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Home  /  Blog - Martial Arts News and Articles  /  Personal Blog  /  BEYOND TECHNIQUE By Graham Slater

As serious martial artists working with the ‘beyond technique’ phrase, we know it’s not just limited to martial arts training; it’s in everything we do. When I was first introduced to this term, I was relating it to things like – ‘how to remove fear when faced with an opponent, or how do I keep a clear head so I can remember my katas under pressure’. As I worked with this idea it made me think about other things for example, listening to my body, my breathing (how to control it) and the muscles (how to relax them especially when stretching).

With further investigation in this area, I was able to totally relax my body to the point that I could totally feel and control the stress and tension that was restricting my movements. By having greater control over my body, I have been able to do much more with it, especially transferring the physical elasticity to my thought processes. In my case I now use this pliable mindset to juggle multiple tasks and try new things which enables me see more synergies in business, training and family matters and as a result, I so I make better decisions. An example of this would be to say, I could be arranging insurance for a client before 10am, developing a website before lunch, discussing billing and software after lunch and overseeing some video editing in the late afternoon.

If you remember, as a child at school we might have English, History, Chemistry, Music and Sport in one day and did we think that was difficult focusing on each class? I don’t think so. Some martial artists train / teach in multiple styles simply because they want to. We only have to put our mind to something and have the desire and we can then just do it! The biggest issue we have is clutter both physically and mentally, so start by clearing the crap and see what you are left with! The term flexible body, flexible mind I feel is really true, because it certainly works for me. In fact, I work with them simultaneously as I often sit in a stretch for 10-15 minutes per position, working on my breathing, whilst relaxing my body. This allows me to also think about the daily opportunities presented to me and how to take advantage of them. I know a lot of you might be thinking that you can’t allocate that much time to stretching, but it’s not just stretching, its appreciating, validating, composing, manifesting and much more. Now that’s worth spending the time on because that’s what allows you to see and grasp what you really want.

I’m saying if you are meditating and gathering your thoughts, the dual process will help you gain a deeper insight into what you need / want and your body thanks you for it as well. To do this you need to allocate yourself time, so you can then reach the right state of mind and start operating at a higher cognitive level to acquire the things you want. Some people access this state of mind through extremely hard physical training whilst others just need a bit of quiet space to gather their thoughts. At the end of the day it’s like climbing a mountain; there are many ways to do it and multiple adventures along each pathway.

It’s just a matter of choice, how you do it. I feel you should do them all, because I know each way has delivered something unique for me, on every occasion. For many, there are times when we train ‘beyond technique’, that there are some places in our thoughts that seem allusive or simply not accessible. This is when a little guidance would be nice or perhaps an opportunity to experiment, with a highly skilled and credible person, who can actually guide you. The MAA network may have someone to help you!
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