Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Go forward with confidence

Tonight, something dawned on me during class. Like many things in WT, the concept seems so simple but actually fairly difficult to execute exquisitely. Tonight's idea: having confidence is such a big part of being able to go forward and attack as a defense.

In practicing defending against random attacks, I’ve always been told:
- “You are moving in too late!”
- “You need to move your body earlier!”
- “Go forward!”
- “You need to step into him earlier!”

It is still difficult to do, but whatever has happened in the last year has made it a little easier to follow these concepts. And I think it has to do with a different level of confidence, which comes from several things, but I’ll mention a few: a little more experience, not caring too much and tensing up for fear of getting hit during training, and the development of a more reliable structure.

More experience
I won’t say much more about this, as it has been mentioned several times that it’s about the intensity and dedication to the training session that counts. With the limited amount of time devoted to WT training, all the more reason to do so!

Less fear of getting hit
A perfect attack/defense isn’t going to be executed every single time. Mistakes are bound to be made on the journey. That’s where training comes into play! And if I get hit, so what? I’m still working on this aspect of training – not flinching, not evading a la natural instinct… just taking the hit and try and try again. If it were that easy, then why work so hard? This “not caring” attitude sure is tough to get used to!

Reliable structure
Something reliable to back up the argument. A little oomph and engine behind the kick-start. I guess it’s not just strength though, but a flowing force that ends with a good oomph, which will hopefully be learned with time. It’s like with anything, you need to have the skills to back up what you’re getting yourself into. For example, competing in ice skating (sorry, I’ve been watching NHL players on CBC’s “Battle of the Blades”), a breakaway shootout shot in hockey, running into an emergency Code Blue… if you don’t “got somethin’”, why would you go ahead? I think that having a reliable structure helps a lot with the WT concept of going forward, by contributing to the building of confidence.

What else?
I did leave something out though. This confidence is also a part of the “fighting spirit” that some people just have. Like turning on a switch, these people just have it. Without being involved in any fights or big sparring competitions, I wonder if this quality can be bred. It depends a lot on the individual. Check out these blog posts:
http://stevemcminn.blogspot.com/2009/10/it-is-not-necessarily-martial-art-but.html
http://usefulnessisinemptiness.blogspot.com/2009/09/applying-traditional-kung-fu-concepts.html

Well, that just about wraps this light-bulb thought of mine for the night.

Si-Fu: “Go forward!”
To-dai: “But, with what, and then what?”

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