The Blue Ocean Strategy framework adapted to a martial practice

In 2004, two professors from one of Europe’s most famous economic academy, the  INSEAD, coined the term “Blue Ocean Strategy“.

In brief, after analyzing the hype of about one hundred and fifty firms, all of them being successful and apparently without competition, they have drawn up a kind of strategic map. The goal was to make a contribution to companies and managers to ensure stable growth, lasting success, and effective management of initiatives.

“Blue Ocean” because, in the authors’ perspective, fishes can thrive when it has the courage to find open spaces, rather than contending for food and territory with other species (red ocean).

Anyone with some diving experience knows how the sea is indeed an incredibly vast and populated place. It is as fascinating as inhospitable – not only for us who are its observing guests -and it surely is a source  inspiration for every man and woman from the beginning of time.

So, let the sea – and the four pillars of the Blue Ocean Strategy – inspire the guidelines for this new year. For everyone of us who will be engaged at school, work, in our Dojos, in our relationships.

1) Raise (or improve) some aspects of our living beyond the levels of what we are accustomed to. Does carelessness bother us? Let’s try to develop more accuracy. Does banality bore us? Let’s work on our presence. Do we not digest a certain person? Let’s try to change our approach in the relationship.
2) Reduce (or let go) some habits, some traits of our existence to which we are accustomed perhaps also by social convention but which ultimately do not improve us. Do we have a spasmodic consumption of media? Let’s cut back a little and free up a lot of time. Do we run after the opinions of others? Let’s start listening to our heart better than we are used and pick up some books again.
3) Eliminate (i.e. being in peace with what we let go) what for a long time has gone through our existence without creating a bit of value, neither for ourselves nor for others. Do we take work and our worries home with us? Let’s get back the boundaries of our life. Do certain situations lead us into conditions of anxiety, worry? We have not to hesitate to cut and turn towards clearer waters.
4) Create (by giving life to new perspectives) what we have not (never / yet) given ourselves permission to experience. An extra hour for us. A new interest. An exercise, a technique, carried out with a new perspective.

Having the courage to go a little further from the shore, where the sea is deeper, is not something that you can do easily.

Holding your gaze with the bottom that is gradually no longer visible, wrapping you with its dark blue, brings you to the limit of your strength and your fears.

We firmly believe that the practice of a discipline is the catalyst for a slow and inexorable change in the course of those who live it.

We believe even more that the months, the years to come, call everyone to a greater responsibility towards themselves, towards the others in whom we reflect, that, together with us, form the society in which we live.

Our little effort to go and live in cleaner and more serene seas also passes through humble daily activities. It certainly passes through loyalty to the indestructible and non-delegable mandate to live one’s life.

This is what we do: the blade of technique helps to focus this effort. Of course, within complex days in which what is done in a Dojo, at home, at work, in the car, in a prayer space, in a Church or in a house of a person to visit, is nothing but a piece of a mosaic whose meaning depends on our responsibility.

Fair winds and following seas to everybody!

Disclaimer Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

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