Precision

 

Last month we looked at Coordination, one of the essential attributes of any good martial artist, according to Bruce Lee in his book, Tao of Jeet Kune Do.  Coordination involves the effective recruitment of muscles towards a physical task, and determines the limitations of our speed, endurance, power, agility and accuracy.

 

The next attribute he discusses is Precision.  When we say precision, we mean accuracy: “the sense of exactness in the projection of a force.”  As with the wiring of the nervous system involved in coordination, precision of execution comes with lots of practice and training.  Lee explains that practice is ongoing, for the novice and the experienced fighter.  He recommends that accuracy be trained with speed before adding power and speed.

 

I would not disagree with any of this based on the way skills are traditionally trained.  Nevertheless, from what I have been studying about how adults learn and acquire new skills, and how the brain processes information, I would have to say that it is possible to wire our brains faster, given the right inputs/stimulus.  Research suggests that with a positive training environment (positive in the sense that training language is positive, feedback is positive, and mistakes are allowed), focus on the correct way to perform tasks (shift focus from what NOT to do), and using full emotional content when performing tasks (facial expressions, body language, feelings), the skills can be acquired rapidly.  This does not mean, of course, that training should not be ongoing after the precision benchmark is achieved.  Far from it!  We still need to wire different contextual elements into our memories so that we may act appropriately in varying situations, whatever they may be; this does take time and experience.  Nevertheless, when we train with emotion, the memory imprint is stronger, and our competency level with the skill goes up much faster.  The stronger the emotion, the more indelible the mark left on mind.  It is all part of the marvelous way humans have evolved over eons to respond to the unpredictability of their environment and survive.

 

 

References

 

Lee, Bruce.  Tao of Jeet Kune Do.  (1975).  Valencia: Black Belt Communications LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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