The Possibilities of Visualization in Martial Arts written by: Master McCorry
The old saying goes that "practice makes perfect". However, modern studiesshow that mere practice is not enough to make anyone perfect in any art. These path-breaking studies point to another powerful element that can help us to attain physical and athletic goals – visualization. Visualization: Theory and Practice Visualization is a unique method in which you conjure to your mind a visual image of something that you want to attain. Once you think of a goal, you mentally visualize actually attaining it. You can even visualize that you are correcting yourself in the process.
A real-life situation of visualization may look like this. Imagine that you are a dancer and you need to practice some moves. Once you learn the moves through real practice, you go through the steps one by one in your mind during leisure time, correcting yourself each time you feel that you got it wrong. Visualization is a concept that has amazing possibilities in physical activities such as sports, dance, aerobics, yoga and above all, martial arts. The Effectiveness of Visualization Dr. Jacob Jordan, the author of Total Mind Body Training, opines that the real trick is to stress how the mental image feels, rather than focusing on the image itself. Proper visualization can bring a sea change to your performance. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in his work New Psycho-Cybernetics, illustrates a monumental visualization experiment. One group of basketball players was allowed to practice for 20 days. Another group practiced only on the first and last days of the 20-day-period. The third group did actual practice on the first and last days, and they practiced through visualization on other days. When the results came out, the second group showed no improvement; but the first and third groups showed almost equal improvement (24% and 23% respectively.) This shows that visualization can be as effective as real practice. Russian scientists analyzed the schedule of Olympic athletes to find out the right proportion of visualization. They discovered that the right mix that gives the maximum performance is 75% visualization and 25% actual practice.
The Role of Visualization in Martial Arts
As noted above, martial arts is the field in which visualization has the greatest scope:
* Even if you are injured or unable to do actual practice, you can practice through visualization.
* If you have weekly classes, you can productively use the time in-between for practicing visualization.
* If you have to remember a sequence of moves, you can use visualization to enhance your memory.
* While visualizing, you can imagine achieving perfection in your art. It will help you to perform better.
* If you don’t feel confident enough, you can visualize that you are always succeeding in your art. This will make you confident.
* Through visualization, you can improve yourself without getting physically exhausted. This is very useful when you are to face a competition.
Innovative Martial Arts Classes at Bruce McCorry’sBruce McCorry’s Martial Arts Center (Peabody, MA) is an innovative martial arts academy – one of those rare academies in the US that make use of visualization technique. The teachers here encourage you to practice visualization on your free time – they constantly try to improve your performance. Many of the capable martial arts performers today are the former students of the academy. Join this four-decade-long legacy by being a part of Bruce McCorry’s martial arts program…