Over the last two weeks, each of the physical activities I’ve engaged in has referenced relaxation as one of the key elements of developing further skill.

Which is a strange word to hear in relation to a martial art, but it’s true.

The other word that’s come up a lot recently is practice.  And I don’t mean mindless, endless repetitive drills.  I mean your practice, like when you say ‘a legal practice’, or ‘a medical practice’.  The way YOU do something.

Yoga – your practice is the mentality and adaptations of basic maneuvers that work for you and your body.

Aikido – learning how you react to a presented situation, staying within yourself as you react, and keeping a detached relaxation so that you can blend and flow with your partner (or opponent).

Rock climbing – knowing when and how to relax on the wall is one of the keys to maintaining your endurance on longer climbs.  So is knowing which grips work for you and which don’t, how long your reach is, whether you prefer to use your upper or lower body, and all sorts of other individual details that make up your practice.

Taiko – the arm movements are HUGE, you’re literally bringing your entire arm up parallel with your body and head on EVERY stroke.  If you choke up and get stiff armed, you won’t be able to strike the drum correctly.  Maintaining the stance and keeping the arms flowing requires relaxation in the middle of synchronized physical exertion.

Of course, for me at least relaxing is easier said than done.  But I’ll just have to practice.  *grin*

Published in: on June 16, 2011 at 13:17  Leave a Comment  

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