Sunday, January 17, 2010

Laziness in the martial arts

"Misfortune comes out of laziness". Gichin Funakoshi

Some very capable people whether they are beginners, intermediates or advance level practitioners in the martial arts are just downright lazy individuals that expect all knowledge to be handed to them on a silver platter; they want every bit of the jigsaw puzzle assembled right before their eyes without ever having to think for themselves.

Usually they will question themselves saying this will not work in a real fight, or I just can’t see this application, or it just doesn’t seem to be there, etc. in other words it’s the negative approach where their mind is telling them this is just too damn hard to think about, unless I’m shown something I can’t go on.

Maybe because they are paying a fee they expect to be spoon fed all the information thinking that this will save their bacon in a time of need, instead of actually doing their own research and questioning every little piece of information they have ever received about their martial art no matter how small and then putting it to the test on a personal level.

These are the sorts of people that come back and say, but sensei that block you showed me in class didn’t work and I have a black eye to prove it, well deerrrhhh, just exactly what were you trying to do with that block, do you know all its uses, variations, permutations and limitations, have you tested your concepts and methods in the dojo, I would say probably not.

Don’t miss understand me I’m not trying to say that if he had known all the uses, variations etc, associated with that block that it would be impossible for him to receive a black eye.

I’m just trying to point out if you learn a technique make sure you learn all the ways, uses and limitations, this will give you the best chance of successfully applying it in an emergency.

If we look at ourselves during the school years and how we do our learning from childhood, from elementary school all the way up to college or university and beyond because you never stop learning till you die.

Yes just like martial arts we do pay fees it’s not for free, and yes just like martial arts we do receive lots of information without having to do anything other than absorb it, but you are expected to do your very own fair share of research and self discovery in the application of whatever you have been taught be it math, English, science, physics etc, otherwise your progress will be limited.

Nothing in life comes cheap or for free and unless you are prepared to put in the hard yards you will never get past a certain point, whether its school, carrier, marriage, relationships, social life and yes even the martial arts.

So as an example if we compare learning a self defense technique to learning the technique for the solution of simultaneous equations, just because you have learned how to solve simultaneous equations it doesn’t mean you will be able to solve all the problems where simultaneous equations are to be used.

You have to learn, the when the what the where the how and the why, all these are applied at different stages for the solution to be possible, and the only way to understand all the different stages is to apply it in all the different ways that might be feasible to apply it, the truth does reveal itself in the end as long as your willing to look for it.

The question you have to ask yourself is, am l prepared to do the hard yards in order to find the solution, or do I just want to sit back and have it all handed to me.

Which in the end will not help you one little iota, because its someone else’s self discovery that your trying to use, be it your sensei's, your martial art friends or who ever else has solved that particular puzzle for you, the point is you still dont really know for youself since you have never solved it.

It’s kind of like getting the answer sheet to the exam, you might be able to fill out all the boxes correctly, but can you apply the knowledge when its required?

Then what about the next puzzle? will you rely on someone elses experience again?

How about getting some experiece of your own, its ok to fail, that's what a dojo is for, the main thing is to try again.