The most important thing you can do in good martial arts is become intuitive. Doesn’t matter what art–kenpo,karate,aikido, whatever–you simply must reach the point where you don’t think.
The point is this, all action starts from a thought. So you must get rid of all the distractions in the mind, all the things that you think are thoughts, and find the one thought that is real and actually causes action.
Oddly, the best way to do this is through the forms and applications.
A form is a series of techniques, or a series of thoughts. So you move through the form, isolating thoughts, becoming uncluttered in your mind as you hold to one thought and one thought and one thought…and so on.
Then you do the techniques of the form with a partner, getting faster and faster, and eliminating all extraneous motion of the body, and all extraneous motion inside the mind.
Interestingly, as you do this process, you start to appreciate the term ’empty mind,’ and in the case of karate, which is representative of all real martial arts, you come to understand that there is a method in the ’empty hands’ that leads to an empty mind.
Empty of everything but the one thing you are doing. Increased focus. Increased concentration. A heightened ability to get where you are going.
I can’t tell you how often I come across some fellow who is quick and competent and quiet in his work, far outshining others around him, and finding out that he does some form of martial arts.
And, this fellow usually helps those around him, always has the prettiest wife, who is also very happy, makes friends, learns things quickly, and so on and so on.
Now, you may not want to beat people up, and you shouldn’t, I don’t, and this is actually the gained quality of a good martial artist.
A good martial artist is one who doesn’t fight. He has just used good martial arts to calm his mind and heighten his natural abilities.