Building Martial Memroy
Martial Arts training is effective when it taps into the body\'s ability to link memory to motion -- or muscle memory. The more the medical, biological, psychological, and anthropological sciences learn about the human mind and memory, the more we realize that our brains are not computers in the way memory works. Where computers utilize descriptions and dates to store isolated and static components of information or commands, humans use emotions. Memory is grounded in situation, and allows humans to translate information into motion much faster than computer commands.
No time for checklists! Just Move!
The first category -- declarative memory -- is where humanity falls short of computing's recall abilities in speed and accuracy. This is the realm of grocery lists, addresses, and emails. Many martial arts instructors fall into the "if-then" trap of teaching. As declarative memory is closer to our analytical surface, it's what we think of when we talk about memory. The temptation is to leave training to our declarative memory, and not dig deeper. "IF" there is a high attack, "THEN" use a high block. On its face, this is a fine statement.
However, "remember" that this area of memory is where we are weakest. When under attack, it takes far too long for declarative processes to: recognize a dangerous situation; confirm a threat; identify an attack; assess the attack; recall defense options; link defensive options to identified attack; choose the appropriate defensive option; and activate the appropriate defense technique. To be effective in martial arts, that entire sentence has to occur BEFORE the reality of the "IF." If it seems impossible, don't worry, it is
Implicit memory is the realm of emotions, peripheral vision, feelings, reflexes, and autonomic responses. There is no \"if\" in this realm, rather a memory-triggered procedural response that unleashes your movements with blinding speed.