Dan Couzens Fitness & Martial Arts, Martial Arts Explored, Self Development


Combative training is necessary and an extremely important aspect of martial arts, however, it doesn’t need to be about violence. Tuesday’s blog looks at the benefits of training with the combative stimulus in mind and how we can view the combative scenario both as a literal situation and as a metaphor. Here are 5 benefits of using the combative stimulus.

1/ Alertness

Combative stimulus is a powerful way of training alertness, one needs be fully awake in order to deal with an assailant, not only does your awareness of the situation (observational skills) need to be at it’s height but your body must also be full of vitality and energy. If there is any dimness or dullness anywhere in your human system this will decrease your chances of a positive outcome (your survival with minimal or no injury, having only done what is necessary). The first stance you learn in Bushido is the ready stance (Yoi Dachi) the physical shape of this stance is less important than the mental aspects of readiness. What is the best way to increase vitality and energy?

2/ Timing, Rhythm & Tempo

It was all over in a flash! I have heard this statement many times, the combative stimulus requires one to act quickly and decisively, and you can’t hesitate or in anyway restrict your actions with ponderous movement or thought. Training at various tempos is highly enjoyable as well as necessary and your combative tempo can vary; you can slow your physical moments down, speed them up and create various rhythms. Each time you do this you are challenging your co-ordination, your body awareness and technique in multiple ways; this is also mentally stimulating.

3/ Determination

Determination can be defined as, YOU decide the outcome, however, to do this you have to be able to self motivate and you need to develop self-belief. No matter what the odds are, you mentally set yourself as someone who will continue, no matter what. Determination is about training your will power and disciplining your mind, because, your best chance of deciding the outcome is to be totally unified in your direction.

4/ Physical Conditioning

Fitness! You may need it all to be effective in a combative situation; over time you will develop anaerobic capacity, aerobic capacity, strength, and flexibility. You name the type of fitness and to some extent it will need to be developed. Your physical conditioning will never be complete, however, because you need a well-rounded set of physical attributes, martial arts training creates overall well rounded physical health.

5/ Creativity

What is going to happen in a combative situation? No one knows. Yes we can train for common types of attack and study many strategies that will increase the likely hood of a positive outcome. Once a basic level of knowledge has been acquired and a certain level of fitness developed, it’s time to begin creating answers. A great way to be prepared for uncertainty is to become adaptable and creative. Creating the answer, doing something new is what makes the game of martial arts infinitely stimulating.

It’s Not About Violence

Martial arts is about the development of character it is not about violence, yet a martial artist should be capable of dealing with violence and be able to express themselves combatively. The mind-set, the skill set, the physical fitness, the determination and the confidence acquired from training using combative stimulus may never and hopefully will never be used in a real situation, however, the attributes that this type of training develops in the person goes with them everyday of their lives.

Dan Couzens