Life's lessons take manyshapes and forms, and truth is revealed in ways that are at times beautifully poetic, and at times painfully direct. No matter what form it takes, however, once recognized truth is undeniable. A martial artist is ultimately a seeker of truth, beginning with explorations and experimentations on technique -- what works, what doesn't what is proper, what isn't -- and progressing through debates about application -- what techniques are effective in which situation -- then moving into a search for the principles that guide decisions made on the mat, in the streets, and ultimately, in life -- courtesy, loyalty, respect, honor, integrity, self control. This blog is dedicated to the search for truth through the martial arts, embracing the belief that excellence is attained through the dynamic balance of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual aspects of our training, and the expression of the lessons we learn through the lives we lead.
I try to adhere to a particular set of principles that guide my training:
Consistency -- pretty self explanatory, this simply means that training should be done on a regular basis, emphasizing long term goals instead of immediate results.
Repetition -- it's not enough to successfully execute a technique once. The body becomes accustomed to movement by doing it over and over again, working and developing the muscles and structures involved in that
movement, until the movements can be executed properly without hesitation, without strain, and without the interference of too much conscious thought.
Intensity -- Focus on the technique or the exercise, dedicate all of your attention to the activity, and all of your commitment to performing it correctly as well.
Diversity -- Train a variety techniques, use several exercises to work the same muscles, and attack the same targets from varying angles and with each of your weapons. Combine Diversity with Consistency, Repetition, and Intensity for optimal results.
Pushing Limitations -- Find the edges of your skills, abilities, and tolerances, and struggle beyond them, one step at a time.
Identifying and Defeating Weaknesses -- Be self-aware. Watch yourself in the mirror, accept feedback from your peers and your seniors alike and make every effort to understand how and why something may be perceived as a weakness. Be diligent in correcting errors and weaknesses as they become apparent.
Establish and Maintain Solid Foundations and Strong Basics -- Be consistent about attending to your basics. A simple witik, thrown properly from a strong foundation, will be more effective than fancy spinning
and jumping techniques thrown wildly and without control. Practice proper stances, balance, breathing, and conditioning. Consciously chamber and rechamber your techniques during practice, so that you can complete them unconsciously during a match or on the streets. Practice proper form and solid technique under the guidance of your instructor and in the safety of the school, so that you can execute them with confidence when they are truly needed.