Thursday, April 19, 2018

Do You Practice Your Martial Art Everyday?

"Do you practice every day?"

The evening sun had finished setting over the western edge of Tempe Town Lake, the last of the Arizona evening's golden rays of sundown fading into the deep blues and purples of twilight.
My newest student asked this question as we finished up her second martial arts class. It's one I get asked a lot.

"That's complicated" I answered.

"After more than 15 years in the martial arts, it's become more of a way of life, so I'm always doing something, but it doesn't always look like this". I was referring to our class structure, that involves a combination of partner training and solo exercises.

Do I practice everyday? Yes... and no.

As I tried to explain to my newest student; there's a lot of things to train: skill, strength and conditioning, mobility (flexibility), even recovery needs to be approached deliberately and with care.

"Most of the time, when I'm training something on my own, I'm training just one thing, and focusing on that thing very deeply (as opposed to training all of the exercises we had just done). Of course, at this point, even when I train just one exercise, it has all the other exercises within it."

And then there's always the training of the mind.

Once you switch from training your martial arts as a workout, or technique, to a tool to train the mind, literally everything you do becomes training.

I know what you're thinking: sounds like BS, but it's true.

If you read my Sifu's book "The Martial Art of Awareness", you'll see, out of 13 chapters, eight deal with attention and the role of the mind.

"Two people are walking. One is full of thoughts, other is fully present, in the moment. What is the difference between the two?"

Does it sound like BS; yes, but it's true. When you're training the mind, even standing in line at the grocery store can be training, if you're there.

Do you feel yourself? Are you aware of the body, the feeling of like or dislike; are you aware of your thoughts and ideas? Do you see the cause and effect relationship of phenomena? Do you see the "come and go" as everything is changing moment to moment?

You can apply this to all your training.

Take mobility work and self myofascial release with a tool like the foam roll, or a Rolflex: the tool makes contact with a trigger point in your leg, or your back and some feeling arises in association with the sensation.

More self myofascial release with the super awesome @irolflex! Using a "tack and floss" technique to get after those adhesions in the hard working calves. Have you tried the #rolflex? What is your favorite tool? Make sure to go to my profile for a link to sign up for my FREE weekly newsletter and find your inner power! 👉 @luoyegongfu 👉 @luoyegongfu 👉 @luoyegongfu Classes held in Tempe, AZ and workshops worldwide. A complete #workout for #mindandbody. Check website for more info (link in bio) or call 3156280777. #mindfulness #innerstrengthgym #mindfulnesscoach #movementculture #martialartofawareness #zeninmotion #chinesemartialarts #internalmartialarts #taichi #gongfu #kungfu #wushutraining #kungfutraining #kungfufighter #martialartsgeek #martialartsnerds #martialartslife #martialartslifestyle #martialartstraining #movementmeditation #inhaleexhale #strongover40 #suppleleopards

A post shared by Ashe Higgs (@ashehiggs) on

Relax and breathe. Sense into the tissue.

Are you resisting the sensation because it's uncomfortable?

Do you feel the change in the tissue, slowly releasing from tense, to relaxed? Do you notice the change?

That's training all the time.

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