Why do I have to do this again? by William Mioch

New students of the martial arts will inevitably wonder - why am I doing this again? I have already done this technique/pattern correctly, can't I just learn the next one? New material seems so much more interesting. 

Although people may not be familiar with the term "muscle memory", everyone uses it in their day to day life. Riding a bicycle is very awkward at first, but after practice it becomes second nature. The same applies to brushing your hair, cleaning your teeth, even walking itself! (My 1 year old daughter is proof of that.)

Let's find an official definition of muscle memory - from Wikipedia
"When an active person repeatedly trains movement, often of the same activity, in an effort to stimulate the mind’s adaptation process, the outcome is to induce physiological changes which attain increased levels of accuracy through repetition."

Let's break down some of the parts of this definition:
1) "an active person repeatedly trains movement" - when you practice a movement with the intent to practice (active)
2) "the outcome is to induce physiological changes" - the result is a physical change in the brain/nervous system/muscle
3) "which attain increased levels of accuracy through repetition" - practice makes perfect!

This is the reason why forms have repetition, why we practice a technique many times and we must train regularly and with intent! Most techniques can be taught to a raw beginner in 5 minutes and the beginner can achieve a pretty good technique in half an hour of training. But come back 1 week later, and the technique is (almost) back to square 1!

By practicing our techniques with intent, regularly and repetitively we will reach a stage where it is automatic. The shapes and movements of your forms will become an integral part of you and the way you move.

And that's why we have to do it again!

William Mioch
Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]


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