Getting Punched in the Face, Puzzle Solving and Critical Thinking

Martial arts are, in a very real sense, a way of solving problems.

These problems can be broadly defined - improving fitness or learning to defend yourself from an attacker, or more specific, such as how to land a particular punch against a particular opponent in a particular bout.

The parallells between this and solving problems in business or personal life are easy to see. Dealing with difficult customers, expanding your skill base, managing stress and finding opportunities where others see difficulties are all part of this. Not sure how? 

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Economic Theory and Your Training, Pt. 2 - Lessons From Behavioural Finance

In my previous article, I discussed some examples of economic models that can be used to optimise one’s martial arts training.

The connection seems obvious in a way; Many of the highest ranking martial arts experts I have trained with are also savvy, successful business people and entrepreneurs. After all, martial arts theory has been used by business people the world over for many centuries. Books such as Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Musashi’s Book of Five Rings are considered timeless classics on warfare, but also as guides to corporate strategy and business management. Indeed many of the famous Samurai were not only warriors, but also statesmen who served in an advisory capacity beyond that of a hired sword or bodyguard. 

If martial arts theory can be applied to business, why can’t the opposite be true?

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Being a Good Training Partner, Pt. 1 - Roadmaps and Tools

Did you ever read one of those ‘make your own ending’ books? I used to love them as a kid. I also love video games where the story unfolds and changes based on the decisions you make. Think of your training journey, and consider the following two ‘endings’:

The instructor just finished demonstrating a particular drill, and asks you to find a partner. Everyone in class is quickly paired up while you are still looking around trying to find someone who is on their own, and quickly notice gazes being averted when you try to make eye contact. You eventually manage to corner someone and now have a partner!

Or

The instructor just finished demonstrating a particular drill, and asks you to find a partner. Before you get a chance to look around, 3 people approach you. They are all smiling and when you pair up with the nearest one, the other two smile and say ‘how about next round?’

Which one do you find happens to you more often?

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Being a Good Training Partner, Pt. 2 - Roles, Mirrors and Comfort

Previous I discussed two points that relate to being a good training partner in the dojo. You can read about it here. Those two points related to what to do and what you need in order to do it. I also wrote quite a bit about some of the many funny, weird and wonderful faces you will meet at the dojo. You can read about them here.

I’d like to recap the example I used in the previous article, as it conveys a pretty strong message message:

The instructor just finished demonstrating a particular drill, and asks you to find a partner. Everyone in class is quickly paired up while you are still looking around trying to find someone who is on their own, and quickly notice gazes being averted when you try to make eye contact. You eventually manage to corner someone and now have a partner!

Or

The instructor just finished demonstrating a particular drill, and asks you to find a partner. Before you get a chance to look around, 3 people approach you. They are all smiling and when you pair up with the nearest one, the other two smile and say ‘how about next round?’

Which one happens to you more often?

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Fight or Fright, Pt. 2

You have finished warming up and have put all of your protective gear on. You’ve spent the last 5 minutes mentally preparing yourself for what’s about to happen. ‘It’s all good’, you tell yourself. ‘I am the star here. Everyone is here to make me look good and I’m going to kick butt’. You feel sharp. You feel ready. You feel excited.

The bell goes, and within seconds your partner hits with you with a hard, clean shot.

Things go downhill fast from there. Your adrenaline takes over. Your combinations don’t seem to have an effect, you can’t seem to land any clean shots and you start getting frustrated.

The next round, though with a different partner, feels much the same.

Has this ever happened to you? If the answer is 'yes', then read on.

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