Back to Basics
on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments
by Jeremy M. Talbott
There have been many times in my martial arts training that I felt out of sorts. No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t get focused and accomplish the form or technique that I was trying to achieve. I ran across this situation a couple of years ago when I was getting ready for a competition. I explained my frustrations to Sensei Sharkey, my instructor, and he told me about a similar situation with another student of his who ran into the same type of wall. This student, who was a top competitor, just didn’t seem to be performing at his best. The result, naturally, was that he ended up losing his divisions. Frustrated, he asked Sensei to meet up with him and look over his form to see if perhaps he had some advice on how to improve.
The student performed a very intricate advanced form and when he was done Sensei nodded that it looked ok. Then Sensei had him run our system’s most basic form: Taikiyoku Ichi. This form is extremely basic in that all you do is an ‘I’ pattern executing only low blocks and low punches. Nothing fancy and no fluff, just a basic form taught to all of our beginning students. He was asked to run it hard with a lot of focus and a lot of power. He did this several times and at the end was exhausted. He was then told to do his competition form again. To the student’s own amazement he found that his form felt more comfortable and he was more focused. Afterwards the student was back on the winning track again. Many of you may know him as, Mike Chat, multi-world champion and developer of one of the most popular martial arts programs, XMA.
There are many times in our personal or business lives that we will run into the same type of scenario. It could be as simple as trying to write a report to something a bit more dramatic such as starting a new business or perhaps something very complicated such feeling unmotivated or unsure as to which direction to take to better yourself. Regardless of the severity of the scenario the solution is still the same, return to basics. When writing a report go back to focusing on the subject itself, and then move on to writing structures that will help convey your idea clearly. When opening up a business, focus on what the product or service is and why you felt a need to offer it in the first place. When trying to refocus your life, go back to what it is that makes you, you. What is it that you truly want and what is it that truly makes you happy. When you go back and redevelop firm basics, the rest will begin to fall in line.
As martial artists we should all know that in order to achieve higher levels you must have a strong foundation in the basics. They are the building blocks of our success. Whenever you can’t seem to reach higher levels you are striving for, it is essential that you get back to the basics and focus on the building blocks once again. You will find that a lot of what may be missing can be found there. It’s like Mr. Miyagi said, “When you feel life out of focus, always return to basic of life...”