The Training Process

What is it that you are trying to achieve with your training?  Is it simply to accomplish a goal or to manifest an improvement?  Those are certainly valid reason to train.  Repeated practice (drilling) of movements develops neuromuscular control, improves coordination, helps develop proper movement patterns, and can improve muscle conditioning.  The movement repetition improves the body and establishes a physical foundation on which to build.  However, mere repetition doesn’t in itself bring improvement.  If that were the case, all we’d have to do is just put in X amount of time and do Y number of repetitions to achieve Z amount of skill improvement.  In reality, training doesn’t work by such a simple model.

Once the baseline physical function has been established, further repetitive training does little to improve overall skill.  Skill is more than just the ability to move in a certain way.  If the movement pattern itself were the goal, continual repetitive practice to make movement patterns reflexive would be sufficient for mastery of an art.  The ability to move is only one part of developing skill.  The ability to move in response to the conditions of the moment is where real skill begins to manifest.  Movement without awareness of the conditions is empty movement; attention to the conditions allows flow and change with the moment.

To elevate skill, the training must extend beyond just the movement itself.  The training must also focus on the mental attentions to expand the awareness.  Training is a continually evolving process which requires mental attention to stay in the moment and maintain flow during the process.  Attention to yourself, the sensation of the ground at the feet, the unification of the body, the sensation of force at the point of contact, your state of mind, etc. are all parts of the training.  Bringing the mental focus onto observing the information received by our senses trains us expand our attentions and heighten our awareness of the moment.  The movement training is just a small part of the training process.  Skill lies in the ability to recognize and react to the conditions of the moment.  Training to expand our attentions during the training process is where the true skill development occurs.