4 Secrets to Mastery in Martial Arts and Self DefenseJan 14, 2024
There is only a few of secrets in Martial arts.
- Pain is the best teacher, but nobody goes to his class.
- Do the work.
- Show up.
- Loyalty and Consistency, especially when it's inconvenient
Secret #1: Pain, and Fear are amazing motivators and typically the prime impetus for Self Defense. In training and teaching they are the crudest yet most expedient instruments to employ in learning. For me, I prefer a workout that is unpleasant, and I like lessons that involve a little stretch out of the comfort zone in the least. It's often easier to find a new technique or place to train then to dig in and continue to prove your grit even when the training gets difficult... Surprisingly it's not the sharp pain of being struck or locked that people have the most difficult time, it's the slow grind of dedication over the years that people fail.
Secret #2: Do the work! This is perhaps one of the most important elements in becoming truly good, and by good I mean both able to perform and aesthetically pleasing technique, but also use it in at least sparring matches if not in direct conflict. If you wish to be great, you would need to devote dedicated time to learn the metaphors and deeper lessons each technique and drill represent, you would have to do the work, a-lot of work.
Secret #3: Show up, training for the purpose of true skill and expertise will take one thing teachers, Guros, cannot provide. Your effort, so this secret is much like the second one. I had a student once that said "Inayan Eskrimadors are uncommonly good and doing very common movements". This adept skill the quote refers to has to do with the synergy of Secrets 2-4. Combined with Secret #1, and you're on your way to becoming unstoppable.
Secret #4: Loyalty and Consistency is perhaps the most important of the secrets for the long term, I don't mean for 5 or 10 years, but for a lifetime. My father was specific about who I could. train with, where I could train etc. Part of this he told me was because of the way certain people would be as your supposed instructor, and part of it was that the lessons of the wrong teacher would pollute your potential.
I once watched an instructor tell people that the assistant he had that day was one of his best students, and he was taking, by implication, credit for the great skill of his assistant. A number of us knew that that assistant was actually a very accomplished martial artist in his own right and had learn nearly all of what we were witnessing from another more worthy teacher. Having the privilege to work with accomplished martial artists is a fortunate circumstance, but each individual did the work to get there and we can't take credit for that. Otherwise we close the door to understanding and enjoying the benefits of these secrets. The truth of this moment, watching this teacher and his assistant for the day, was that we could watch the adept hood of this teacher in taking the same 52 cards we've seen beautifully shuffled in a novel way, attempting to pass it off as a new deck of cards, and witness how the fundamentals of his assistant serve him well.
Martial Arts is infinite in its permutations, and combinations, but very finite in very concrete ways. But we only learn this and truly understand this if we adhere to the 4 secrets above. Of course, these are not the only secrets..
Join the Inayan Training Organization - the ITO Steel Membership is a great way to start on your path to becoming an Eskrimador and begin your practice of Filipino Martial Arts.
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