Training for “One Moment, One Chance” by Gary Ohama

In our age of pressing the “reset” button when things aren’t going right; total performance committment to a single moment of time is not really encouraged. In fact, commitment may be discouraged. Subsequently, obtaining perfection in that same particular instant becomes more difficult. Also, as the task becomes more complicated, mastery is more than concentration. Awareness and the ability to properly integrate all possible variables dictate that attention includes much more than the task at hand.

Training for this type of “in the moment” activity is to obviously produce results. Simple methods of training are also obviously more practical.

A simple method of commitment training to an “in the moment” experience is via the calligraphy brush, some ink, and a ream of low cost, recycled typing paper. A plus factor with this method of training is that immediate, visible feedback includes a record of one’s performance.

Basic training begins by simply drawing a line, circle, check mark, etc. Try to place a perfect drawing in, or across, the exact center of a sheet of paper. Note that there is only one, “in the moment,” opportunity. One chance for creating perfection.

An analogy to martial art training is that both are “one moment” trainings, no opportunities for a redo or “reset.” As the drawings become more complicated or calligraphic, spacial relationships are the same as “maai,” proper distance/contact. (Professor John Stevens calligraphy workshops)

Martial arts such as Aikido are from a brush culture where the practice with a brush could be an important correlation to the hidden nuances of master level technique.


  1. bruce baker says:

    The perfect moment is the illusion of the mind, a memory of the moment as passes, or has passed. To imagine a future moment is to miss the present moment which cannot be perfect if you are always distracted by the past, the present, or the future.

  2. Hi Bruce,
    Interesting comment.
    There are videos of John Stevens doing big brush calligraphies on youtube that illustrate what I’m writing about.
    He also has another workshop next month.

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