We got you covered.

Developing Timeless Tools And The Good Old Days

Must Read

Have you ever spent time with someone who seems stuck in the past, constantly reminiscing about the “good old days”? Picture the former high school quarterback who can’t stop talking about his glory days on the football field. This type of person dwells on past achievements, often bringing up stories from years ago as if they happened just yesterday.

They might frequently recount tales of winning games, describing plays in minute detail, or nostalgically recall the camaraderie and excitement of being part of the team. While remembering the past has a certain charm, it can also be tiresome when it becomes the main focus of every conversation or your own internal dialog.

NOW is the “good old days.”

This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in the world of martial arts. As practitioners enter their 40s, there’s a noticeable shift in conversations towards reminiscing about the “good old days” and recounting the physical feats they once achieved. This often includes detailed stories about the techniques they mastered, the competitions they won, and the physical prowess they once had.

I find these conversations somewhat disheartening. While looking back fondly on past achievements is natural, staying present and appreciating the current moment is equally important. That’s why I often find myself interrupting these nostalgic exchanges among my peers to remind them that “right now is the good old days.

Timeless Tools

Living in the past often stems from a combination of idleness and ego. While it certainly requires effort to develop physical skills, relying solely on athletic prowess can be a limited approach. Over time, physical abilities inevitably decline, and if all you’ve focused on are the athletic applications of your body, you’ll eventually find yourself running out of steam.

That’s why mastering proper mechanics and techniques is crucial. These timeless tools will serve you well into the future, long after your peak athletic years are behind you. Investing in these skills means you’re not just building for the present; you’re preparing for a future where you can continue to excel in different ways.

Focusing solely on physical athleticism can leave you with nothing but memories to share as you age, recounting the “good old days” to anyone who will listen. Instead, by cultivating a deep understanding of principle-focused techniques and mechanics based more on proper timing, positioning, and sensitivity, you ensure that your skills and knowledge remain relevant and valuable, enabling you to adapt and thrive at any stage of life.

This concept reminds me of something one of my teachers told me in my teens, “If this is not a skill that I will still have when I am 80, Then why am I putting so much effort into obtaining it?

When I mention idleness, I’m referring to the tendency to rest on past achievements rather than pushing forward to acquire new skills. Indeed, reaching any level of proficiency requires significant effort. Still, it demands an even greater determination to continue progressing and to embrace the mindset of a perpetual student or a “perpetual white belt.”

This relentless pursuit of improvement requires sifting through vast information to identify truly timeless tools that don’t diminish as your physical abilities wane. I commonly use the Timeless Tool Principle in all of my teachings.

The Principle of Timeless Tools

Timeless tools are skills you develop early in your journey and continue to refine throughout your life, improving as you go. Take, for example, the skill of timing. With proper training, your ability to master timing can continue to evolve, allowing you to perform with precision and effectiveness, regardless of age. This is in contrast to physical strength, which, while necessary, has a peak and will inevitably decline with age.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t focus on building strength—it’s a crucial component of overall fitness and capability. However, it’s essential to plan with the understanding that physical strength will fade over time. This foresight enables you to invest in skills that aren’t solely dependent on your athletic prowess.

Identifying and developing these skills is essential, as they will continue to serve you well and improve as you age, ensuring that you still have valuable assets late into your journey. Focusing on these enduring skills ensures that your capabilities evolve, allowing you to adapt and thrive throughout your life rather than merely looking back at what once was.

Teaching On Multiple Levels

When I teach, I aim to engage students on multiple levels, addressing four fundamental aspects every time a topic is presented:

1.      Technique: This is the foundational layer where specific methods related to the topic are taught. It’s a critical focus area as it involves the direct application of skills.

2.      Attribute Development: In this segment, we explore key attributes that enhance the learning of techniques. For example, timing is an essential attribute; students learn exercises that help develop a sense of tempo and timing in their movements. Another crucial attribute is positioning—training the body or hands to be in the right place at the right time, which transcends physical athleticism and is considered a timeless tool.

3.      Body State Training: Here, we focus on developing control over various states of muscular flexion. This training involves learning how to modulate and control the body’s muscular tension—switching it on and off as needed. A deep understanding of this aspect allows students to release residual tension and remain relaxed under stress, which is a high-level skill that significantly impacts the effectiveness of any technique applied.

4.      Mindset: Finally, the mindset with which techniques and attributes are applied is fundamental. The psychological state, including focus, resilience, and adaptability, shapes how effectively a student can implement their skills in different scenarios.

Each of these layers is interconnected, contributing to a comprehensive learning experience that goes beyond mere physical training. By addressing technique, attribute development, body state, and mindset, I ensure that students not only master specific skills but also develop the deeper, underlying capabilities that support lifelong proficiency and adaptability in their practice.

Comprehensive Educational Approach

Whenever you are training or taking a class to expand your knowledge, your instructor must cover several essential areas. Merely learning techniques isn’t enough and, in my view, represents a disservice. A competent instructor should possess a broad knowledge base that allows them to provide a multi-dimensional educational experience focused on the subject at hand.

A good program will go beyond basic techniques; it should include drills and methods designed to develop the right attributes associated with those techniques. Additionally, a well-rounded class will provide insights and training methods for developing body state capabilities, enhancing your effectiveness in applying the techniques. Finally, a comprehensive training session should incorporate mindset development related to the subject matter you are studying.

In my opinion, addressing these components—technique, attribute development, body state training, and mindset—is the foundation of a quality educational experience in any training program. This approach ensures that students learn specific skills and understand and integrate the broader aspects necessary for holistic development in their practice.

I apply this comprehensive educational approach in all my teaching, whether I’m conducting my own programs or training a group of instructors. A truly effective instructor does more than just teach techniques; they transform how you think about the subject you’re learning.

A well-taught class or course should elevate your thinking, not merely involve a passive reception of techniques followed by a swift departure. This superficial method of instruction is far too prevalent in the educational industry and represents a significant area in need of reform. A meaningful educational experience should engage you on multiple levels, encouraging deeper understanding and application of the material.

My goal is to cultivate more individuals with the warrior mindset and leadership qualities necessary to confront challenges head-on, particularly in times of crisis. I envision a world where more individuals are ready and willing to stand up against the increasing adversities and evil forces at play.

Shift Your Perspective, Take the Action, Transform Your World.

~ Sifu Alan 

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and articles from EP Wired.

Latest News

Lil Wayne’s Ex-Bodyguard Fights to Keep Lawsuit From Being Tossed Out

Carlos Christian, Lil Wayne’s ex-bodyguard, is fighting to keep his lawsuit against the rapper from being tossed out. The...

More Articles Like This

Download Advance Work: Route Survey

    Download Advance Work: Restaurant

      Download Helicopter Extration: Landing Zone

        EP Career

        Your registry of the best opportunities in executive protection.

        EP Directory
        The right place to explore EP companies.