Simplicity the Key

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Bruce Lee and the philosophy of mastering simplicity

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Bruce Lee

We get better with practice. That’s a given. In the world of martial arts, another given is that the majority will never come close to matching the skill, artistry and uniqueness of the iconic Bruce Lee or contemporary talent such as Anderson Silva but that matters none. What does matter is that if we keep coming back and stay pure to the fundamentals, success will come. And that holds true for all facets of life.

In the stand-up disciplines that I teach viz. boxing and Muay Thai footwork, balance, defence and standard combinations are bread and butter. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is body weight, positioning and patience; the submissions will come. All three modes are best practiced in a relaxed mode that encourages flow, fluidity and dynamic movement.

Leave the super-fancy to the super gifted especially if you’re a fight fitness newbie. The last thing you need is to be thrown in the deep end of acrobatic back-flips, cartwheels and the more outrageous…

Outrageous acts of skill can look super-impressive and can fuel the ego or fulfil some inner appetite for chaos but do we need to be the Willy Wonka of fitness? The ground rule is… the basics work best for most of us.

When in flight or fight mode, our conditioning and muscle memory will kick in and take control and that’s when the practiced and practiced and practiced become highly effective. Repetition means perfection.

When possible, I advocate flight or de-escalate i.e. try to defuse or negotiate. Fights are chaotic, unpredictable and murderously dangerous. And they can go wrong very quickly. It can hurt even when you win and fighting is the last resort but sometimes we are left without choice. It’s vanquish or become victim.

Training with variety and slowly incorporating new moves will help build new neural pathways and keep the sessions fresh and interesting but master the fundamentals first and foremost. There are no short cuts. Brilliance does begin with basics.

Be like water, my friend.

Get healthy. Eat smart. Train smart.

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