Martial Arts Training Tip #62

9:16 PM Monday, December 6, 2010

Actually I just made up the #62, but the behavior is not fictional.

The behavior is the internal voice that tells you that you will never be good at martial arts because you made a mistake. A great example of this behavior is the Chris Farley Show. (for those of you that don't recall, here is an example,

The negative thinking of, all or nothing, is an absolute killer. You will know this behavior by these words rattling around in your head, “Always, Never, Can't, Every Time.” All or nothing thinking is associated with negative thinking. “Oh, I always do that!” when you make a mistake, or “I'll never get that right.”

Here is a little reveal for you students out there, we instructors know that when you verbalize a comment like, “I'll never get it right.” You have said in your mind so many times during your internal dialogue that you are comfortable in verbalizing the thought. Saying such a thought means you believe it, and want us to believe it as well. When these words are uttered by you, you might notice by our slumped shoulders we know this thinking is now deeply embedded in your psyche.

So for those of you that use final, broad, and wildly inclusive words in your negative internal conversation, just stop it. You need to be relentless in driving those words out of your thought process. Hunt these words down, stalk them, kill them immediately, with no remorse. Here is the tip, do not use; Always, Never, Can't, or Every-time. Dig them out of your thinking. Replace them with phrases like: “This is difficult.” “I haven't succeeded yet.” or “I'll get this right soon enough.” You get the idea.

So there you are, Martial Arts Training Tip #62, the title is fake, the contents real.


  1. Great advice, confidence sure makes a big difference in Karate.

    One thing though, what do you think is the right way to look at those things we just never seem to "get" over the long term?

    There are some things i've been doing for a long time I still don't do too well, what do you think is the right attitude with those things that seem to never improve, or improve at a snails pace?


  2. If you are making a snails pace, that is improvement correct? Often it is hard to judge ourselves.

    Kris Wilder

  3. Hi, Kris: Not sure but I use, "jiko-no-hanashi-no-geijutsu" or hopefully it means, "The art of Self-talk!" Powerful stuff ;-)

    Charles James

  4. In stead of declarative statements, I ask questions. One stopes you in your trackes and the other engages the mind and says this something to be solved or learned.


  5. Examples: What am I doing wrong? Why does it work for the instructor and not me? Where am I going wrong? Will doing it this way work better? Why does it work that way? And, how can I get better at my craft.


  6. Charles -
    I checked the "jiko-no-hanashi-no-geijutsu with two native speakers in my dojo" - seemed like a cool phrase and I wanted to know more. They suggested that the phrase be reviewed as they had difficulty making sense of the words and phrase in total. Just passing along what I learned.

    Be well K+

    Kris Wilder

  7. Joshkie -

    You have a method that is built around analysis and action. Perfect. No stinking thinking on your part. Thanks for the good ideas and methods.

    Kris Wilder

  8. Hi, Wilder Sensei: Sorry it took this long to respond to your reply.

    Jiko no hanashi no geijutsu or
    jiko hanashi no geijutsu


    The art of self-talk, maybe the characters I used will help clarify.

    Regards and if you find I am way off base let me know.

    Charles James

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