The Power of Flexibility: A Lesson from Two Trees

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in nature and reflect on its teachings. During my hike, I came across a fascinating sight – two trees. One was thick and strong, but broken from a previous storm, while the other was smaller and more flexible, bent but not broken. This reminded me of a lesson I often share with my students: to relax, breathe, and be like water, as Bruce Lee once said.

“Be like water” is a famous quote attributed to Bruce Lee. The quote refers to his philosophy of martial arts and life, which emphasizes the importance of being flexible, adaptable, and open to change. In martial arts, water is often used as a metaphor for adaptability and flow. Water is soft and yielding, yet powerful and unstoppable. It can flow around obstacles, fill any container, and take on any shape. Bruce Lee believed that practitioners of martial arts should be like water, able to adapt to any situation and respond with fluidity and grace. Beyond martial arts, the quote has broader applications to life in general.

The two trees serve as a powerful analogy for the importance of flexibility and adaptability in our lives. Like the broken tree, when we are too rigid and inflexible, we become more susceptible to harm and less capable of weathering life’s storms and challenges. Conversely, the smaller, more flexible tree that withstood the storm highlights the significance of being adaptable and resilient. When we approach life like water, we can more effectively navigate obstacles and adjust to changing circumstances.

Being flexible and adaptable is key to success in any area of life. Too much rigidity and inflexibility could lead to failure, while being open to change and able to adapt to new circumstances is essential for success. In essence, the quote “be like water” encourages people to cultivate a mindset of flexibility, adaptability, and resilience in the face of change and challenges. By being like water, we can learn to flow with life’s ups and downs, rather than resisting or fighting against them. We can learn to be more fluid and responsive, rather than rigid and unyielding.

Flexibility, in a physical sense, refers to the range of motion and suppleness of the body’s joints and muscles. It is the ability to move joints and muscles through their full range of motion without discomfort or injury. People who are physically flexible often have a greater range of motion and can move more easily and fluidly. Being physically flexible can have several benefits, including improving overall health and fitness, reducing the risk of injury, and enhancing performance in various physical activities. Regular stretching and mobility exercises can help to improve flexibility over time.

Steadfastness, on the other hand, in a physical sense, refers to the ability to maintain a steady and stable posture or position. It is the ability to hold a position or resist movement against external forces. People who are physically steadfast often have good balance and stability, and are able to maintain their position even in the face of challenges. Being physically steadfast can have several benefits, including improving posture, reducing the risk of falls and injuries, and enhancing performance in various physical activities that require balance and stability, such as yoga, dance, and gymnastics.

Both physical qualities can be important for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. A balanced approach that combines flexibility and steadfastness can help individuals achieve optimal physical health and performance.

Adaptability is a key component of Krav Maga, and the ability to adjust to changing circumstances can make all the difference in a self-defense situation. Krav Maga emphasizes practical and effective techniques that are designed to be simple and easy to execute under stress. However, the most important aspect of Krav Maga is the ability to adapt these techniques to the specific situation at hand. This requires a deep understanding of the underlying principles of Krav Maga, as well as the ability to think creatively and problem-solve on the spot. By being adaptable and flexible, Krav Maga practitioners can maximize their chances of success in any given situation, while minimizing the risk of injury or harm.

So, the next time you feel yourself becoming rigid in your thinking or approach, recall the image of the two trees and strive to be more like water.

Do something amazing,
Tsahi Shemesh
Founder & CEO
Krav Maga Experts