We talked yesterday about emotional intelligence and that this is why most people take up martial arts or get involved in any life changing experience. Today I'd like to discuss physical intelligence and how this links into the heart mind body spirit model of holistic development.
If our life is a traffic light and emotion is amber then the body is green for go. the body is action, it is the vehicle we travel in and also a key vehicle we use to access our spiritual intelligence. When we exert ourselves we do what our body was designed to do, move and just like a car it is designed to move and though it can be stationary it doesn't improve its performance. Also like a car it needs renewal, fuel and maintenance and if we want long life with all our mental faculties we also want the long life of our physical faculties to match.
The great thing about using our bodies is the connection it gives us with our other intelligences, for instance when we train in martial arts we exert ourselves, stress our bodies (eustress) and maintain our physical health but we also quieten the intellect and the emotions and connect directly with our spiritual intelligence. I won't dwell today on our spiritual side suffice to say our spirituality is often very misunderstood. Our spiritual self is our true self, our being, but more of that later in the week. The good thing is that once we have finished our martial arts class we are sweaty and tired after our exertions, we are calm and centred and this is one of our key routes to our spiritual side.
Physical intelligence is easy to see in martial arts and for the casual observer it is possibly the only thing to see much like an iceberg; what we see is the quarter that pokes out of the water whilst the largest part is hidden beneath the waves but is the main mass. new students often beat themselves up for not being physically good but this is not helpful and we have a saying to put it into perspective: 'every master was once a disaster', that is we all started out as a beginner at some time and over a period time we develop our skills to a more proficient level. However, one thing to remember is that you will probably never be as good as you hope to be and if you thought you were good you'd probably not be as correct as you think.
How physically good you are at martial arts? guess how much I care? Answer - not a bit. Your physical development, your fighting skill runs a distant second place to your fighting spirit. Your spirit; your ability to push yourself consistently is what I am interested in and so should you be. You see I can't make you physically good unless you have the drive to be good. Even then it matters little as how good is good? and for how long? and your good is different to everyone else's good. No two people are at the same level, everyone is different.
What's the most important physical skill you can have in life? Keep turning up. Woody Allen once said '98% of all success is just keep turning up' and I agree with him. I can't turn you into a black belt unless you keep coming to class. And if you keep coming to class we can do amazing things together whether you are physically gifted or not. The difference between a good black belt and a great black belt is 'the hours you put in'.
Thank you for reading today, tomorrow we'll be looking at mental intelligence and how this works through life and martial arts. Have a great day
Master Tony Higo
National Martial Arts College
0800 092 0948
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