Monday, May 1, 2017

The Top Secrets to Learning the Martial Arts

Mushin University™ Self-Knowledge the Ultimate Knowledge

 “It takes 1,000 days to forge the spirit and 10,000 days to polish it.”  Miyamoto Musashi

This blog goes beyond just practice, although that still is the foundation to learning the martial arts. Today marks a new step and achievement in our journey together. Every step forward is a move in the right directions especially if that step is taken willfully and with consciousness. I have found, over the years, that slow motion movement works well with our development, especially when it comes to working on the consciousness level. What we aim to achieve is extrinsic learning. Extrinsic learning involves an understanding of the technique that we are practicing but at a deeper level. Basically, intrinsic learning is the experiential knowledge gained through our somatosensory system. To break this down further, we have seven subsets of learning. Most people are geared to learn better in the right combinations of these subsets.

Visual: If you prefer watching to understand, then you are a spatial learner.

Aural: If you prefer listening, then you are an auditory learner.

Verbal: If you prefer talking and writing about your study, then you are a linguistic learner.

Physical: If you prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch, then you are a kinesthetic learner.

Logical: If you prefer using systematic systems, then you learn best by reasoning things out.

Social: If you prefer to learn with other people, then modeling the behaviors of others helps you learn.

Solitary: If you prefer to work alone and use self-study, then you are an intrapersonal learner.

Everyone seems to have a bit of each learning type but in general, yet we often show a preference to different aspects in various environments. Still, it requires a certain amount of concentration and repetition to ingrain these skills so that they can be engaged as automatic responses. The repetition of a physical motion increases the thickness of the myelin sheath. This myelin sheath helps insulate the nerve fibers that you get after 30,000 to 50,000 repetitions and some say after 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. So, it is the quality of your practice that signals our reflexes to work more efficiently. Quality in the martial arts is defined as what works efficiently under stress. In the martial arts and combat situations the ability to respond without thought is not only Zen like, it is critical. 
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