Vicente: Repetition in martial arts

TRADITIONAL martial arts training is all about repetition.

Hours and hours or even more are spent doing the same move and/or the same technique over and over again.

This is how the fundamental is being driven into the consciousness of most beginners, for the masters believe that a solid foundation will carry anything that is placed on top of it.

Bruce Lee said, “I fear not a man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

The quote explains the foregoing principle.

Most traditionalists explain repetition is aimed at perfection.

For traditionalists who really understand the depth of martial arts, a single technique is complex and sophisticated than it looks.

Many would look for power and speed to include maybe flexibility, precision and mobility and other attributes that we could think of, but only a few martial artists look for the holistic development of a technique that includes proper breathing, balance, etc., or the involvement of the whole body.

It is said that techniques should not be for one-time use only, as it should be adopted by the body as a natural movement that could be used anytime.

Although the body deteriorates from many factors that include aging, it is believed that techniques once embedded in the system through repetition are nurtured deeply.

The fascinating thing about martial arts is the science that is understood only by a few remaining old martial arts masters.

Most martial arts teachers and schools today are influenced by the fastpaced approach that everyone wants.

Seldom do you see a practitioner repeating routines three days in a row or even two. Repetitions bore most practitioners, so instructors come up with something new every day or every training by mixing or alternating techniques.

It is a good strategy if you want to keep your students interested, but it is also a strategy that is needed in order to still do repetitions without the student noticing it or with the student enjoying it.

Repetition is also the best strategy that most martial artists who went through it lives and dies as martial artists and those who did not consider themselves retired from martial arts.

But there is no retiring from martial arts. What happens is that limitation catches up and the understanding is halted thus the end of one’s appreciation and use for it.

But for many, including this author, "Martial Arts is Life!"


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