Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A lesson from my martial arts class that gives perspective on learning difficult skills

I started my new martial arts class last Monday 1/5 and am already walking out with gems of knowledge. Last night our professor described fighting moves as words and learning them as building a vocabulary. He explained that anyone who can learn anything as complex as communication can also learn martial arts.

First we learn basic words, then we learn how to put them together into sentences, then we build our vocabulary and build that into sophisticated statements.

It is the same way with martial arts. Basic strikes which become more sophisticated with practice. Once a basic set of skills are so ingrained that they are habitual then more complicated skills can be placed on top of them to create a deeper skill set. This gave me faith for any complicated skill that seems difficult at first. I will think of it from the point of view that if I learned how to talk without thinking about it, I can learn how to do anything.


Hugh Motz said...

That’s definitely a great way to look at martial arts training! I know for a fact that it’s never easy, and it doesn’t actually get any easier as the class progresses. But that’s exactly the lesson that martial arts want to teach us: we need discipline to make real progress, not just with the training, but with life in general. The only way you’ll be able to do the moves correctly is to keep practicing, and to never give up. Good luck with your training!

Brian said...

It has been so long since I wrote this and remembered that lesson. Thanks Hugh for reading it, commenting on it, and reminding me of the lessons I have learned.