The Six Common Pitfalls of Martial Artists
Upon the teaching experiences of the author and lessons taught to him through his instructors, here is a brief list of six pitfalls of martial arts practitioners. Included is also an explanation of how to avoid these mishaps, and stay on the path of always growing.
Value technique over attributes, or vice versa. One has to envision the yin-yang balance with this point, as Bruce use to use to illustrate balance. Valuing anything over the other will cause imbalance. Therefore, learning, teaching, and observing, should all be practiced in equal amounts. There will come times when a person will have to focus on one more than another, but it is only to restore balance, not throw one out of balance.
Technique is the mechanics of a movement (i.e. how to perform a punch), while attributes are the “qualities” which help you pull off your technique (i.e. speed, power, sensitivity).
- Developing a favorite Area of Combat. Every practitioner seems to have their strong and weak points. One student is great at stick sparring, but has no kick boxing applications. Another is proficient at ground fighting and close quarters, but acts like a fish out of water in mass attacks and knife fighting. Everyone will have favorites (arts, moves, drills), but it is a person’s duty to not show it through their actions and abilities. Train in everything, gain experience in everything, but show commitment to nothing.
- No emotional muscle. Seeing the results of awesome technique work, or hours of physical conditioning is easy. But illustrating the time spent meditating, training in stressful environments, and hours of visualization are not so easy to show off. Therefore, many forget about the emotional aspect, and put in too much time physically. Students then hear stories of the best black belt in the class getting their butt kicked last night at the movie theater parking lot, or others read about the Hollywood action star loosing in a bar fight against an fat unskilled nobody. Develop one’s emotional and mental muscles and use them as one’s secret weapon.
(I’ll send you Part 2 next week…)