Have you seen Enter The Dragon?
I am going to bet you have.
But did you know one of the greatest Martial Arts and self-defence lessons ever is contained within the earliest parts of the film.
Did you see it?
The key to becoming far better at self-defence or martial arts (faster) is to add Emotional Content.
What is Emotional Content?
Why do you train?
Is it so you can protect yourself, is it so you can protect your kids?
If that is true then why do you train as if you were in a fucking Zumba class?
Self-Defence is a serious business so we need to train with intent, with determination and with emotion.
Now that doesn’t mean that we need to scream at each other, it doesn’t mean we need to kill our training partners.
What it means is that we put our heart and soul into our training.
It means we need to remember why we are here.
We need to keep that in mind.
Emotional content is training like you have a reason, throwing strikes like they have a purpose.
It is training as if our lives depend on it.
Training as if we might have to protect our family that night.
It is training with intention and not anger.
It is adding the very reason you train to everything you do.
Creating A Reason Board
I don’t teach publicly anymore but a while ago I came across a subject called vision boards.
The idea is that you create a board and place photos of things you want in life onto it.
Well, what about when a student comes to your class have a ‘reason board’.
Ask them for their reason for training and then place a photo of that reason on the board.
So if they train to keep themselves safe, place a photo of them on the board.
If it is because they were assaulted once, have them pin a photo of their battered face on the board.
If they are training for their family have them put a photo of their family onto the board.
Put the ‘reason board’ up on the wall and tell the students to look at it every night they train and remember WHY they are there.
Coaching Emotional Content
I was an animal back in my early boxing days.
I took all the bullying I had received and let my anger out onto my sparring partners and the punch bag.
In the end, I have learned to summon the anger at will.
You need to find out what the student’s pain point is, what keeps them up at 2 am and then have them able to pull that fear and frustration up at will.
Once the coach knows the pain point they can help you to access it.
Shouting ‘remember why you are here’ is good enough.
What is better, watching the technique performed by the coach and going back at it with the training partner while talking about the football score?
Or is it better to go back and visualise the opponent, visualise what you will never let happen, visualise the very situation that you are there to deal with and make this training real?
I know what works best.
Add Emotional Content Now
The minute you start to make your training real, the second you add emotional content you focus, you listen and you make an effort.
Trust me, if you start training as if that very night you might have to defend your life you will improve far faster and also enjoy your training even more!
Emotional content starts with ‘WHY’ you are training.
Find your why and you can tap into it anytime you train.
The second you add emotional content you will be far more dangerous, you will pick up your skills faster and you will become destructive.