In Chinese there’s a saying, “我吃盐多过你吃饭。 ” Translate:“I have eaten salt more than you have eaten rice.” It is a saying often used by elders on younger ones to trust in their wisdom and experiences.
I often enjoy listening to my coaches and masters when they are sharing their experiences and stories. You will often be surprised with what they have to say. Today, I got a little bit more of an insight of how martial arts training is like from Coach Darren.
I was early for Muay Thai class today and I managed to listen to Darren’s sharing to the previous class.
He talked about a story whereby there was a students who asked his master, if he practiced this 1 technique for 1 hour everyday, how long will he take to master the technique?
The master replied, “10 years.”
The student then asked, if he practiced the same technique for 2 hours everyday, how long will he take to master the technique?
The master replied, “20 years.”
The student then asked, if he practiced the same technique for 3 hours everyday, how long will he take to master the technique?
The master replied, “30 years.”
Why is it that when one takes more time to practice, it take him even longer to master a technique? Darren asked for the floor to respond. Nobody knows the answer. He reveals.
As one spends more time to practice a technique, he realizes his openings and work on that. After which when he practices more, he becomes more aware of the angles he is hitting from and the twisting and the angle of the leg and all the tiny little details he has to work on. As such, it takes him longer to master the technique because he realizes there are a lot more things that he needs to work on for that technique.
I think this is quite true. The roundhouse kick is a kick that I have been practicing since 10 years ago when I just started off doing Taekwondo. I can say that even though I do a roundhouse kick quite proficiently, I have yet to fully master it. I am still looking for ways to make my kicks faster and stronger. Likewise for even simple techniques like jabs and crosses.
Won’t it be an endless goal? Perhaps this is the lure and attraction of the martial arts world. You will always try to perfect your techniques and try to reach the pinnacle. But after you have mastered one aspect of the technique, you will always find other aspects to work on…an endless quest towards perfection.