Gene Perceval

Each of us see and interpret information taught to us differently. Some practitioners of the martial arts are quicker to understand the physical aspects and there are those who are better to understand its mental aspects. Then there are those who are naturals. They can see something once or twice and somehow be able to understand and perform it in the martial arts.

What is the secret in learning the martial arts? Is there a secret? Continue reading, perhaps this may change in the way you think.

The martial arts has many things happening both physically and mentally all at the same time. If you were given 25 individual numerical numbers in a random order and were asked to memorize them in that same order, could you? Yes, if you were given sufficient time to memorize them. If you were then asked to move a specific part of your body which relates to each one of those numbers, that would be a very difficult task.

Well, this is exactly what the mind and the body is confronted with, doing too many tasks at once. The main problem is we can’t compute it mentally to where we can physically react with such accuracy within a split second. Now each individual movement we do in the martial arts is confronted with split second changes which would represent those individual numbers. In other words, we are overloading ourselves. Thus, there is frustration in not reaching our perfection in movements. Mastery of techniques is never achieved.

So, that means we have to re-evaluate ourselves and start from the beginning. And to make it worse, we have to start retraining ourselves to think and train differently, and adding to the confusion, we have to unlearn our bad past habits. Most all of us are not aware of each and every single part of our body as we move from technique to technique, yet in time we should. The best way to explain this is: Lets say an orchestra has about 20 different types of instruments, and many musicians playing each of those instruments. During the whole performance if a single instrument played the wrong note at the wrong time or is not in tune, the audience may pick up on it.

That means perfection was not achieved. If you are not aware of it, the martial arts can be described in the same way. Energy travels through the body in harmony with our physical means as we move from technique to technique. If a single joint, muscle, balance, thought, coordination, and many other possibilities, is out of proper sequence, the technique quality drops with each incorrect possibility.

Our objective is to obtain the maximum amount of power (results) with the least amount of energy (effort). If you have been in the martial arts for a length of time, you may have experienced doing a technique with such perfection that it seemed all so natural and the results were your best ever. Moreover, when doing the same technique many times over, the results were never the same. Energy has a specific path to follow as it travels through the body. The slightest change in any part of our movements decreases the power from 100 percent downwards. One of the major reasons for loss of power is too many unnatural things are happening with our bodies while doing un-necessary movements.

The martial arts is really simple, you can demonstrate progress in the martial arts by being able to turn the complex ideas and techniques into simple ones.

You increase your understanding of the art by progressing from the complex to the simple.

When you divide any complex issue into simple parts, and master it, nothing is too difficult.

By understanding the simple, you can then understand the complex.

The key to mastering the martial arts is simplicity.

Martial art solutions are all simple after you have arrived at them. But they only become simple when you know what they are.

When you have reached the pinnacle of understanding its simplicity, you have mastered the secret of the martial arts.

Students learn the martial arts from their instructors, but did you also know that instructors also learn the martial arts through their students. Within the next few minutes you will see how to improve your martial arts.

The first thing is, you must think like a martial artist and change in the way you think. There is no such thing as “I can’t” from now on you should change to “not yet“ or “I will try”. Next, there is no room for negative thinking, Imagine if you were in competition and you kept thinking, “I am going to loose“, From now on you should train yourself to find a way to change the negative thoughts into positive thoughts. If you want to see a miracle, it is the student that that goes to a martial arts class learns his/her techniques then goes home and doesn’t practice. Then he/she returns to the next class expecting to improve, and then wants to know why he/she is not getting better, eventually the student quits. The reality is, practice is everything. The more you practice, the faster you will improve and the better you will become, you are building a direct path between the body and the mind.

In your martial art lessons you are taught the basics. No matter the style or the type of martial arts you are learning, it is all the same. This means that you have a general idea from your instructor what a movement is about, how it should look and be executed. Go home, or wherever you practice, and videotape yourself doing a single technique or a series of movements. At this point, you are going to split yourself into two separate persons, the student and the instructor. Remember, I mentioned earlier that the instructor learns from the student That is exactly what you are going to do. Play back and watch the video of yourself doing those movements or techniques, Now be honest and critical about yourself. I would suggest writing down and keeping a record of your improvement. What is it that you were not aware of that you were doing wrong before video taping yourself? What is it that you, now the instructor of yourself see that needs improvement, write it down. Perhaps doing this with a fellow student may be a plus.

Remember simplicity. Where in your technique or movements can you cut unnecessary, involuntary wasted movements from your techniques? Remember all those changing numbers? Now break down each part of your body while doing a single technique as to better understand what you are doing correctly or incorrectly.

Focus and concentration is a major factor in the martial arts, Your mind and body must become one. You must build a path so the body is aware of what the mind wants the body to do, and constant practice is one of the best ways to achieve this. The mind is like a baby, it thinks what it wants to think when it feels like it. The objective is to train the mind to think of one thing at a time. You can do this by giving yourself a direct order to think about one specific thing, rather then giving it a whole bunch of different things at once. This is confusing to the mind. Focus on one single task, such as a single movement in the martial arts. When you feel comfortable that you have improved, go to the next movement and repeat the same process, until you then reached the point where you can combine several separate movements to act in unison with each other. Then build from that point until each basic movement is exactly as it should be. Once the basics are understood, the rest will become natural to you.

The answer is, become your own teacher, you will understand your inner self better. The mind and the body will no longer act separately, but become friends and work together.

By: Grandmaster Gene Perceval

In the arts continuously since 1955

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