Friday, October 16, 2009

Get excited about your art!

Photo courtesy of Candor
It's interesting (to me at least) how my level of engagement with the martial arts I do varies over time. I do aikido and judo and my excitement about practicing each art waxes and wanes. I almost never have times when I am not interested in either art, but I'm almost always more engaged in one art than the other. My interest in these arts seems to cycle in periods of weeks-to-months.
Right now I'm super-excited about the things I'm learning and teaching in my judo classes. My aikido practice in not really suffering, but it is sort of on autopilot right now, while I dive in and swim around in the awesomeness of judo!
It is also neat how the two arts feed off of each other. Whatever is exciting me about judo right now will eventually trigger something about my aikido and my interest in aikido will wax as my judo excitement wanes. Sometime after that, I know my aikido work will spawn a new line of thought and practice in judo.
A couple of take-away ideas...
  • Study more than one art - It's nice to have 2-3 arts that you practice, so you always have something to excite you about at least one of them and so that they inform each other, each art enflaming your interest for the other.

  • Study each art systematically - You need a systematic, almost ritualistic way to practice the arts when you are not very motivated or interested. The system helps maintain your gains during dry periods and serves as a baseline from which to venture in times of interest and excitement.
Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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