As we begin to learn martial arts, we begin to be more aware of our habits. In Kensho’s adult martial arts program we learn to develop positive habits that help achieve our goals.
Our habits truly define our lives and who we are! Suppose for example; I have a habit of going out into the world every day and treating people badly and doing mean things to people. What type of person would people say I am? Suppose I have a habit of doing nice things for people every day, now what type of person would people say I am?
Habits can be tricky. Even the small ones affect our lives profoundly, literally making us who we are, yet sometimes we are the last to notice them! Because habits are a subconscious process, we often take our own habits for granted as though they are normal for everyone. The fact is, that everyone wakes up in the morning and goes about their day differently. Most of our habits were not conscious choices, so there’s no reason to think that they are helping us.
In martial arts training we learn to pay close attention to our habits. First we begin to notice our habitual ways of moving. As we learn new ways of moving, we notice where our old habits were clumsy and inefficient. Next we might begin noticing our habitual ways of responding to a verbal or physical threat or attack. In our training, we learn and practice new ways of moving, thinking and responding. In our training we practice / learn for mastery which means we learn the correct way and practice over and over until we do it correctly without any thought process. As we practice these new movements, responses and thought patterns enough, they begin to overwrite our old ways. The key is in the practice. It’s that repetition that over-writes the old program with the new one.
When we have been doing martial arts for a while, we organically begin to apply this process of examining and modifying our habits to other areas of our life. For example our work habits or the habits we have in interacting with others at work or in our personal life.
This is one of the beauties of martial arts training. Yes, we become more aware of our surroundings and threats in self defense situations, but more over, we become more aware of who we are, what we are doing and how we are interacting with others in our daily lives .
If you’re interested in learning more about habits, check out Charles Duhigg’s Book The Power of Habit http://charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit/