Martial Arts Progression: Technical Skills vs. Proper Conduct

By: Jefferson P. Webb

Here is the scenario. You see a fellow martial artist within your school displaying what appears, and may very well be a natural skill and ability to quickly pick up on and employ the style that they are being taught. They do very well on the drills/katas. Perhaps this person managed to reach his or her third belt rank (or third chevron in the New Ulster Fighting System) and has started competing. This
person seems ready to take their next test, but the instructor does not appear to be giving the time of day for it. It may cause you to ask the question, “Why are they not getting to test as of yet?” For sure if you have thought about it, the person not being allowed to test has surely asked themselves the question, “Why can’t I test yet?”

 There could be any number of reasons why the instructor is holding off on testing
the student. The first thing that a student must do is a self-evaluation to determine whether or not there is something that he or she is missing. More than likely the student will always look at the actual drills/katas or technique and style that they are using in attempting to determine why they have not been allowed to test. While
this is a legitimate area in which one should conduct a self-evaluation,  there are several other areas that are very basic in which the student may have some deficits that could cause them to slow or even halt in progression through the ranks of his or her art of choice. One thing to also consider  is that most often than not,
the instructor will call to your attention the areas of your techniques and execution of the various moves that you need to improve on. So, what could be the issue if not techniques and execution on moves? Here are some things to consider and give some thought towards in answering this question. Continue reading “Martial Arts Progression: Technical Skills vs. Proper Conduct”

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