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Some Tips for Training the Central Nervous System While Training Martial Arts

Posted: June 29, 2010

In martial arts, the understanding of the basics is crucial to development. If the foundation is bad, the house will fall. Everyone knows this, and every martial arts school teaches this and reinforces it.

What is also pretty basic, but is not often taught is the progression to get the basics to become part of you, and the best way to train for maximum efficiency. That is what this post will focus on.

When we first learn a skill, it requires a lot of conscious thought. For example, when we first learned to brush our teeth or tie or shoes, it took some concentration and focus. Once we have done these things 10,000 times, we can do them almost unconsciously. Almost as if we were on auto-pilot. We can tie our shoes while watching a ball game and having a conversation, because the act of tying our shoes has become part of us. Martial arts training is exactly the same, and the basics should become so normal to us, that we can execute them seemingly without thinking.

In order to be able to do this with speed, power, and technique; they should be practiced in this order: technique, power, and then speed.

If we rush this process and skip the technical aspect, we will never truly be efficient. Every time we work a technique it begins to make it’s mark in our brain and our central nervous system. If we make these marks while executing with bad habits, they will be recorded in that way. It will take far more work to correct these bad habits than to get it right the first time.

It’s like burning a cd incorrectly. It will have skips, and garbles, and a whole host of other problems, and no matter how many different speeds you select, it will never play smoothly or efficiently.

If we take the time to make the technique smooth and precise, we can then tweak the power, and the speed.

Power is the expression of proper technique, so it is second on our list. When the technique is correct, the power will be there, and then we continue to work on generating more and more force.

Speed is then worked on, because we have laid a proper foundation with the first two steps. Now, no matter what speed we play our cd at, it won’t skip. Due to the physics involved, the speed and acceleration we gain at this stage will further increase the power of our strikes.

In closing, I would like to say that training in martial arts is largely a process of refining our skills over time. However in training in the above manner, you will greatly shorten your learning curve as it is much easier to learn something correctly the first time then it is to fix it once it has been ingrained. It is extremely difficult to fix the foundation of a house after the house has been built upon it.

Leave a comment, and tell me your thoughts.


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