All through the many years I have been involved with the martial arts, I have noticed that nearly all teachers and mentors seem to always emphasize the physical aspects of training. Humans normally discern information through three avenues, however there are others.
The most commonly utilized receptors are VISUAL, as we recognize and discern data by SEEING images with our eyes. AUDITORILY, humans receive informative data by “HEARING” it with our ears and, (this might surprise you), through our skull, as our skull is very similar to a TUNING FORK and receives sound waives multi directional. KINESTHETICALLY, with our sense of touch and feeling. Most people do not realize that “ALL” of these NATURAL RECEPTORS can also be easily manipulated and or deceived.For example “OPTICAL ILLUSIONS” often confuse what we think we are seeing, just as sounds can come from many diverse angles and directions and often we feel something that is not what we are actually touching at all.
For countless years I have heard authoritative scholars give reference to muscle memory, when muscles do not and cannot remember anything, as what is being referred to is simple nerve reflex. Martial art teachers and mentors also put great emphasis on physical body conditioning & development, which will actually come naturally, as it is encompassed as an integral portion of the overall development of ability in the martial art.
Many competitive martial artists and as well as other athletes have come to me seeking information regarding “HOW TO DEVELOP THEMSELVES PHYSICALLY,” so that they can achieve great physical condition to excel at their respective sport. I give them all the same answer, which is so “SIMPLE”, that they basically refuse to accept my suggestion and go do what other athletes are doing in their particular disciplines. My suggestion to them all is, simply do what you are required to do, in your discipline and nothing physically, other than that.
The reason I tell them that is so “SIMPLE” that they evidently cannot grasp it, as by continuously doing what you must do to execute your discipline, will “AUTOMATICALLY “ develop all the required attributes for your entire body. Simplicity in everything we do, regardless what that might be, is the “KEY” to accomplishing everything we endeavor to do, “SIMPLE” isn’t it!
Extremely few martial art instructors, teachers, coaches and mentors rarely ever emphasize “MENTAL ACUITY” training and that is so SELF DEFEATING, as we humans cannot do anything without “VISUALLY THINKING” about it first.
The human body has an anatomical nervous system that allows many of our bodily functions to operate seemingly automatically, without us having to consciously VISUALLY THINK about it first. Our human brain registers data as VISUAL IMAGES and stores the information in our conscious mind, utilization of this data or information takes place in our subconscious mind, that often seems like we do and react to things instinctively or automatically, however they are all extremely fast visual image thought process. Assisting the brain to “VISUALLY SEE”, whatever it is that we are being required to perform, is where a “MAJOR KEY” to achieving exists.
Here is an experiment you might want to try, in order to more easily accept some of this material I am suggesting to you. Take one of your very well accomplished students and ask him to perform a very specific technique, consistently several times, while one of your KNOW NOTHING fresh beginners observes EVERY MINUTE DETAIL, down to the breathing, body posture, balance, stance and his overall execution.
Once the beginner VISUALLY SEES and MENTALLY COMPREHENDS every detail, then ask the beginner student to perform the exact same technique and you more often than not will be totally amazed at the accuracy and correctness of your beginner students performance.
MENTAL ACUITY is an absolute must, before PHYSICAL ACUITY can be achieved. Please, do not take my word or anyone else’s word for anything, without first CHECKING IT OUT for yourself FIRST! It’s much easier to do something once we can SEE what we want and need to do. MENTAL & PHYSICAL ACUITY are inseparable for accomplishments.