Many people believe being mindful and being present means being slow and thoughtful as if always in slow motion. But game, mission and life all require being present and performing at full speed so we must learn to apply our mindfulness practice to these endeavors.
I don’t always roll as hard as I could because I sometimes think that I can be more present when I’m going at half-intensity. However, that is not always the case. When drilling I think it’s important to be methodical and not push too fast to finish the drill but instead take time to address the details.
When the drilling is over and the live rolling begins, I often roll at half-intensity and spend a lot of energy thinking about my next move. I tell myself that I’m being mindful. However, I seldom roll my best when I take this approach. I roll my best when I don’t limit myself and I allow myself to go at full intensity. I have conflated over-thinking with being present. Being present means being in the moment and reacting things as they happen. We have this notion from kung-fu movies and mainstream zen that being present means moving slowly. However that is not the case. Being present is being in the moment not thinking about the moment. In sports and much of life that moment happens quickly and our mindfulness practice has to learn to keep up.
We learn mindfulness slowly with simpler tasks but eventually we have to train ourselves to be present at full speed.