In-depth study of martial arts can be compared to the painstaking work of a university researcher, we must:
- Have the foundation for understanding and applying
- Gather all the necessary (correct) information
- Analyze and understand the theory
- Apply the theory to the practice
- Re-process the theory and the practice adapting it to us
It is not so important if our sources are teachers, books, video tutorials, articles (etc.), it is fundamental to understand that it’s never enough a single vision to be able to say that we have acquired a new knowledge (technique, strategy, etc.).
We must give meaning, body and durability to what we analyze, in a word we need Method.
Let’s imagine we want to learn a new leverage technique, here are 10 useful questions about the quality of our study:
- Is our body ready / suited to perform this technique in a safe and effective manner?
- Our martial cultural background is sufficient or we have some gaps?
- Is the technique appropriate for us, for our body and our style of fighting?
- Have we seen enough times the technique? If we close our eyes can we remember every movement / detail?
- Have we stored in our mind / body the technical key points?
- Have we tried the execution of the technique enough times?
- Is the quality of our performance stable or imperfect?
- Can we rapidly and consecutively repeat the technique without losing effectiveness (eg. 25 times)?
- Have we informed about and / or tested any countermoves?
- Are we able to perform the technique with an uncooperative partner?
- After one month can we apply the technique instantly and instinctively?
If we responded consistently to each of these questions it means that we have followed the right path and we acquired the technique in a stable, profitable and lasting way.
In another way probably we have only wasted our time, it makes no sense to limit ourselves to:
- Go to internships without reviewing what we have learned
- Read books once without really studying what they contain
- Watching video once without attention to detail, without trying
- Give a rapid look at articles missing all the details
Let’s be clear:
- An ample general theoretical knowledge of martial arts is a very good thing
- But, if we are talking about our own fighting techniques, those that actually we would use in case of real need, they must be trained, absorbed and made ours with deep preparation, concentration and discipline
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.