Finally the truth about which art you should do...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Mitch, Apr 14, 2023.

  1. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    So many times the question is asked, "which art should I do?"

    Now, there are many valid answers, based on the needs of the person asking. Those needs may vary enormously based on geographical location, occupation, etc etc.

    But the key that is often missed, especially for hobbyists, is that you'll get the benefits of the things you keep doing. Given that the main threats to people in developed nations are the diseases of inactivity, the best exercise for you is the one that you'll keep doing :)

    Similarly, we can become very po-faced about the reasons for training. Like gym culture, it can be all about smashing goals, destroying PBs, demolishing opponents, becoming teh de4dly.

    Efficacy and enjoyment aren't mutually exclusive of course, but in many ways we could focus on the latter not the former

    So this struck me as very relevant to a lot of MA training, even though it mentions running. 340892147_1274282829835477_2840645249422903460_n.jpg
    axelb, aaradia, Frodocious and 4 others like this.
  2. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I just finally got around to seeing The Menu, one of the most disturbing and thought provoking movies I've ever seen.

    That cartoon has the same sort of theme, minus the black comedy. Without spoiling anything, the movie is about devoting yourself to an art in extremis. Something about the cooking discipline in the movie reminded me of karate classes, boxing, Tai chi. The movie was very...zen in a way.

    In that sense, it's probably important to note that monitoring devices blanket us nowadays. I know someone who frets over missing their Apple watch driven monthly goals by a single day, forgetting they hit every other day in that month.

    I know another person who proudly posts their exercise heart metrics on social media often...just a friendly reminder your max heart rate is 200-your age, and your ideal cardio rate is around 50-80% of that. Even a well conditioned, trained person who goes over these limits, might just die. Heart health matters. And anxiety factors in there...people get anxious about their weight, undertrain, overtrain..

    Ranting a bit here, but one last thought about that graphic. Exercise is not always fun. It shouldn't be. If it was, I'd look like Hugh Jackman.
  3. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Very much this. I like a nice reality based foundation to what I do but if it ain't fun* I ain't doing it.
    I taught a lesson last week with lots of padwork. Replicating the kind stuff I do on my heavy bag.
    I did some punching combinations, closer range elbows and knees, some kicks (it is TKD afterall!) and even got people to practice "their" pre-emptive strike of choice.
    BUT I also had some time devoted to doing techniques that are just fun. A round where everyone got to choose what they wanted to do just for the sheer joy of movement and using their body.
    As opposed to more reality based stuff there was no wrong choice here. Anything goes.
    Some people did spin back kicks, 360's, 720's, etc. Some people just wanted to go back to hitting the pads as hard as they could.

    *As Grond mentioned sometimes fun is not the right word. Maybe "enjoy" is a better word? A hard drill, where you get hit and tired and want to give up may not be "fun" but it can still be something you enjoy doing. Even if it's after the fact. I'm a regular runner now but I can't say I find it fun. Not in its entirety. But I do enjoy it and the benefits (mental and physical) I get from it.
    Frodocious likes this.
  4. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    "Fun in hindsight" covers a lot of this stuff, sim days for example :D
    Frodocious, bassai and Smitfire like this.
  5. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Another question for the hobbyist (which 99% of people will be, despite your ambitions) is how many hours will you actually get of mat/training time.

    Until very recently, I was very results focused, I wanted to get better.
    But in reality, I only have a couple hundred hours of training left before I die.

    We spend only a few hours of our lives on the mats, so why not enjoy every moment that were are in the company of friends, trying to learn and develop.

    Now my pursuit is fun. I used to focus of strategies and techniques that work at the highest levels of competition, now i have a base skillset which allows me to survive, I just want to work on whats fun and interests me.
    Grond, Mitch and bassai like this.
  6. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    So one thing I cottoned onto a few years into training (not soon enough sadly) was to have a "mission statement" for why I was training.
    It's easy to lose sight of goals or motivations or get sucked into other people's motivations.
    I started martial arts purely for self defence reasons. Went with taekwondo because the TAGB had a big presence in all the mags at the time and assumed all martial arts taught you how to fight and defend yourself.
    Realised I was naturally flexible and a pretty good kicker so I got mentored by some older tournament fighters. I ended up competing rather than learning how to defend myself. I didn't know enough to know they are two different goals or missions.
    Getting my blackbelt at the same time as the rise of Geoff Thompson, the first UFC's and the beginnings of MMA made me realise my initial mission (learn how to defend myself) had been put to one side by mistake.
    So then I went to pastures new to try and fulfill that. And as my training progressed my mission statements changed.
    I wanted to learn how to grapple (so went to BJJ).
    I wanted "game" in all areas so combined Thai, BJJ, sub grappling and Arnis.
    These days my mission statement is "keep moving". A very simple mission statement. I'm now over 50 with a bad back and a desk job. So martial arts for me is an interesting way to keep moving. Sure I like practicality and pragmatism but my chances of needing to fight someone are pretty slim. So trying to stay active is my primary motivator.
    Grond, Mitch and Mangosteen like this.
  7. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    For sure, I think constantly re-evaluating your goals is important.
    I wanted to be a big bad mma fighter, you can see it on my early MAP posts.

    But I hate getting punched and had to re-evaluate, I then wanted to be a bjj blackbelt.

    But I'm not very athletic, dedicated (I'd rather hang out with my family than roll), generally not very good at learning physical skills and the panic attacks mean my offense isnt very committed.
    Its taken me a long time to get to a very low blue belt skill level (at best).

    But it doesn't mean I can't improve.
    What I improve on is less guided by overall goals and just by day to day goals.

    My coach has said I should probably pick a path and specialise (he suggested leglocks) but if rather improve what I feel I'm most rubbish at (wrestling) than what I'm good at (leg entanglements). Its not funneling anyone to my game but i find the challenges more fulfilling than specialisation.

    Dead_pool and Grond like this.
  8. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I was just telling a new student about something along those lines. Our school tournament is coming up. It is the first one since Covid hit and therefore her first one. She was VERY anxious. So I told her about how my group of friends at the school, have this phrase we tell each other at times. of need. Sometimes one or the other of us gets so hyper focused and stressed out about a goal. For example: it anxiety over tournament or a test. Then someone else in the group sees this in a friend, we go over and tell them "Remember, we do this for fun."

    It is a reminder that none of us do it for a living. It is our passion, but our livelihoods do not depend on it. Even for the friends that do become instructors, it is a part time secondary job, not their main career. We do do this for fun. And sometimes we need to be reminded of that. It is just a reset button to put things in perspective.

    I have a great group of Kung Fu brothers and sisters!
    Grond, Frodocious and Mitch like this.
  9. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Ha this is very true, as a generation who have seen 20+ years of this question on the internet.
    If you don't enjoy it you won't stick to it.

    As a techy I love to monitor it all and look at stats. At the end it gives me a "smiley" rating, how did you like it. I can't think of a time where I put anything other that happy face.
    Running, lifting, martial arts (mostly BJJ now) I love it all, even when it's not going well. If I didn't I wouldn't still be doing it for decades, and that's what we're always trying to tell everyone else starting their journey.

    Heart metrics are variable per person, this calculation is a rough guide. Based on this I'd be dead every week, or 8 years old. I have tested true max in a few years, but at 38 it was max 205bpm and resting 45.

    Once you know your actually max it's good to keep most training under 80%
    Occasionally training over 80% isn't an issue if it's minimal with appropriate recovery depending on age.
    Dead_pool, Grond and Frodocious like this.
  10. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    I believe a good resting heart rate, good heart rate recovery and a high VO2 max are all used as indicators for living longer life's .
    And working at your threshold (which is higher than 80% for most) is one of the best ways to increase your kax and decrease HR recovery
    But the vast majority of work should be done at below 80% max and as axelb says that varies a lot for people and the standing 220- isn't very effective, modified Cooper's test is probably the best way for normal people to find their max or at least their threshold
    Dead_pool, Grond and axelb like this.
  11. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Full seriousness; what do you mean by "sim day"? I tried looking it up and got a lot of weird information.

    Fun in hindsight is also kind of a problem. A lot of people train but don't see benefits. I don't think it's because they don't find it fun. My personal opinion is that they're afraid to train to levels beyond their status quo. "Fun" is a really subjective term. Exercise is work, though, in the physical science sense. Not everyone finds hard to be equivalent to fun.

    My own personal solution to the "I don't want to work out right now" vs. "I just want to sit and recovery" is music. Music gets you off the couch, and to sleep at night, so why shouldn't it just cover everything in between.

    I recently got into the art of Kung Fu tea. I feel like if I can master this, boxing is trivial.

    Gongfu tea ceremony - Wikipedia
  12. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    ^ this is solid gold info,

    As life got in the way, I've tried to train BJJ consistently a few times a week, and thought that would be enough. A few years go by and it very definitely isn't enough, so I'm adding cardio back in, and I'm making time for some regular basic weight training, getting old sucks.

    Tldr getting a smart watch made me realise how unfit I am now.
    axelb likes this.
  13. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    John Titchen (once of this parish) runs "Simulation Days".
    Days where you suit up in armour and simulate real attacks and self defence situations. With set ups, scenarios, aggressive dialogue, multiple attackers, etc.
    I've not done one but I'm sure they can be stressful, physically taxing and sometimes not "fun".
    But they can be "fun in hindsight" as they bring out how you might act under pressure in chaotic situations and can take your martial arts and understanding on in leaps and bounds and highlight strengths and weaknesses.
    John's not the only one of course. A few people do Sim days and armoured scenario training in various formats.
    The recent "Self Defence Championships" on Youtube are examples of "Sim days". Albeit in a different format to what John runs.
    Mitch and Grond like this.
  14. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    BJJ can be a part of your conditioning and strength sessions but where it fits in is complicated.

    I tend to see extended drilling and positional work as akin to steady state conditioning BUT for me it's not sustained enough or long enough in duration to actually have the benefits that a good long steady state session can bring, so I have to do additional below threshold work.

    However threshold work if we look at how that is typically done (one example of a typical session would be 3-10min rounds with a few minutes break between, with total work time kept to around 20mins, that's work time not including rest and recovery between rounds)
    This can be done in your bjj MMA class,
    Heavy sparring be it clinch to take downs, full rounds on the ground or boxing sparring all fall into this classification if the intensity is high enough.
    So for me it's possible to get my threshold work done in sparring classes but my lower cardio work has to be done outside class.

    As for strength work that's a whole other post lol
    axelb, Mitch and Dead_pool like this.
  15. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Pretty much what Smitfire said. I meant it as some training is "character building" and/or useful for any number of reasons, rather than necessarily "fun" in the moment.

Share This Page