Get to Know Your Own Anatomy
As I stated in my book, “Liberate Yourself – How to Think Like Bruce Lee,” the need to know one’s self is one of the most dominant and important concepts for anyone seeking to actualize their true potential. And that’s especially true for martial artists. As a martial artist, we need to know ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. This blog deals with the first aspect, knowing ourselves physically.
Jeet Kune Do has often been referred to as “the art of expressing the human body in combat.” Our body is the instrument or vehicle we use to express ourselves as a martial artist. And it makes sense that the better we know and understand our own body, the better we will be able to do so. To help achieve that I’d like to suggest that you spend some time learning and educating yourself about human anatomy and its relationship to martial arts techniques, then apply that knowledge to yourself and your own anatomy. Understanding your own anatomy down to your physical capabilities, limitations, and anomalies can serve as a guide for how far you’re able to take techniques and movements.
If you happen to have limitations in your range of movement, familiarizing yourself with human anatomy – and specifically your own – can give you a better understanding as to why. For example, a lack of flexibility in your hips which prevents you from kicking high may have nothing to do with the elasticity of your muscles, which you believe it to be, but rather the fact that anatomically you have very tight hip joint capsule structure that limits your range of motion and disallows you from doing such things. That being the case, you could probably stretch everyday from now until the end of time but the anatomy of your hip is going to limit you from doing what you want to.
Knowledge of your anatomy can help you create efficient, coordinated movement. It can do such things as help you develop proper alignment of your body when doing techniques, reduce strain and unnecessary tension in your movements where you might need to, and lower the risk or likelihood of injury. And equally as important, through understanding your anatomy you can stop chastising yourself and beating yourself up over limitations that you simply have no control over, wipe your slate clean of feeling incapable or incompetent, and know with confidence that you’re doing your best.
With greater knowledge of your own anatomy you will be more in control of directing your training and development. It will allow you to make good choices and decisions. You will be able to choose the things that work for you and suit your needs. So why not take the time to get to know yourself physically.
Train Well, Train Intelligently