Playfullness in Martial Arts
Research shows that anxiety, fear, and panic create a kind of ‘conflict’ in the body which interferes with our capacity to learn.
I don’t encourage training that reinforce the traumatic memories stored in our thoughts. It may indeed give you a knee-jerk chance at survival, but at the high cost of your life. You can choose to lead a life of teeth-grinding, gut-wrenching street-effectiveness. Or you can choose a different path. You can choose to re-program newer and stronger emotional memories. You can choose to learn masterful performance in the climate of joy.
I see this in the aggression of some classical ‘go-hard’ or ‘go home’ fitness approaches, or in the competition-driven environment of some martial arts disciplines. I have tried most of these ‘ways’ and achieved good results at the time. Then about 18 years ago I said to myself on New Years Eve 1999 that I wanted to change. I was tired, beat up and unmotivated. I wanted to have fun and not be so serious about my training. I lightened up and laughed more, had fun, got to know and help more people in the class. Guess what? I learned more in that year than any other in my life!
Here is another fact to think about … Did you know that smiling and laughing are stored emotions in the brain? By training with joy (smiling & laughing) you are creating associations – creating a new landscape of bliss we not only transform our ability to learn, but we transform how we view the world- literally transform yourself by HOW we train!
All the research I have found has shown that an environment of “Play” fosters accelerated learning. Just image training through playing and letting learning happen. This is what I encourage students to do at FightClub. At first, students find it odd, but quickly realize that training in laughter, with excitement, and a playful joy produces serious results.
See you on the mats,