Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Law of Judgement part 1

The law of judgement states that we should ‘make the best decision possible with the resources available to gain the optimum result’

In combat judgement needs to be accurate and precise under pressure to achieve the winning outcome. Should I attack? When? Where? How? To achieve what outcome? The effectiveness of every strategy and technique relies on the quality of ones judgement; timing, target, technique all rely on the judgement that fuels the decision to use them and their order, speed, distance, leverage all the principles of life and martial arts hinge on the decision process. The judgment of when and what to use is either consciously chosen or decided by our habits and conditioning which in themselves are consciously chosen though we may not always realise that our habits both good and bad are chosen in response to the various challenges we face in life.

Judgement is a choice of action, a decision made, deemed as the most appropriate at the time to achieve the best result with the time and resources available. The law of action states that ‘nothing happens until something moves’ and no action is taken that does not involve a judgement prior to deciding on the action. Judgement is the quality or rightness of the decision we make and in itself it will also be judged. We all have made judgements that after the event were judged differently with hindsight.

Experience and our interpretation of it colours much of our judgement. How we interpret our experience will depend much on our attitude; whether we are positive and optimistic about our experience or negative and pessimistic, whether we enjoyed the experience or not. This is purely our personal perception and it’s easy to see how our views gained through experience will colour what we do.

Training in the martial arts deliberately influences our judgements by building habits to effectively deal with combat issues, although the master instructor shows the martial art teachings as they apply in life and in combat. The deliberate choice of the martial artist is to consciously change his behaviour through 1000’s of hours of repetition; to train his responses, his judgements to include a new set of actions or choices in order to solve problems more efficiently. In life our conditioning can be intentional or otherwise, we acquire habits by choice but we are not always aware that the choice we make will result in the habit we gain. Judgement is therefore based on our experience and our ability to visualise the outcome that experience will produce when we judge it appropriate to use it. In combat what decisions and judgements do we make? If we should fight, when to fight, what to use, what risk or reward is involved, tactics and techniques to use and when used to decide what comes next. Every part of every action involves a decision fuelled by a judgement. Thinking of judgement, we might think of the considered outcome of a court by the archetypal bewigged judge, however in combat and life most of our judgements are split second choices happening in quick succession. Sport, combat, driving etc all demand fast judgements most of which are immediately forgotten. Tune in tomorrow for part two of the law of judgement.

Thanks you for reading today

Tony Higo
Chief Instructor
National Martial Arts College
0800 0920948

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