Biggest insight

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussions' started by Tim G, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Tim G

    Tim G Initiate

    Hey guys,

    I was just curious as to what has been your single biggest insight that martial arts has brought you through all your years of training.

    One interesting observation I read in another thread was that it takes getting to black belt level to realize that belts actually don't really matter.

    For me, it's the importance of philosophy in relation to martial arts. I started out practicing martial arts because I thought it looked cool, as I'm sure many others have. Along the way, I found a lot of value in the theoretical side of my art - how and when to use it, and how to behave in daily life. And then building a community evolving around such values.

    Thanks for your replies!
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  3. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    Yeah, getting to black belt does open your eyes. A lot of the time when people get to black belt, they feel wrong because they feel they should have been better when they got it. The problem there is of perspective, when you go back and watch the white belts, you realize how far you have come.

    One insight for me was on how you train. Like most kids, I thought I was training solidly when I started, but years later I REALLY went for it, every time I trained I was totally focused and tried to push myself physically while maintaining strict form. Practice doesn't make perfect in martial arts, it makes permanent. If you are doing something wrong when you practice, you will do it wrong always. Never allow yourself to do less than your best, or you will have wasted some time, and some energy.

    I'm sure there are more, I will get back to you on this one!
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  4. Dale

    Dale Scholar of the martial arts

    At the beginning of my martial arts carrier before I started training, as a kid back in the day I did a bit of fighting and got into the martial arts to learn how to find better with the ironic ending that I haven't started a fight since. I started in karate which is now the art I stick by, I have done others but I keep coming back to karate. Personally my drive in the martial arts is understanding myself but also finding and interpreting the teachings of the old masters whos abilities I have always looked up to.

    When I finally progressed and got my black belt a few things happened, one for about 5 minutes I thought I was hot @@#!, and then it hit me, I was the same person, I'd only managed to finally have someone put a black piece of cloth around my waist. And the third thing was I realized how much there was still to learn out there, and I've been training and improving my abilities and myself ever since, and recently started teaching to give others the same change that I have had.

    So I guess all in all my biggest insight is that when you train you're training yourself inside and out, and it's you that matters not the belt nor how many people you beat up.
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  5. Sneaker

    Sneaker Warrior Monk

    Sad but very very true !!!
    I abosolutely hate sensei teaches "like how to read traffic lights ... if you see red... stop ... if its orange, yellow, beige, whatever, you know ... yeild ... if its green or blue or purple, eh ... you know ?" teaching ... NO !!! NO !!!NO !!! RED MEANS STOP ... YELLOW MEANS COME TO STOP or YIELD CAUTIOUSLY only if right under traffic light ... GREEN MEANS GO

    If it works ... USE IT
    If it does not work ... ALTER IT until EFFECTIVE !

    That is AFFIRMATIVE !!!!!!!
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
    Tim G likes this.
  6. Battodoka07

    Battodoka07 Warrior Monk

    We have a saying at my dojo, it's not just practice that makes perfect but perfect practice. Sloppy form ends up with sloppy technique and sloppy habits. For beginners we tell them they first thing do need to do is practice the technique, build up repetition. Then try and understand the principles behind that technique and test if with full resistance. If they pass that then they learn how to apply what they learned from the principles to other techniques as it builds a bridge of understanding in the martial arts. Then once they achieve this they can teach it.

    One reason why I'm a firm believer that just reading a book isn't going to cut it. You have to be able to apply it so both the mind and body understands.
  7. DracosNest

    DracosNest DracosNest

    The most important concept I've gathered in my 20 yrs is that practice does NOT make perfect. You could practice the "wrong way" your whole life. (The way i feel about the wrong way is another day) Practice makes comfort. Comfort makes second nature. Second nature makes it a part of you. The more you approach something whether it be walking on two feet, driving a car, speaking 3 foreign languages or performing an hour long kata...the goal is never to do it perfectly. Because perfect is in the eye each individual watching you. The goal is to perform the task enough to do it in your sleep. Once this is achieved you have just started the process.
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  8. Sneaker

    Sneaker Warrior Monk

    DANG MAN !!! ... that's deep ... abyss deep !!!

    Are you a buddhist monk ??? o_O
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  9. Battodoka07

    Battodoka07 Warrior Monk

    Perfection is something that will never be achieved. It is like the sun on the horizon, something that one will keep riding to but never reach. The thing for people to keep in mind is not get discouraged but to like back on the trail and see how much distance has been covered, or in this case the amount of progress a person has made since they first started. Some people progress slower than others, so this progress should not be measured against others but against themselves. Perfect such be viewed as doing technique with proper form, and as you mentioned developing it to become second nature.

    With the sword style I practice with emphasis doing a technique or kata without excessive moment. We do a kata in the mirror not only to see how our cuts are but also to symbolize the opponent in the mirror: ourselves. We visualize cutting down our own weaknesses, our fears, and progress not only in our martial arts but within our spirit and mind.
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  10. Void_Karateka

    Void_Karateka Pauper Karateka

    Shimeijurasan. A level of perfection that is the goal of, yet beyond the reach of all martial artists.
    Tim G likes this.
  11. DracosNest

    DracosNest DracosNest

    Excellent explanation Battodoka07. Perfection in the broad sense can not even be defined. Improvements can always be improved or evolve. Perfection in my eyes as a teacher to a student can be achieved as long as the student at a performance level that is what I would consider perfect. But this would be more of a personal opinion that would be law since there is nothing stating otherwise. If the originator of the technique were alive and personally witnessing the event they would have more of right to define perfection of that technique but the martial arts is constantly evolving and perfection is only a word that means acceptable to whom is judging...i apologize if my forum etiquette is off...this happens to be the first time (other than my original comment) i have ever posted on any forum ever.
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  12. Tim G

    Tim G Initiate

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all your responses - more philosophical than I could hope for ;).

    @DracosNest: I like this idea about aiming for perfection but never reaching it. Indeed, as @Eric Dufurrena points out: practice makes permanent.

    It makes me wonder though, what - in your eyes - constitutes perfection? @Battodoka07, for example, mentions his own goal, losing excessive movement. And more generally, is it adherence to a certain principle, effectiveness in a fight, one's own understanding?

    I understand that these are multiple and, as @DracosNest says: perfection cannot be defined. I believe this to be true in general, but I'm curious to find out if anyone has an individual take on this.

    I can only say that for me - getting into other martial arts and doing more sparring has - made me look at the techniques that I learned in Vovinam, and re-evaluated them so that I can make my own distinction: what techniques are effective (for me) in fighting, which help for health reasons (e.g. flexibility, coordination), and which indicate another meaning beyond the physical.

    This is actually another (biggest) insight I had, but to get back to what I'm asking here: what constitutes perfection in your eyes?

    Thank you!
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  13. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    Not only is perfection a personal goal, but I think it changes as you advance. Perfection is being able to use a technique at full speed and full power with full technique, in a nutshell. Being able to do that, and then apply that technique in a myriad of situations, and being able to do that without fail or conscious thought. As Bruce Lee said
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  14. DracosNest

    DracosNest DracosNest

    Many of my teachers have talked the same way (philosophical). I must have gotten it from them. I'm also a Kwai Chang Caine fan.
    What constitutes perfection?...i personally try to stay away from the term (unless using the term when fulfilling a requirement in an objective 1+1=2). Not to say someone cannot have a subjective opinion of perfection. Its just, when i think of a word that means with no flaws, it doesn't seem possible unless your talking about a personal opinion. But if you are searching for a broad overall perfection its beyond comprehension (to me at least...I'm not the old man with the long white beard on the highest mountain that can only answer the traveler 3 questions about the meaning of life)...I guess it depends on how accurate you are intending to be, when applying the label. I am also beginning to think I'm looking into this way too much...My head is really starting to hurt.

    So to answer your question, i don't know what the hell i think about it...:confused:
  15. DracosNest

    DracosNest DracosNest

    So the real question is...can this be done? There are infinite amount of variables to prepare for? Environmental factors, opponent factors, whether its raining, 110 degrees, -18 degrees, meteors falling from the sky, your sudden migraine, a quick change in elevation at your feet, the pine cone that falls from the tree at a specific time/angle, etc...welcome to my style of study...:D
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  16. Sneaker

    Sneaker Warrior Monk

    I am sorry that you came in the wrong forum ...

    this is what you need to go :bookworm: :bookworm: and yes you can use your calculator as a primary weapon ... Good luck.

    the url doesnt exist ;)
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  17. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    Nope! Which is why it is the most noble of goals!
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  18. DracosNest

    DracosNest DracosNest

    Sounds like a good forum to me
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  19. DracosNest

    DracosNest DracosNest

    That's it?!?!... no more? I hoped this could go on for at least another month...;)
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  20. Otto Pozzo

    Otto Pozzo I know the questions. Answers? I'm clueless.

    What an interesting question. And great comments. I thought about this for a bit - and really don't know. It certainly gives something to think about.
    Tim G likes this.
  21. Ninja_Lee

    Ninja_Lee Initiate

    Nice ideas! For me it's; If you want to be good, keep going.

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