Saturday, August 15, 2009

O Master, where art thou?

As an Israeli, discovering Corporate America was a shock. Not that I never heard of the term; still, for someone who just joined "the industry" (as the hi-tech sector is usually referred to in Israel) a few years back, discovering that this kind of thing exists (and has many types of interesting positions, some are far from the usual computer-science-only cult of Israeli hi-tech) was mind boggling. I'm not sure how eBay strikes locals in California but in Israeli terms it's a pretty big international corporate - and now I'm relocating straight to HQ, to live in the belly of the beast with my wife and dog. What an adventure.

Everything else aside (EVERYTHING else - family left back home, lingual and environmental barriers, new work culture), my biggest worry is my martial arts training. Seriously. It took me years (literally - almost a decade) to settle in a place I felt comfortable with - with the right mix of sparring, technique, experience and plenty of other stuff - and finding another to land in is going to be pretty challenging. I've looked around, there are many interesting opportunities (it's America, right? Lots of flashy stuff), but who knows what it's going to be like.

I know, it’s a cliché, but martial arts taught me a lot of what I use in business and life in general. From keeping my cool when I need to, through learning from the experience of people who were there before me (always look for mentors. They can teach you so much), to striking precisely and as hard as I can when I must. It also taught me that there’s politics everywhere, no matter if the take is a Director role or a seminar with 30 security guards in a small town. And I learned what it means to be passionate about something, long before deadlines and live-to-site dates even meant anything. And I learned what it means to over train, heal from injuries, get back on the mat, and continue training for years.

So, if you know a place, or think that your friend knows a place, that’s around San Jose (or Palo Alto, or Mountain View, or the area) – and you feel like I should check it out – I’d really appreciate a tip. Especially if it’s a well-balanced, not too stuck up school where I can spar with people who can tell the difference between training and full fledged wars. I’m gathering tips, and will be around on November.


Anonymous said...

Since I've been living that cliché for so long, I can't help but wonder why you didn't mention the two most important things that I've learned while practicing MA: to fail, and to handle defeat.
Was that lesson just for me?
Best of luck!

Ohad Samet said...

Yep, indeed, that too, and a lot more of that to come... :)


Anonymous said...


both in Sunnyvale, CA where there is a substantial Israeli population.

I work out in the 24 -r fitness GYM nearby !