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How exactly to go about mastering a martial art

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  • How exactly to go about mastering a martial art

    I've already tried BJJ and Muay Thai in the past and in a few weeks I'm going to be starting Judo classes. I'm hoping to stick with this for the long haul and I was wondering, in this day and age what exactly do you have to do to master a martial art?

    Is it as simple as finding a good school and showing up for classes for a really long time? If you can't drop everything and go to Brazil to learn jiu-jisu or Russia to learn Sambo, how do you know your school is good enough? How much time every day should you practice by yourself? Does it make a difference to watch youtube videos or read magazines? Is it important to have friends interested in the same art? How do you even know when you've "mastered" it (if your art doesn't involve belt rankings)? What role, if any, should strength training with weights play?

    What exactly does it take?

  • #2
    Define "mastering" first and hopefully we can contribute something.

    I would think constant, consistent and correct practise would be a good start.


    • #3
      Build skills...

      Any skill can be mastered with practice... LOTS of practice. A good teacher will take you far and a natural aptitude will help too. Patience. Developing a skill can be hard work.

      You wouldn't try to build your dream house in a day or even a week or month.

      What you need is a plan... a blue print. How long do you want to practice with concrete before you lay your foundation?

      How many houses will you build before you can teach others?

      silly illustration but there is a point to it...


      • #4
        You can never master an art, you can only master yourself and precious few ever accomplish that.

        How's that for BS?


        • #5
          That's pretty good BS.................


          • #6
            become a "student-master" of life where your continuously learning on your journey through life........



            • #7
              Work all your life, as hard as you can.. then and only then, you would have come 3 quarters of the way to mastering MA.

              You are really not a master until the are you have created is scalable and tought to others..


              • #8
                To 'master' an art you have to give up your identity and become the art.
                What does that mean?
                After many years of dedication to a style you begin to think in terms of how a practitioner of that that style thinks.
                You are a master of the style/art when you express yourself as that art.
                But there is another level.
                Eventually you learn that any art has its own limitations. At some point, it may differ for each person, you will find that expressing yourself becomes more important to you than limiting yourself to expressing only and art.
                Bruce lee taught his art of jeet kune do for a few years before he discovered that to truly express himself he must not feel bondage to any art, even if the art is jeet kune do.
                Some have concluded the last three years of jeet kune do (1970-73) were years in which Bruce Lee sought to free himself from the art he had created.
                All this creating an art then evolving out of and discarding an art is confusing.
                My advice would be, similar to others. Practice and progress at any art you like. judo is a good choice. You don't have to worry about when you will master judo. You will know, and so will others. Give it 10 years at least.


                • #9
                  You can be a "master" of movement. But to be a "master" in a system is to let the art master you!


                  • #10
                    The most common question that I get by new comers is, “How long will it take me to get a black belt?” This question takes your focus out of the present moment and will hold you back in the long run. This reminds me of when Bernard Wright (a jazz pianist) walked up to Miles Davis when he was 16 years old and said, “When am I going to ready to play in your band?” Miles begrudgingly looked at him with distain and replied, “If you have to ask me that question boy, then you are not ready.” Another great quote to do with mastery was from the virtuoso cellist Pablo Casals who said, “No man lives long enough to master anything.”

                    The best advice is to get with a good teacher that will enable you to grow. You don’t have to go to Brazil, in fact, all the Brazilian guys will tell you to go to LA. Just hook up with something that connects with you and addresses the goals that you want to accomplish. If you haven’t outlined these, then that’s the place you should start before you go any further.



                    • #11
                      Here are some random thoughts that come to mind on the mention of belts.

                      "The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience."

                      "Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. "

                      "Do not be trapped by the need to achieve anything. This way, you achieve everything."

                      "Most discipline is hidden discipline, designed not to liberate but to limit. Do not ask Why? Be cautious with How? Why? leads inexorably to paradox. How? traps you in a universe of cause and effect. Both deny the infinite."

                      "Education is no substitute for intelligence. That elusive quality is defined only in part by puzzle-solving ability. It is in the creation of new puzzles reflecting what your senses report that you round out the definitions. "

                      "All comprehension is temporary."

                      "Ultimately all things are known because you want to believe you know."


                      • #12
                        The only way you can master a martial arts is to developed your conditioning,flexibility and the basic moves, then further enhancing the techniques by incorporating speed and power.


                        • #13
                          Be water, my friend.


                          • #14
                            learn principle not moves, learn moves to illustrate the principle but apply the principle to other instances. by learning the principle you will find yourself applying techniques which you haven't really been taught to you but are used by others.

                            The way is in practice. Never be tired of the basics. The key is in the basics.