Martial Arts & The Positive Cycle (Part 1)

Dan Couzens Martial Arts Explored, Self Development

dan couzens in zai zen on cliff next to ocean. bushido bristol martial arts

Martial Arts & The Positive Cycle (Part 1)

Before we take a deeper look at what I call the positivity cycle, there are a couple of assumptions we need to make about life and human beings for the cycle to work.

Assumption one is that the human being is an adaptable creature and that we have the capacity to change, learn and evolve not just in childhood but also at any stage in life.

Assumption two is that the situation of life can be influenced by behaviors, actions and choices.

So we start with the idea that we do in fact have a modicum of control over the circumstances of our life and our character, and perhaps this modicum of control and influence increases the more we realise it.


The first step on the positive cycle is developing vision, without a picture, a goal, an imagined future there can be no direction to follow. At Bushido Bristol Martial Arts we create a vision in multiple ways, the first and most obvious way is the demonstration of technique. The students see how the technique should be done, then they go away and practice it. Through practice we draw a mental map that orchestrate the physical coordination required in order to execute technique. Here the adaptation process is taking place, as the martial arts student progresses, the vision gets bigger and we set a goal to get to a martial arts grading.

As Vision increases in its size and complexity, we have to assume more responsibility and develop more actual ability in order to achieve the vision.


I don’t listen to what people say, I watch for what they do; the old cliché of actions speak louder than words, is very true. You have to summon the drive to achieve, what is Drive? It is your will power, it is your passion, it is the level of care you have, it is commitment and the focus.

It is common for people to not really know what to do; we often don’t know what we want or what we have to offer. If you don’t set down the vision, you are rudderless and will float around in circles going nowhere whilst the tides and winds of life give you a battering. Life left to its own devices can be extraordinarily harsh.

Drive is about making a decision and then sticking with it; of course the vision can change and evolve, you can realize at any step that you are going in the wrong direction for you but do this too often and you’ll end up going nowhere.

Make the decision and then drive towards it.

Dan Couzens