Doing Martial Arts Over the Edge

Doing Martial Arts the Right Way

I want to talk about making things effortless.

I talk about effortless,

about how it is so important,

but how does one actually make

physical activity effortless?

Let me explain the how and the when.

I used to be the beginner,

the newbie,

and I was always in awe

of these guys who made everything look easy.

I was working like a dog,

but it never looked easy.

I remember one fellow,

a skinny, tall fellow,

looked like a hippie,

and he had the strongest kicks

I had ever felt.

He used to say

that he did a couple hundred kicks per kick

every day

without fail

and that was just the start of his workout.

Too much for me.

I eventually left the school where Ted trained,

started with the Kang Duk Won.

These guys were even more fanatic in their training.


I would do ten kicks per kick

in the beginning of class,

do the forms,

and I was tired.

And this went on for years.

I was,

I’ll be honest,

pretty wimpy.


I kept going,

doing my wimpy work outs.

i think the big break through came

from doing the horse stance.

I would do the horse stance

deep meditation,

for a minute,

then shake and ache

and quit.

One day,

I was near black belt,

I decided that I had to do something about it.

I knew the horse stance wasn’t going to kill me,

I just had to do it

and get through the pain.

My first step was to do the horse stance

through the commercials

while i was watching TV.


that was brutal,

two minutes.


And I did that for a few weeks,

and realized I was going to have to step it up.

I would have to do the horse stance through the programs.

So I did,

and quit around two minutes,

and then I got pissed off at myself.

I turned the dang tube off,

hit the horse stance

and decided that I was going to stay there no matter what.


it wasn’t going to kill me.

I could do it.

I just had to do it.

A minute passed,

and the legs ached.

Two minutes,

and the shaking started in.

Three minutes,

and the pain was unbearable.

I had to quit!

I had to!

But I didn’t,

and suddenly something weird happened.

The pain totally went away.

My mind suddenly went calm.

I was possessed of a clarity of thought

I had never before experienced.

I was there.

I stayed there for a few more minutes,

realized that I had done it,

that there wasn’t any more to prove,

so I decided to stand up.

But what I didn’t know

was that I was a little out of my body

and I couldn’t figure out how to make my body work.

I lurched,

tried to make the legs do something,

and they wouldn’t.

I was frozen.

So i tried to lean.

I leaned forward

and suddenly my body fell over.


I hit my nose.

But I could move again.

Now i had a little pain,

but not much.

I wasn’t scared of pain anymore.


at that time

I worked in a big plastics factory.

Made heat shrinkable tubing.

I would work like the dickens,

get my machine running,


while I was supposed to be watching it,

I would stand behind some big cable spools

and work out.


having fallen on my face out of an eternal horse stance

I upped my work out.

No longer ten or twenty kicks per leg per kick,

I started doing a couple of hundred kicks per kick for each leg.

This was what Ted had done.

This was what I read about in the mags and books.

This was the level of fanaticism I knew I needed

to really make it in the martial arts.


the kicks became effortless,

I didn’t think about them,

I just did them.

This was when I finally realized

that i needed the strength of my legs in my arms,

and the agility of my hands in my legs.


the point here is this…

you need to make up your mind,

and do it.

Maybe not in the horse stance,

or for kicks,

but in some area that you know

would make you a better martial artist.

You need to go beyond yourself,

put aside the designer water

and everybody’s ideas

about scientific limits.

You see,

the body doesn’t define the spirit,

the spirit defines the body,

and unless you aren’t willing to invest the spirit,

go beyond the body,

then you aren’t going to make it.

That is the secret of how to be effortless

and a whole lot more in the martial arts.

Okey dokey,
the above all said,
my recommendation
is to put yourself into punching.
Because punching is crucial to the martial arts.

Here’s the URL

Learn the truth about punching,
set yourself up a schedule,
and go for it.
Maybe breaking five bricks every day every day.
Iron and Silk, (book and movie)
punch a metal plate a thousand times a day.

Whatever you do,
don’t settle for being less than a fanatic.

Now have a great work out.


zen martial arts

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