Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Diligent Practice

During one of the karate classes I teach as we were going over basics I was asked by student, " Why do we have to do these things over and over?" It was actually a very good question and from the perspective of a student how many times do I need to learn how to punch and kick and throw a person before I learn it. Why do it hundreds, thousands of times?
One of the reasons we practice , be it martial arts or really anything that we enjoy is to become better at what we do. In the case of martial arts we practice the techniques so they become second nature to us. We are constant teaching our bodies and brains that this is how we punch or kick and the body remembers this with practice. In other endeavors, lets say playing an instrument, it is practice that determines how well you excel with your chosen instrument.

The key thing about practice is that many times we just want to do something in order to be busy. Practice is not easy and is very rarely enjoyable. When we practice diligently we must practice those things that we are not good at in order to improve them. This is usually the opposite of what we do since we all like to the things we are good at. That is not what practice is for. In our times of practice we have to stretch ourselves and enter those areas where our performance is lacking and work and polish there. This means hours upon hours of hard work while seeing little result, this is why it must be diligent practice. When you practice make the practice itself the goal. work on improving the areas that you would normally avoid working on. It is this kind of practice that will give you the most benefit.

strong spirit- strong mind-strong body

Sensei Orlando


Anonymous said...

Repeated practice also has another element. As I progress (3rd level black belt) I constantly find new elements to study in the same simple moves. Each move, kata whatever is packed with meaning that can take years to uncover. Returning to these forms and exercise in not dull repetition, but a journey of constant discovery.

The Empty Hand said...

Thank you for your post.
I agree, the process of "renma", constant polishing, should not be lost on us as we progress through the ranks. The more we walk along this path the more there is to discover.