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Avoid Information Overload

Bruce Lee’s intense thirst for knowledge and understanding was one of the prime factors that led to his incredible growth and evolution as a martial artist. Lee’s research sources included such things as books, magazines, super 8 films, and his personal friendship and association with other top-caliber martial artists such as Ed Parker, Jhoon Rhee, etc.

Today, in addition to books, magazine, videos, dvds, and our friends and training partners in the martial arts, we have the internet and search engines like Google and Yahoo. An entire world of information is available to us in an instant with the touch of a button. We can literally find out anything about anything, and that is great.

For example, if you type the words “jeet kune do” into Google you will find more than three million results. Type in “jeet kune do techniques” and you will find close to five hundred thousand. Anything and everything to do with JKD is available for you, from physical techniques, to training methods, to philosophy, to politics. You name it, you can find it.

However, if we are not careful, having so much information available can easily overload us and, in some instances, lead to what’s referred to as “information anxiety,” in which people start to become anxious because they don’t think they have enough information about something.

You can end up spending countless hours watching all sorts of videos of different techniques on such things as how to throw a side kick, the correct way to use a finger jab, the on-guard position, footwork, etc. It is mind-boggling (and before you ask, no, I do not personally spend much of my time watching these videos – once in a great while I will look at something I think might be interesting or worthwhile). And for some people it can become overwhelming, with the result that they end up getting side-tracked or attempting to do too much at once.

In one of my previous blogs I wrote about the use of the “discerning mind” and the “educated eye” when looking at martial art techniques, principles, and concepts. You can use those same things with regard to finding out knowledge and information that is relevant to you and what you are doing.

When you are looking at something pertaining to JKD, be it in a book or on YouTube, ask yourself such questions as -- How does it relate to me and what I am currently doing, or what I want to do in the future? What meaning, purpose or value does it have for me, if any? How does it fit in with my structure, my personal martial expression?

In the end it’s still about you – what fits you, what works for you and makes you a better martial artist. Having a thirst for knowledge and understanding is one thing – drowning in a sea of information is quite another. Research, explore, examine, but try to avoid information overload.

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