Martial ArtsThe Journey



Staying constant with anything is difficult. As our lives introduce different challenges, we are faced with hardships in continuing on our path. Staying consistent is important to creating the change we seek within ourselves. Once we start to see those changes, it becomes easier to stay consistent as we are able to see the rewards of our hard work.

Many of us have become good in at least one thing. We achieve this heightened level of skill through consistently training our minds and bodies to execute these skills. If you were to take a break from your training or reduce it’s intensity, your skills wouldn’t be the same should you have kept up with your training. Consistency works in the long term where we often don’t find ourselves being mindful of.

When learning a new skill, it takes ourselves a bit to get used to and integrate these changes into the brain and body. To get the mind to easily remember how to performs these actions at peak performance is not an easy task. With patience in ourselves knowing we will at first suck before we are good, we can trust the process of training and slowly start to see the benefits they have in our lives.

If you want to be truly good at something, you must put your entire self into what you are doing. Allow your mind and body to become the actions you are performing. This also takes practice in order for our perspective to grow and gain enough awareness of ourselves. After paying attention to one technique, it becomes easier allowing our brains to focus on different aspects of that technique furthering it’s execution and level of complexity. This awareness grows slowly every day we practice. We allow our minds to remember different parts subconsciously making it easier to perform rather than to be extremely mindful of it’s execution. The brain rewires itself to execute these techniques with less thought as it’s been done thousands of times. This repetition is what creates the growth in our awareness allowing the furthering of these skills. The increased awareness is a sign that these techniques are moving into our subconscious. It’s important to mention integrity and performing techniques correctly. If we learn them wrong by training lazily or being distracted, our techniques will develop that way. Therefore, if we want true growth and skill, it requires our full attention and effort.

It’s important to take breaks and rest regularly throughout our training as that actually increases our performance levels by not burning out our minds and bodies. It’s critical though that these short breaks aren’t turned into longer lapses in our training. This is because our brains are wired to remember what we do and create easier paths for those repeated tasks to be performed. Therefore, if something is not being used, our bodies will naturally reduce the output in its effectiveness in order to put importance towards our new focus. After two weeks, our bodies will actually start to lose muscle we’ve been working on if it isn’t’ utilized. This is why if we aren’t consistent we don’t see change. We revert back to the old ways of thinking and doing things rather than being mindful in creating changes. This inconsistency is a slippery slope that leads to lack of progress and even regression in our training. Creating a reverberating effect that you aren’t progressing, not wanting to put time into training because you don’t see change, and putting your time into something else because it’s more beneficial. Eventually, this leads to quitting all together.

Every single time I have taken a break from ANY of my skills I can feel them slip a bit. If I don’t practice a specific kick for a few weeks or months, I’ll notice a small portion of it regressed. Either power, speed, or even the skill in its execution. If I don’t make a cup for a few weeks, it affects it’s execution and I’m required to make more to achieve the same quality. It’s so critical to stay consistent in order to see growth and progress. It can be very discouraging when we slip off our tracks but it’s even more important that we stay positive about getting back on. Beating yourself up over not doing something well wont help, but instead creating a positive environment for ourselves. Congratulating ourselves when we do make it to training and put in the work instead of self shaming for letting it slip. It happens. The important part is that you got back into your training and are now making progress.

Don’t expect to be good at anything when you first start. Know that if you keep going, even when it’s hard, you’ll get better at it. Practice makes permanent as we become what we do. If you do enough sidekicks, you’ll become that sidekick in it’s full embodiment. If you practice lazy sidekicks, you’ll become a lazy sidekick. Remember, keep training and pushing forward. That training is it’s own reward as it benefits our lives even outside our practices. This is the way.

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Master Victor is a Fine, Martial and Fire Arts practitioner amongst many other things.

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