Monday, January 4, 2010

Fighting the Block

Here's an interesting article by LAProd's Terry. No, it has nothing to do with fighting Juliane Block (director of Ramly at War Begins, and Unsecured Loan 2), though she's tall and looks like she might be able to kick my arse. Instead, it touches on obstacles you might face, training as a martial artist.
Here we go:

There are times in a Martial Artists’ life when he/she finds him/herself stuck in a plateau. No matter how hard you train, you just don’t see any progress. To top it all off, you’re at the peak of your learning capabilities and find yourself learning ‘nothing’ every time you attend a class.

You feel like giving up. Training has become a chore, boring. You’ve lost interest.

But is this the end?

Not necessarily. There are steps you can take to kick start your Martial Art’s lifestyle.

1) Take a Break.
When you’ve hit the ceiling, take a breather and step back to look at the bigger picture. It is like taking a day off from work to do something you enjoy. Most times, after a period of docility, you’ll bounce back with more vigour than before.

2) Try something new.
Sometimes a road block can mean you have difficulty understanding something the way it’s been taught. Sometimes you think there’s something better out there. So go out and explore. Often you’ll learn something about your own art when it’s been presented in a different light. You may even discover you enjoy a totally different Martial Art and develop the drive to train again.

3) Find out what’s missing.
What is it that drew you towards this art in the first place? Knowledge is infinite, so what is it about this art form that you’ve failed to learn? Are you doing something wrong? Have you been taking your own training lightly? Do you understand what’s being taught? Once these questions have been answered you will often find the reason to return to training.

4) Innovate.
Doing the same drills all over again? Time to change. Try different training techniques and explore other forms of exercise (i.e. yoga, dance, etc.) and combine different elements to create your own brand of training and exercise.

5) Meditate on the philosophy.
Martial Arts are life long learning processes. As such, there’s no way you can ‘learn’ everything in 10 years or much less as the future generations seem to think. Meditate on the philosophy passed down by your masters. What is there for you to gain which you have not discovered yet? Usually such knowledge comes with time, experience and unfortunately age. Sticking to a particular art may very mean you’ll find its secrets one day.

6) Live it.
Martial Arts’ is a way of life. Use its teachings to help you live a more purposeful life. By following its philosophies, you will often discover more to the art than the movements and the exercise. And even if you don’t find yourself doing the exercises anymore, you are still a Martial Artist if you live by its code.

Contributed by,
Terry Saw

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