Monday, December 21, 2009

MMA - focus and why you shouldn't multitask

My Dad was a professional boxer in his younger years growing up in Kalgoorlie (Kal as it's affectionatly know is a mining town and very rough) so from this I think I have been imbued with a fascination for fighting and how the body moves in different situations and how to train effectively.
This fascination has until recently only been academic. I studied different movements and philosophy in books an example would the Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee. So I had convinced myself that I had the patterns and movements down packed.
Upon starting training with some very good martial artist one a Australian professional in Muay Thai he is also very very good at non- gi Brazilian Ju Jit Su. A blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do and another guy who doesn't have formal training but has trained with these guys for years, so is also very good.

I found that I had no idea.

Well I had some idea, I knew what should be done. But upon practice the one thing that I noticed was my body was very unused to the set movements. An example would be a long combo (cross, kick, knee, cross, kick, cross). I had to do this very slowly to map it in my mind and body. Which led me to thinking how does one train effectively and what is the mind set needed when training.

Mind Set

We've all seen a couple of different martial arts movies or come across quotes by Buddha or some other deity telling us to have no-mind or be at one with oneself.

This sounds great but what the hell do they mean?

Well the opposite of no-mind I would relate to multitasking. When you're multitasking your thinking of many different things at once (as related in The Last Samurai, "you have to many mind" in the scene when Tom Cruise was training)

What Tom was doing and what a lot of us are do is thinking of to many things at once "to many mind". For you to really focus in on set instructions you will have to clear your mind (stop multitasking) and focus your attention in on the task at hand, this will create more neural pathways in the brain quickly and effectively.

In unison with focusing your attention on one aspect and these work cross contextually you should start batching.

When training start focusing on one set of movements (jab, kick) (jab, hook, hook, uppercut, cross) or just one movement (cross or just single shin kick) for longer durations instead of doing 5 jab, kicks then 5 cross, hooks. Do 30-40 broken down to sets so do 7 sets of 5 jab, kick, with breaks, I would take longer breaks as you don't want to be tired you want all your attention on the movement. By focusing on one movement over and over again your creating more neural connections for the nervous system to follow.

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