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Elite Martial Arts

Performing Under Stress

Posted: August 03, 2010

In martial arts training, as with everything in life; it is extremely important to begin with the end in mind. With regard to self-defense, this means understanding that when you “have to” apply your martial arts skills, it will be under stressful circumstances.

Techniques should be simple, direct, and efficient. A lot of intricate moves only serve to confuse you and render you unable to react intelligently to a situation.

Please understand that there is a difference between complex, and intricate. A good system can be complex and still be effective, but it must have an “organic flow” which can be put into muscle memory.

For example, almost all students that study Filipino martial arts have at some point gotten really frustrated and thought their heads would explode due to information overload. As they progress in the art, and step back to see the big picture, they realize that in essence, it is very simple and efficient. They also learn that the training methods they have employed, have put these movements into muscle memory.

Once they see and understand the motion, then they begin to see the applications of that movement everywhere. The bottom line is that the repetition has made these movements an almost automatic response, and therefore it can be applied under a tremendous amount of stress.

In closing, I would like to leave you with one of my favorite Bruce Lee quotes. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times.” The main point, is that repetition builds confidence, and also the ability to apply.