Path of least resistance
This is a well known principle in martial arts but it is not just peculiar to them. Humans will always take the easiest route and in fairness we are a little bit lazy. That is why companies spend so much money on advertising to get you hooked into their products, systems or a way of life.
How many times have you been told, Speak French in just two weeks with this new system or play the piano in ten easy lessons, follow this diet and you will have the six pack of your dreams. (Still waiting for mine)
When we really look at things everything follows the path of least resistance e.g. nature, electricity, water and lightning (striking a tree or tall building closer to the base of the thunder cloud).
Wolves became domesticated dogs because it was easier to scavenge on human rubbish rather than hunting for prey. We see this in every country now that animals are coming into towns more and more to feed as opposed to foraging for themselves in the wild.
So what is the goal for the animals, it is to eat in the easiest way possible.
The Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle is the theory that 80% of a result is achieved with the first 20% of effort. For example, a student who can get 80% score on a test with just 3 hours of study but would need to study for 15 hours to get 100%. In this case, the path of least resistance is to do the 20% of work that gets you the 80% result.
So if we look at our martial arts we should concentrate on things that are going to give us the best improvements, advancements, developments and results in the best time possible. Can we use an exercise that can be applied to numerous purposes in our martial arts?
An example would be Kettle bell swings which would give you physical endurance, increased muscle strength, cardiovascular training, increased lung efficiency, core power, balance, flexibility etc.
Why would I say use kettle bells for martial arts?
Well when you are fit, strong, coordinated and flexible you are half way there now you just need to learn the martial art moves.
Now if I were doing a kicking art then I would spend a lot of my time on knee lifts because when my knee lifts are good I can then go into all the various kicks and perform them well which would include, front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick, back kick, hook kick, reverse hook kick etc. So that is my 20% to get my 80%, Knee lifts will also give me flexibility, core strength and stability.
This philosophy is different from taking the easy way out by cheating e.g. Taking steroids, buying your black belt, only turning up to classes two weeks before a grading, only training hard when someone is watching, etc.
Concentrate on the things that will give you the best results and work hard at them, practice, practice and more practice. Look at that 20% that will give you the 80% and once you have that refine the other 20% it is worth it.
Train safe and keep safe