I just finished reading a great book, Slowing Down To The Speed Of Life. I found it had really useful tips for helping to establish a more peaceful, simpler, happier life. It also gave me some great insights that apply for martial arts training, which I’d like to share. The main premise behind the book is that we spend all our time in one of two mental modes, the analytical/processing mode or the free-flowing mode. Both modes have their purposes, and this is apparent when you consider their usage in martial arts training and application.
This mode is most useful for learning new skills and concepts. It allows you to deliberately think through each step and consciously learn a physical technique. When you first learn a joint lock, throw, or other martial arts technique, the instructor breaks it down into steps to make it easier to follow along, and offers corrections along the way for you to process and analyze, so you better understand the fundamentals of the technique. As you practice in this mode, you’ll often find that the technique feels slow and chunky, especially ones requiring fine motor skills. This could also be thought of as the conscious mind. (more…)