You’re looking from the sides and watching the more advanced practitioners do their thing. In your mind, what they are doing is easy and they’re actually trained enough to make it seem like so. For them, the maneuvers they’re pulling off are as easy as breathing or walking.
Then, you imagine what it’d be like to be in their same position and, as soon as you try joining them, your instructor or coach forces you to watch.
Be patient, you are told, but why exactly is that so?
Patience and the Basics
In martial arts, progress comes slowly. It won’t take months, but years, to progress from one rank to another and that is only if you train constantly. Most of the time, it’s frustrating, especially since the changes and improvements are not always visible.
Watching people who are better than you doesn’t always help at all. Sure, they inspire you to do better and want to be like that. But, you’re also agitated and again, frustrated, by it all and how you’re not able to progress faster and be able to do what they’re doing.
Between this frustration and your desire to get better, it’s easy to give in to the temptation of looking for a way to improve as fast as possible. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible. This is real life, not the movies. You just can’t will yourself to getting better. You have to put in the effort.
The good thing is that the greatest of all martial artists will agree in the phrase that “If you wanna go fast, go slow.” This is because it couldn’t ring any truer when it comes to martial arts.
To be better, one has to understand the simplest things. To pull off the beautiful, acrobatic moves, one has to master the simple, “ugly” ones first. Frustrating, yes, but rewarding as well.
There’s a shortcut, well, of sorts that is. There’s no one to stop you from jumping into the deep end on day one or two and forcing yourself to learn the more advanced techniques immediately. But, that won’t do you any good.
By choosing NOT to focus on the more simple and basic things, you expose yourself and others to a get risk of injury. You’re also only making yourself look stupid by not even thinking about learning and mastering the basics.
The Importance of Basics
The most basic principles of any form of martial arts is where it’s founded. It’s where you learn how to apply yourself and be considered someone who’s remotely good at whatever it is you’re doing.
Granted, practicing basic techniques is no fun, but that’s only at the start. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that by investing time on focusing on the most basic of principles, you learn to train your body and mind to that of a real martial artist.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be shocked as to how easy it is for you to copy and imitate other people’s techniques, even if it’s the first time you’ve seen it.
Remember, it’s better to have practiced one single kick a thousand of times than to have practiced ten kicks a dozen times each.