How is it possible to train for years with diligence and martial intensity, yet still find it difficult to recall the specific actions necessary to employ those techniques you practiced so regularly? I have heard many a student of martial arts complain that they are plagued by self-doubt and they have expressed frustration at not being able to remember, in a timely fashion, how to apply a technique or a strike when the occasion arose to use it. This can happen even during the class while in the controlled school environment. Why is it so hard to remember the information?
Perhaps they are asking the wrong question. If all the training is stored and on file in the subconscious mind, then the proper question might be: How do I gain access to that “file” more readily? I do not use the term “quickly” because when access is gained, the information flow occurs in an instant.
It is emotion that clouds judgment and restricts access to the information stored in the subconscious mind. Emotions include more than fear, doubt, and preoccupation with life’s angst. Any “feeling” that distracts one from being present in the moment, can negatively affect recall. The reason why warriors harden their bodies and develop a stoic presence is to control that emotional part of their nature. Mental toughness is often attained by the challenge of directed physical exertion. One must not allow distractions to infect the mind. All thoughts other than the task before you are eliminated. At some point, there is no thought, only the presence of mindfulness, “Mind of No Mind”. I only think of countering or striking my opponent. He determines what I do by creating an opening and I expect that opportunity to be recognized by my unconscious mind. I expect, not hope!
Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 N. Oracle Rd., in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.
Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at www.AikidoAcademyOfArizona.com.