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#134859 - 04/22/05 03:47 PM Gaining Skill

I have been training in MA for a little over a year now. Last week, for the first time, I felt that I have improved in skill. My school is relatively small, no more than twenty students. Being a bigger guy (6'3" 235 lbs) I always got paired up with the black belts, and on rare occasions, brown belts. As I progressed, the people I spar would hit a little harder and a little faster each time, but I never saw where I was improving. When my skill would increase, they would increase the intensity a little more, keeping it just one step above my level, so that it wouldn't appear to me that I was actually gaining in skill.

Last week, I got to spar with a student the same rank as myself. I was amazed that I had done so well in sparring him. I was able to see that he wasn't gaurding his stomach, but was more pleased when I actually got to hit it! In sparring the black belts, most of the time when I did get a good hit is because they let me. I have also just recently realized that my flexability and strength has increased dramatically since I have started. I know I still have a long way to go before even becoming "good", but I was happy to see that I have progressed.

My question, mostly to more experianced martial artists but for everyone, is this, Do you still feel this way from time to time? Do you feel good when you finally grasp a technique that previously has left you frustrated? How do you feel when your students realize they are getting better, despite that you have known all along?

#134860 - 04/22/05 04:42 PM Re: Gaining Skill

Yeah, I've had the same thing with weight lifting. When I first started 115 pounds felt hard and I kept lifting 115 and no matter how many times I lifted it felt the same. Then I increased and was lifting 130. It felt hard, just like the 115 but after a while I went back to the 115 to see how it felt, and was amazed at how light it was.

I learned first hand that inorder to make something feel easier is to go past it, it will neve feel like your getting better at something if you stay at that level.

Its good to every once-in-a while to go back and see the progress you made, it makes you feel better and makes you confident you can keep going.

BTW I'm happy for you that you know you are getting better, keep up the good work.

#134861 - 04/23/05 02:57 AM Re: Gaining Skill

And they say martial artist aren't dangerous to untrained streetfighters! pfft. [IMG][/IMG]
I had the same feeling long ago when after getting my blackbelt and sparring beginners.WOW! What a difference a year of training can make.
Keep up the good work coxne.

#134862 - 04/23/05 08:35 AM Re: Gaining Skill
kenposan Offline

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 633
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I would think that most of us have experienced what you speak of. I usually felt I was improving about a month before I actually got promoted.

My first big "aha" was as a green belt (about a year or so into training). Doing blocks one night I finally felt I was doing the "right".

As a black belt, I now feel those moments when I teach. Sometimes I'll be talking about a concept or a technique and even though I have understood the mechanics of it, it will suddenly gel and I gain a deeper understanding. That is why I love teaching, I actually learn more than the student. There is nothing like teaching to make you understand- kinda like being hit with a meditation stick. LOL



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