I love a good martial arts movie.
It's probably something to do with being brought up on a televisual diet that mostly consisted of Jean Claude Van Damme's classic "Bloodsport".
As I've became more refined in my tastes over the years, I've liked less and less of them but every now and then, there's still a pearl.
Last week I watched "Ip Man", a movie loosely based on Bruce Lee's main teacher.
He taught Bruce a martial art called Wing Chun.
If you've ever seen a martial artist working with a wooden dummy with multiple arms, you've seen some Wing Chun practise in action.
The film is great and I won't spoil it for you but I do want to share a passage of dialogue from it that happens after Ip Man defeats an aggressive challenger:
Challenger "My northern boxing has lost to your southern style."
Ip Man "No, it's not a matter of northern or southern style.
The problem is you."
This is a great quotation to highlight a wide reaching phenomenon.
Do you know people that are always looking for a new technique to improve at their sport or in their life in general?
They see a new shiny training method and run towards it, only to then ditch that when the next shiny training method appears.
I've seen countless people do it. I admit I've done it myself.
As a strategy, it never leads us very far.
It leaves us constantly anxious, thinking we may be missing out on something special unless we run to the next training method or technique.
But as Ip said, it's not about styles.
It's about you.
More specifically, it's about HOW you do what you do.
How patiently do you practise?
How do you act on feedback?
How consistently do you train?
How well do you focus and pay attention to what you do?
To a large extent, I believe the methods of training you choose to do are somewhat irrelevant especially when wanting to develop skills rather than fitness based attributes.
It is mostly about the quality of how you go about practising, especially how well you can pay attention to what you do.
Chasing shiny training methods is indicative of a poor quality of attention committed to the one you are using. It's about wanting novel stimulus to engage you rather than deepening your engagement with what you are doing.
Look at people who master their sports or other things in life. They tend not to be the shiny chasers. They have stayed the course.
They know that northern styles or southern styles aren't the solution.
How well you practise your sport is your solution.
Arton "Your how is your style" Baleci