Monday, June 26, 2006

Martial arts : physical or mental?

"Many beginners and intermediate belts may think that martial arts equates to pure physical effort. This is a mistaken idea. Once you think MA is about pure effort, you're not far off thinking blind effort is the prime objective of your art. No high performing athlete uses pure fitness. In fact it is generally understood that high level sport or peformance is 99% mental - as in your performance is dictated by mental tenacity and your mental 'game'. In my school we use several exercises to get people out of the 'programming' that may occur whilst working out in a gym, or with weights, or doing aerobics. These exercises prompts a person to think whilst doing drills. No switching off the mind here. My aim is to produce a thinking martial artist from the beginning. If they then want to train further for breaking, or marathon sparring, or cross country kata, well ... hopefully they keep their wits about them and figure out that the mind-body bond is very important. In short, the decision to start something or push yourself hard is extremely important. But your instructor and coach (or yourself) should have the wherewithal to pull yourself back if you're putting too much into it. If you're getting grumpy for not squeezing in that workout or if you're not in the mood to see even good friends, or if your social life is suffering ... chances are you are not balancing your priorities. If you get this kind of tunnel vision, it may affect your survival in a situation where you need as much quick thinking as quick kicking. :-) " Renshi Colin Wee (


supergroup7 said...

This is a wonderful comment that my mentor, and good internet friend, Sabohnim Colin Wee gave to me on an earlier post. I loved the message of it so much that I have placed it as a main blog.

I get the main serious idea of the post, but the "cross-country kata" term had me laughing in stitches, Colin.

[Mat] said...

Well written.

Indeed, is was funny :)

There is supposed to be a thin line between obsession ans passion. I still haven't seen it. Though it's true that if I do not like missing classes. But then that's me and my goal is clear.

Of course, if I'd get angry at people for not going to class, it'd be another story! I'm angry at my job sometimes. Because I have to miss classes. LOL. But then again, if I didn't work, I wouldn't be able to go to class.

Great post.

[Mat] said...

Great post even if I have no idea what a cross-country kata is...


Oniyagi said...

Another great post! The mental part is what I work on very often, as I only am able to go to Karate once a week. I have put a kushanku video on my iPod so that I can watch it whenever I get the chance to practice at home (which is usually late at night with mosquitoes eating me ALIVE). Funny thing about that... now, they don't even phase me when I practice. They still eat me alive, I just dont pay attention to them now.

[Mat] said...

Use OFF!