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The Difference Between Life and Death is Your Own Accuracy and Intensity

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The Difference Between Life and Death is Your Own Accuracy and Intensity

            One day during your Jeet Kune Do training, your instructor tells you to keep your guard up.  A few minutes later, she repeats the same thing, urging you a bit more emphatically to keep your guard up.  After class, she comments that you did a good job, but to focus on keeping your guard up.  The next time you train, your teacher comments to you again, more sternly, to keep your guard up.  Over the new few weeks, and eventually months, you notice that you’re not really improving.  Other students seem to outpace you in their learning, and out-perform you when you spar.  Even students who joined after you seem to be advancing faster than you.  To make matters worse, your teacher doesn’t seem to pay the same amount of attention to you that she did before.  The other students seem to get priority.  You notice that over the past few weeks, she’s even stopped reminding you to keep your guard up.


            That doesn’t sound very fair, does it?  You might find yourself thinking of quitting or going to another school.


            What if you had missed something important?  Could your actions have communicated to your instructor that you weren’t actually interested in learning from her?


            What if instead of telling you to fix the same problem every single training session, your teacher offered you instruction on more challenging techniques, skills, and concepts?  What if you found yourself improving faster than you thought you could?  What if your teacher referenced you as the example, or if she asked you to be her partner to demonstrate the lesson to the other students?


            In his notes on how to teach Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee offered the following principle:


Martial arts training must be done accurately and intensively if it is to be of value to the students.


            In order to get value out of your training, resolve to practice with accuracy and intensity in mind.  Approach each Jeet Kune Do session with the idea of mastering your will by showing your teacher that that you will follow her guidance with accuracy and perform with intensity.  If your teacher keeps coaching you to fix a problem, fix it more.  The last time she told you to keep your guard up, you raised your hands an inch.  If she tells you again, this time raise it two inches, and don’t drop it!  Remember that your teacher is there to guide you in Jeet Kune Do but cannot do it for you.  She cannot keep your guard up for you!  Only you can train with accuracy and intensity.  Your teacher cannot master your will for you.  Determine to follow your teacher’s instructions with accuracy so she does not begin to assume that you don’t really care about your training.


Master your will by resolving to synchronize yourself the first time your teacher coaches you.  If she has to repeat herself, make sure that your second attempt shows her 100% accuracy and intensity.

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