

It’s not typical that a teacher, and certainly not our Sensei, to criticize someone directly. Usually, we just show what the footwork would be and move on or give a demonstration for the whole class so everyone can benefit. Typically it’s something difficult that a lot of people are having trouble with. After that class, several black belts came up to me and we’re very concerned and thought that maybe we should report this to the Sensei.

They were wondering how I felt, that they felt really bad and didn’t know what to do. I said, “no, I don’t want to report it.” I want to just let it be because this person could get kicked out of the dojo. And I didn’t want those kinds of consequences.

Polish Your Media Appearance Spirit

But really when I came home and told my sweetie about this, he’s like, “Why are you going to this person’s class? I don’t get it.”

“The reason why I go to that person’s class is to polish my spirit. To turn my lead into gold.” I said, “I will continue to go to his class until that doesn’t bother me at all. Until I don’t even have one twinge or one trigger when he criticizes me even in front of a group.”

[Tweet “Media training helps you move through all types of trigger points or stuck points + eventually to deal with any type of personality on the spot.”]

And actually I didn’t at that point. I didn’t feel shame and I didn’t react because no reaction and no response is better than actually interacting or engaging and giving negative reinforcement. This is something that I recommend with my media training clients as well, to maintain their equanimity in any kind of situation where someone or a personality is challenging or negative.

Media Training to Help Resolve Trigger Points

It’s an opportunity to polish our spirits, difficult as it is. So these are great opportunities to find out where there are trigger points or places that we are stuck. That points it out to us very clearly and to be able to get to a point where there is no response, where there isn’t that clutch of the stomach or taking a breath, or feeling the shame, or feeling embarrassed, or whatever.

So my practice in Aikido and in media training is to move through all of those trigger points, and all of those stuck points in any kind of personality that rubs somebody the wrong way. Until we can get to a point of having no reaction, no response, and be able to smoothly move through it.

So I’m wishing that for you, whatever those points are for you, whether you know them or not. In those situations that come up to take those opportunities to turn our lead into gold.

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Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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