I’ve been reading a fascinating book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. It’s a great book about how the brain works and how to use your own brain to get the best out of life. I’ve also been struck several times on how much of it applies to martial arts.
One chapter, Crisis Into Creative Opportunity, is particularly applicable. There are few crisis more immediate than that of being violently assaulted.
Here’s an extract from that chapter:
Although we may learn fast, we do not learn well under “crisis” conditions. Throw a man who can’t swim into water over his head, and the crisis itself may give him the power to swim to safety. He learns fast, and manages to swim somehow. But he will never learn to become a championship swimmer. The crude inept stroke that he used to rescue himself becomes “fixed” and it is difficult for him to learn better ways of swimming. Because of his ineptness he may perish in a real crises where he is required to swim a long distance.