Slow Is Smooth: The Basics of Mastery | Nutrition Fit



“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”

-Bruce Lee

Interestingly enough, the above listed quote is also a United States Navy SEALs Maxim.

Bruce Lee may be the most well-known martial artist in current history. Lee was an author, a film star and actor, a husband and father. Yet, as busy as he was, he was so skilled in his art that he was still considered by many to be the greatest. He even created his own martial art Jeet Kune Do.

Another famous Lee-ism is “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

It is said that every day, Lee would practice his lead punch as well as his sidekick for up to six hours; his abdominal exercises up to four hours per day and always perform the basic bodyweight movements consisting of: sit-ups, push ups, pull ups and squats. Finishing off his day with up to another four hours of footwork.

Now you may be asking yourself how this man became the greatest by only practicing what appears to be a single kick, a single punch, some footwork and a few body weight exercises?

The basics. Lee realized the importance of simplicity and economy of motion. His Lead punch and his Side kick were not only his longest weapons, but his best attribute-wise. They were his two favorite strikes. Lee realized that by practicing these two strikes above the many other options, he will then be faster and more efficient than his opponents.

We also see the need for physical fitness. Lee did more abdominal workouts than anything else because he held the belief that one will be punched in the abdominals often and needed the muscular armor. Aside from that note, full body conditioning is important and even seemingly old exercises are still great choices!

It is common knowledge that throughout adolescence Michael Jordan was not the best at basketball. In fact the story goes that many of his childhood coaches told him to quit the sport as he showed himself inept.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

-Michael Jordan

What did Jordan do? He has told many in interviews that he stayed up all night, skipping meals and his job shooting baskets in his driveway over and over & over again.

You see, greatness is a choice. Any can achieve greatness. One must have determination, will and drive; you must be willing to give up time or food or money. You must dedicate your being to your passion and you can achieve anything.

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

-Muhammad Ali

What made Ali special is that he would tell himself and anyone who would listen for that matter that he was the greatest boxer in the world. This shows psychological drive. A common coaching phrase is that you are only trying to beat yourself yesterday.

The rest of the world didn’t matter. He told himself that he was great, as he mentioned, even before he knew he was. However, that isn’t only what made him ‘great,’ his training regimen was also quite similar to that of the others we’ve mentioned already.

Ali has mentioned that he would ‘imagine’ punching the bag even if there were no bag, in fact around to train with; there was no punching bag in sight. When there was a bag much of his training was done by slowly aligning each punch and only exerting a small amount of energy at the end of the strike only moving the bag slightly. Remember slow is smooth and smooth is fast?

These techniques of repetitive slow movements train for proper body mechanics and dispersion of energy.

Within the Martial arts the teacher usually asks the beginning students to stand in a fighting stance and hold that stance for hours. This creates muscle memory as well as train endurance.

These same instructors have the students practice the same punches and kicks over and over & over again. Day in and day out.

Almost like shooting hoops over and over and over; bag work over and over; footwork etc.

Many of the reality based styles of martial arts like Jeet Kune Do or Wing Chun, Filipino martial arts or some of the tactical schools found in any of the current issues of any fighting magazine have found success in simplicity.

Economy of motion, as Lee called it.

All of the masters of any art or sport or practice have found success in the repetition of the basics. The introductory principles are the keys to all other aspects of whatever you are learning is the ultimate key to success in all other aspects and progress.

Oh, and remember that part about giving up time?

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

-Muhammad Ali

Practice your basics. Choose greatness.


Source by Joey Monteverde