A good martial artist knows how to dance

A good martial artist knows how to dance

A good martial artist knows how to dance. Sensei Benny shared this thought with me two decades ago and it has provided great insight into what we as martial artists do and how we should do it.

Dancing and Martial arts?? Consider ballroom dancers perhaps the winning couple on Dancing with the Stars. They move together effortlessly, sensing each others energies, anticipating where each other is in time and space, executing their movements with rhythm; and they are in a state of psychological Flow focused joyful immersion in the process at hand.

This is the way we should perform all our martial arts whether Kata (which has been likened to dance) or the intricate movements of self-defense, or the various techniques employed in combat in the ring or on the mat.

When you dance with your partner or your opponent you sense his energy and can both anticipate both where he is going as well as guiding him to where you want him to be. This is the beginning of dancing together.

Performing your techniques with a smooth efficient gracefulness requires rhythm and while rhythm comes from within it does require practice. Some fortunate individuals are more sensitive to their intrinsic rhythm then others but ALL can progress with time, practice, and patience. When you perform with rhythm you are energy efficient and therefore you are most effective.

Lastly, when you are dancing you should be in a state that the psychologists call flow total joyous immersion in the process at hand. This places you in harmony with your opponent /partner yourself and the universe at large. This state whether from endorphin release internally or from synchronicity of energies with your opponent and the universe will elevate your practice to a true art form. After all we practice Martial Arts!

The relationship between dancing and martial arts is an ancient concept commonly noted in Capoeira (Brazil), Silat (Southeast Asia) or the Dragon Dance (China) to name a just a few. but one of which we should all be mindful Finally, remember the winning couples on DWTS smile as they perform they truly enjoy their performance smile as you perform your martial dance, and by doing the above you will have elevated your practice to a true art.

So consider your partner / opponent and feel their energies. Execute your techniques with rhythm and timing effortlessly moving from one to the next. Be in a state of flow a focused oneness with yourself, your partner/opponent, and the universe. Think of your martial techniques as a moving sculptural dance form and ENJOY.
As Sensei Benny said: A good martial artist knows how to dance!

"This is a monthly blog under the aegis of Sensei Benny on various topics in the martial arts - Please send us your thoughts and ideas!



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