Written By Myron A, – TSMMA Rego Park Student
“If I don’t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.”
– Jascha Heifetz
One of the best feelings in martial arts training is the mastery of a technique. The ability to perform a strike, a hold, a transition, or a series of movements with precision, speed, grace, and strength after time and time again practicing it, never ever gets old.
In my opinion, it is the art of martial arts. The best in their field practice hours upon hours to get the basics right – Jerry Seinfeld is known for nurturing a single joke for years; Christian Bale employs extreme versions of Method acting to live his parts, Michael Jordan practiced his fade-away jumper for months before employing it on the court, and Uriah Hall has practiced his trademark spinning back-hook kick for years, just to name a few.
Each of these instances has led to critical acclaim, and as we saw this past Tuesday, devastating results.
The exact opposite of this is having lost that ability due to a lack of consistent application. It reminds me of being able to see a wonderful sight, like the cityscape of Istanbul, and having your sight taken away from you.
That may be an extreme example, but that is simply to say that being inconsistent leads to a horrible feeling – one that I’ve experienced on many an occasion.
If I train consistently enough, I find that not only do the basics come to me, but moments of inspiration will occur due to taming those basics.
During my short time training, I’ve been fortunate enough to train with people at many different skill levels. If I train consistently enough, I find that not only do the basics come to me, but moments of inspiration will occur due to taming those basics. In those moments of inspiration, new moves occur, and a freedom of thought takes place. However, when time lapses, and weeks go by without training, even the most basic consistent actions seem difficult. It is an ebb and flow that I have experienced on many a time.
It can be something as simple as a 3 punch combination, or speed in kicks. It can involve transitions and pressure in grappling, or a chain reaction leading to a submission. It can be improved defense, sharp reflexes, or just that moment where all else is tuned out, and nothing is there but the moves and the situation.
The best barometer for me in determining my consistency has been training 2 hours or more. If I can do 2-3 hours straight of training and be in good form, then I know my consistency is there. If not, then…..not.
Life happens. It has happened to me on many an occasion, be it through school, work, travel, business, injuries, or emergencies. That has taken me away from my ability to train as often as I like, and each time, it is a Sisyphean task getting back on. However, once I’m back on, there’s nothing like it, and the art and expression is amazing.”
Myron A. is a student at Tiger Schulmann’s Rego Park in Queens, NY and has been training under Sensei Stine, Sensei DuBose and Joshu Sinaniev for the past couple of years.