Can a logical martial art (Wing Tsun – Escrima) be learned within a very short time?

Critically self observed or with others, today it is seen, that things must only be done or realized quickly or nimbly in everyday life, because more and more tasks are to be achieved.

Speed has become a maxim of modern times – what is generally to understand. It creates the feeling that the time to develop comprehensive learning is too limited, and therefore the inclination towards a (could be) fast learning exists. But when speed comes hand in hand with loss of quality, the question of whether this is still the real and proper approach to continue in the same manner arises. The question that then derives from this, is whether fast learning is possible (by nature!) and when speed ever might become a maxim.

Two important factors are to be considered first of all: the definition of the objective to be achieved and the definition of the path to the destination. Just in the area of learning, these two factors are the important parameters in order to effectively develop and learn general subjects. And adding to those facts is the concept of the so-called “learning circle” . A circle has ti be visualized that has a starting at any point and at the same time fixes the location of the starting point of learning.

Lernen_Page_2-287x300Now figuratively following the outline way of the circle (following the learning content), it will return automatically to the starting point, which means that the learned content has been internalized so far, that the naturally starting point at 0 is faced again, but on a higher level!. To initiate the development to the next higher level, a 360° learning curve is necessary on this level again. This can be continued as much as to the personal like, which resembles a mental spiral model. That no end can be defined, is in the nature of the spiral, which is only limited, if it is artificially restricted.

A small example given: to learn a new language or a new musical instrument. Starting with simple words that are first memorized and internalized. Or learning the first notes on a new musical instrument and internalizing this handling through constant practice.

The starting point for the learning circle is, that there is no point of contact with the new subject and has a natural bias towards things. By internalizing the first words, or the first tones through constant practice, things are again faced with a naturalness, because they have become a kind of second nature.

This naturalness is the condition to initiate the start point (new start) at a higher level now, because the previously internalized now represents the basis for the continuation of the development. Trying to move too early on a higher level, an uncertainty due to the missing arises, because the foundation has been not strengthened 100%. This uncertainty must either be compensated through more practice or some other form of compensation. Regardless of the choice of the compensational form, it never follows the natural way (and time) like the constant practice. If now this “error” is taken on to the next higher level, then an error chain has been launched, which increases exponentially in the spiral.

To come to a natural handling of things on only one level, a sufficient exercise or learning is neede, which in turn is linked to time. However this does not mean imitating or impersonating as a projection of natural handling of the new things, but co-ordinated handling of the content on a physical and mental level mutually.

Professional language teachers or musicians have now to endorse that the development process from the outset took decades to the natural handling of things. Not the condensed practicing or learning with high amounts of hours is put in the foreground, but rather the constant practice on a long-term basis. Hereby the timely effort is much higher at the beginning as in the advanced stage. Because analog to an exponential increase in the error chain is also exponential increase of skills, if the individual learning steps are developed properly step by step.

What means naturalness in handling of contents? This question can be viewed very well with a practical counter question: what is the ultimate goal in learning a language? To tell a joke in the new language so expressively and content applicable to a local person, that laughing can hardly be kept. The fact behind this is, that the language is used perfectly in grammar, technically proper wordings, various phonetic conditions can be applied and that there is an insight into the culture behind the language. By looking at this statement it is realized that behind this simple fact (takes maybe only about 1 min to tell a simple joke) decades of practice and hard work through constant practice on the language itself and foremost on one’s own person is mandatory – presumed the set objective is to dominate the language on this scale.

Can this knowledge be transitioned 1:1 into the Wing Tsun – Escrima ? Wing Tsun and Escrima claim to realize their ideas through logical and therefore natural movements and techniques. The aspect of naturalness appears also here again very much in the foreground. To achieve a naturalness, a significant training effort is necessary, as well as in learning a language or a musical instrument. Similarly the body is to be considered as a musical instrument, where it is learned by being taught to bring his body and spirit in sync.

If due to the felt insufficient time important steps of internalizing are left out of this process, the above mentioned error chain is inevitably launched. Another human factor adds up: if then at higher levels the own deficit is suddenly recognized, the fear of returning to a lower level of learning is great and the attempt to compensate by intense practicing on the same level as well. While the error is actually not equalized but rather reinforced!

All of these necessary steps take time – but according to the contemporary mind, time is a precious commodity, and thus expensive. Considering the disadvantage of fast and hasty learning and practicing without achieving naturalness, the required time due to the error made within is even higher at the end and brings also ultimately no further positive aspects. Because at some point the errors have to be rectified or processed out!

To better differentiate the initial question, whether Wing Tsun – Escrima can be learned faster, the question for the skill level (objective) to be achieved should be posed to oneself. Brief return on the example of language:

  • To have a drink in a bar or a restaurant or order food, pay the bill — ready for use after a short time of some practicing. To translate into martial arts: being able to be prepared for an everyday threat situation such as a slap in the face or an unauthorized seizing of the arm(s) or hand(s) – ready for use after a short time of some practicing.
  • To learn the highlights of the town from a local. Translated into martial arts: facing an attacker, who tries to take out his victim with simple punches, simple kicks and other simple means.
  • To explain a local policeman without translator how the sequence of the accident event has occurred with a native driver. Translated into martial arts: facing an attacker, who tries to take out his victim with random punch / kick
  • In front of the native court explain without translator the sequence of the accident event to the local judge and local district attorney, that the own innocence to the event can be declared without any doubt, as there is the threat of a prison sentence. Translated into martial arts: facing multiple opponents, who try to take out their victim with punches, kicks and other means.
  • A new contract at a business meeting with a local business partner needs to be discussed without a translator, at the danger of lacking language skills, that the other party is taking considerable advantage. Translated into martial arts: facing an attacker, who tries to take out his victim by any means – also arms.
  • Performing a presentation of a new product in front of a group of local customers without translator at the danger, that if the presentation is unsuccessful, the loss of job or market is imminent. Translated into martial arts: facing multiple opponents, who try to take out their victim by any means – also arms.

And none of the above situation should be spoiled by an error, because consequences are linked to every situation. Based on this presentation of different performance levels the time factor becomes clear: the lower the demand, the faster you can realize the necessary learning content. The higher the demand is set or arises in the course of learning, the more extensive it becomes to match, also the effort of time. Restated here again, that it is important in order to reach qualitatively a higher level, things need to be internalized, thus excluding any error chain from the beginning.

The today’s modern method of “best practice” reflects this idea. It only advocates applied processes and methods absolutely proven. The term best practice uses “best method” or “best procedure”. On learning, this means, that you a new stage of development only initiates, if the learning experience to here is tested and validated by the method and thus absolutely excluding the continuation of errors. The higher level subsequently starts all over at the beginning again, in order to reach a higher stage of development or a better result.

Starting from the example of the language it is also perfectly evident that there are no visible limits for learning in the upward direction. If this fact is recognized once in a sustained manner and properly internalized, then it becomes much easier to work into this naturalness by being laid back. Thus, less blockades on physical and mental levels, leading to unnecessary delays, occur.

On the other hand, it should be realized, that there are people in many areas all over again, that despite one’s own high performance levels still have a more on experience and routine, which can lead to further evolvement. The interesting task is, when having reached such a high level, to find the appropriate person, that can still initiate a further development. The prerequisites for this are simple: openness and a healthy, sustainable capacity for self-reflection.