Martial Arts Advice I Heard from Long Term Players

Keep your mouth Open, or at least don’t clench your teeth. The correct way to breath is through the nose, and we don’t want people to look like stunned fish by mouth breathing. But clenching your teeth will make you tense. Breathe normally and be naturally relaxed.

  • There are diminishing returns for any endeavour. Putting in effort will reap results, but after you reach a certain effort threshold there is less improvement. Three classes a week of two hours duration seems the most effective amount of tuition. A forth class per week will not help much beyond this.
  • Shoulders should be in front of the chest.
  • People emphasis balance, but this can backfire. If you never have trouble with balance, don’t distract yourself. But if balance is sometime an issue, learn to balance yourself intuitively.
  • Listen first, ask questions later. Asking questions lets you clear up your perspective on the situation. But never interrupt a class; wait till the right moment.
  • Many people instruct to pivot on the heel. This has been questioned in the last few years because the physics of the body suggest there might be better alternatives. The front of the foot might be better, or sometime the centre of the foot. It might depend on the move you are executing.


Martial Arts have not remained static. Situations change (we rarely attack people on horses anymore), phases come and go, better ideas develop over time, and tall people find that they have to change the techniques that were developed by shorter masters. Any specific advice might prove invaluable, or it might end up being discredited. But being open minded, flexible, yet still not carried away foolish ideas, is always a good approach.

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