Saturday, 18 April 2009

Why all the quotations?

Anyone who has been to my classes knows that they are sensible, pragmatic and practical. There is very little in the way of psycho babble, and we all get on with it. However, I occasionally use quotes where appropriate. On twitter (follow me - my id is @taijirich), I have been using more and more quotes. So I guess you all deserve an explanation.

We all have a fight or flight mechanism that is constantly looking for danger. However, as we all know, the more dangers we focus on, the more trouble we will find ourselves in. One of the main aims of all martial arts is to dispel fear. You learn how to defend yourself and you condition your body for combat. These attributes give you a certain calm and ease in situations where untrained people would panic.

Some of the external martial arts have rites of passage. People who practice Karate and Taekwondo break wooden boards; Shaolin monks break sticks over their backs and lie on beds of nails. This is all great, but to quote Bruce Lee, "Boards don't hit back." And he is right. Breaking an inanimate object is not about winning fights. These are all achievable feats of strength and skill that are designed to give you a certain level of courage and confidence.

So without breaking boards, how can you empower yourself?

That's where the quotes come in. By telling stories and quoting famous people, your teacher can undermine any limiting beliefs, motivate the class and build up self esteem.

Just another reason why you should find a martial arts class and get stuck in. You don't need to be built like Arnie Schwartzenegger. As Henry Van Dyke said :

".. the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."

See what I did there? ;-)


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