Saturday, 31 October 2015

Don't be too smart

"Martial arts are for smart people" I have heard some laypersons say.

When you actually start sparring at a dojo you start realising that your intellect is not of much use, though. 

Sure- knowledge plays a huge part in your success as a martial artist, but we do not just seek to accumulate knowledge, but also to develop our minds. This is done by subjecting ourselves to training that does not only challenge us emotionally as well as mentally.

I have realised at a very early time in my training that a lot of my performance has suffered not because I have not given it enough, thought, but actually because of thinking too much. We as humans are capable of thought and it is wonderful, but it also interferes with our intuitive responses.

While you are thinking you are not actually seeing what is right in front of you. A lot of details that can be sensed intuitively get drowned out by the noise in your mind that you have created yourself.

Regarding acting on what you perceive I shall only say that thinking and talking about the appropriate response is all good and well during training, but in the actual moment you will need to switch that all off so that you can act.

That said about thinking...

Now- about overriding your learning ability-

Your smart self will tell you that you cannot fight a person who is much bigger than yourself. It will quickly give you previews of having your face bashed in, your bones broken and all manner of painful images and sensations.

Chances are that some of the above may come from actual experience. Those experiences have most likely taught you to avoid fighting- pretty much how falling off a horse teaches you not to get on a horse again.

Well- from a lazy point of view avoiding these situations may be correct, but we gain a lot more if we take the current situation, look at it, and see what opportunities it presents. Shut that nagging voice up inside you so that you can see when that huge fist is coming for your face. Ignore those premonitions of doom so that you can actually topple him when he is off balance. And when you are on the horse- pay attention to your being on the horse instead of inviting another fall with your unpleasant memories!

When you have accomplished this mastery over your own mind and emotions you will not really become stupid, but rather become balanced. :)

  Have a great week ahead, everyone!

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