“Training is one of the most neglected phases of athletics. Too much time is given to the development of skill and too little to the development of the individual for participation. Training deals not with an object, but with the human spirit and human emotions. It takes intellect and judgement to handle such delicate qualities as these.”
In my early twenties, I competed a lot, mainly in Sanshou and Taekwondo. A traumatic brain injury put an end to that, but I can honestly say it was one of the most worthwhile times in my life. Long hours of training each day paid off. Sometimes I lost, sometimes I won, but looking back almost two decades later, it is not the victories or defeats I remember most fondly, nor are they the things that have most impacted my life. It’s the training.
Training for competition gave me an opportunity to work on what worked for me as an individual. It gave me the chance to begin to tailor the things I already knew into strategies and tactics for dealing with various other types of fighters. In my previous martial arts classes, I had been learning the same things as everyone else in class. This gave me a great foundation, just like learning phonics and grammer taught me how to read and write.
When you come to a class at Maryland Jeet Kune Do, you join a group of diverse individuals. Everyone has their own strengths, weaknesses, backgrounds, and experiences they bring to each class. Some skills that you encounter in class will come naturally to you, and some won’t. Some of your classmates will learn skills faster than you, others won’t.
In class, you are exposed to the breadth experience and knowledge that Jeet Kune Do has to offer. We work through a progressive curriculum that covers weapon fighting, striking, and grappling. You’ll learn to defend yourself against one opponent, two opponents, and more. Each class offers you a chance to experience something new, learn something new, and gain new knowledge about yourself.
In class, you will learn new things, but if you wish to follow the path of Jeet Kune Do, your training will happen outside of class. Class is where you learn new skills, training is where you practice new skills. One of my favorite things about preparing for competition, or during the Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association’s 200 Hour Immersion with Sifu Singh, was the fact that I would spend four to six hours each day training in the martial arts with a set goal in mind. Often though, we only get to spend two to three hours a week in Jeet Kune Do class however.
So, how can we train? Be active in class. Find out what the main theme of your last session was, what your instructor really wants you to get. See how that concept or strategy works with your strengths, and how it works with your weaknesses. Then, set aside fifteen minutes in the morning and the evening to work on that idea until you’re in class next. By the end of the week, you’ve added three and a half hours of practice time to your schedule without having to set foot in class. Believe me, you will notice the difference, and so will your classmates and instructors.
News & thoughts from Maryland Jeet Kune Do!