Friday, 16 May 2008

Bettering Yourself in the Martial Arts

When training in any martial art which requires sparring, at the beginning you shall find that you can easily adapt to the free exchange of techniques. Strikes will start to instinctively be attempted without even thinking, throws will feel more and more natural to you and your body will react and defend smoothly whilst ground fighting.

You shall start to feel that what you have been studying is well worth it and that it actually works. You may even start to be thinking about certain techniques that feel more natural to you than others. Good for you. This is the correct thought and the correct frame of mind to have.

However, as you spar more regularly and with more and more advanced martial artists you shall eventually come across someone who constantly gets the better of you. It could be that they constantly manage to land that low roundhouse kick even when you prepare for it, or that on the ground they submit you using techniques you never even knew existed.

One of the worst things you can do against someone like this is to focus your training and sparring, on beating this ONE person. Getting caught up by this one person’s ability to always get the better of you can be detrimental to your progress as an all rounded martial artist, capable of adapting to different situations.

This is because when you train, your focus shall always be on ways to beat that one opponent. Eventually after sparring with him/her a few times you shall become accustomed to there style, you shall learn the ways they move and shall develop counters to beat them. But then what. What about the person who always beats them, and everyone else. You shall have a tough time against them because you have had the single thought of gaining victory over a single person.

Your training should be about YOU and you only. You should concentrate on YOUR form, on YOUR balance, on YOUR speed etc. It is YOUR technique that you need to be focused on. Through hard training, lots of sparring with different people and the single thought of bettering YOURSELF, you shall eventually develop skills which will allow you to deal with any opponent who happens to be standing in front of you. This is not a guarantee that you shall always win, but it is a guarantee of knowing that you did the best YOU could and that you tried according to your own abilities.

Don’t let the thought of winning against a certain person enter your mind. Train hard and train smart, with the thought of being able to deal with any type of situation. This is the way to become a proficient martial artist.


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