You turn around and expect to know

You turn around and expect to know what you will find. So much so that you don’t even look anymore. You walk always looking forward. You rarely turn around to see where you’ve been. You’re even bored by the thought. Maybe we would pay better attention to our surroundings if we knew a mountain lion was stalking us. Or a bear, perhaps a snake while we sleep, or death itself. We don’t see it coming. We don’t even look.

This tendency applies in martial arts—you cannot always say where your opponent will be or what he will do. If you are superior perhaps, but even then the practice always would have been to take nothing for granted and to focus on what is being presented in the fleeting moment. It could be anything, and uncertainty calls for vigilance, observation and preparedness. Be prepared for unknown things when you turn to see what is there, even if it turns out to be the expected. Quick wits and reflexes can stem from such awareness and understanding.