Monday, July 28, 2014

Less IS more

I'm probably part of a minority of people who read Black Belt magazine—particularly for the tips and tricks that apply specifically to women. When I saw this article, I ws particularly intrigued: The Art of Teaching Women's Self-Defense: Less is Best.

When you've been taking classes for a while, you forget how hard it was to learn those first few punches and kicks. Hopefully you've been practicing long enough that you don't have ot think about the position of your body when you're throwing a punch, or how to counterbalance correctly for a kick. It's like trying to remember what it was like to learn to walk. You don't think about it anymore, you just walk! And that's a problem.

Here's a practical example:
When my dad came back from Vietnam, he was gravely wounded with a lot of damage to his lower body. He had to undergo a lot of physical therapy, part of which was re-learning how to walk. He told me that it was probably the hardest thing he had to do, becaue you take for granted that you understand the whole walking process. But now it's different because you have to consciously control your muscles. If you don't believe me, try playing QWOP. Here's an image of someone who got further than I did:

It's a difficulty. When you've taken a lot of classes and know a lot of techniques you want to show people all kinds of neat tricks. There are so many ways you can kick and punch, and so many places to choose from! But attendees to a seminar are (usually) not seasoned martial-arts practitioners, and as anxious as you are to show everyone a whole bunch of cool stuff--you have to take it easy. 

Hopefully I'll remember that Sunday after next!

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