The full “Yin ☯ Yang of Fighting Science” series is now available online, in its entirety. We hope you had a chance to see many of the posts over the five months they were published. If not, then here is the entire series with hyperlinks, so that you can read those you missed. Enjoy!
Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series
• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable
Martial Arts • Fighting Science • bonus • Yin ☯ Yang
Each instructor has a different teaching methodology. As with any profession, some are good, and others are not. It may be that they were a great fighter, but aren’t good teachers. Or the reverse – they weren’t a great fighter, but are excellent teachers. A good instructor has the ability to convert an intuitive technique into instructions that students can clearly understand. If the instructor was a champion and has proven skills in combat, this holds weight against a bad communicator, even if they’re not great at knowledge transfer. Sometimes a student needs to recognize a teacher’s limitations – this may include a language or cultural barrier – and navigate themselves to the most effective synergy between teaching and learning.
Learning requires eternal humility and sidelined egos.
Even teachers are forever students.
A student once said to me, “I was told in boxing that I need to look at the chin of the opponent, so why are you telling me to look at the center of the chest?” The reason is that in boxing the threat is only the opponent’s fists. In kickboxing, you need to be concerned with kicks as well. So peripheral vision becomes an additional asset to “see” both the hands and the feet. By focusing on the opponent’s chest, this represents a good ‘compromise’ to monitor all four attack vectors.
Another student asked, “How do I deal with an instructor who is teaching me a technique that I know is wrong?” My response in these situations is to explain that respect overrules correctness. I prefer that students always listen to the instructor. To look at a new technique as a dance. Even if you feel it’s wrong, try it anyway. Has your body moved that way before? Give your body a chance to try a new movement, and look at it as a challenge for that lesson. Afterward, look for a better trainer. Certainly, if the instructor is not knowledgeable or doesn’t have the ability to incrementally improve on the student’s abilities, then that club is a bad fit. The challenge is to find a teacher that can take each student to an improved skill level.
Students entering a gym for the first time is tied to a certain level of expectation. Does the student want to learn a new martial art? Do they want to learn how to fight? Is their goal to learn self-defense, and defend themselves in conflict? Do they want to learn self-discipline? Or is it simply to get into shape? Any of the above reasons could stand-alone, or have a combined motivation.
At a grassroots level, combat training is a form of self-torture – Repeatedly tormenting the body but wanting more –
It’s not for the faint of heart.
I tell new students before their first practice, “One of two things will happen once this session is over; You’ll say to yourself, ‘that was one of the most brutal training sessions I’ve ever done, and I never do this again.’ or, ‘That was one of the most brutal training sessions I have ever done, but for some reason I want to do it over and over again.’ Those are endorphins talking.
About the Author
Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.
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