Martial Arts without a philosophy is simply violence. In all our programs we focus on developing the right environment for success to take place. As Coach Rodney is fond of saying, “environment informs behaviour.” As such we approach martial arts training, regardless if its simply for fun, or self-preservation from a counter cultural position. The status quo in modern martial arts circles seems to revolve around bravado, the tough guy attitude, hyper-competitiveness, overinflated ego’s, posturing and a focus on winning at all costs. Added to this, especially in the world of reality based self defense is an obsessions with dispensing violence as a resolution to violence. In all the Crazy Monkey Defense Trainers programs and courses, along with our own personal research – we have found that these kinds of environments and approaches seldom lead to peak ‘fighting’ performance as many advocates of these approaches above have suggested. In fact it is often the complete opposite.
What is needed to enhance martial arts performance, no matter if it is on the mat, or in the streets – is adaptive thinking, that is centred on creativity, leading to innovation. Non of these are possible if all a person is receiving is a beat down, or made to feel more paranoid about violence each time they enter the training environment. While this may seem contrary to the conventional way of thinking, to inspire people to be adaptable, to be creative, and innovate, you need to train them in such a way that invokes playfulness,personal challenge and the openness to learn from mistakes. No one ever gets any better by constantly been made to feel useless, and or having to constantly measure themselves against others. What is key is that the philosophy of the training environment is set up in such a way that each person works to achieve greater personal success than they did yesterday, all in an experience that seeks to gradually inspire them to break the barriers of obstacles that stand in their way.
The success of all our programs has been due to our intense focus on helping each individual we train overcome not their outer opponents, but the number one opponent that will hold them back from succeeding, themselves. All of this is done with personal respect for each person. By taking an individual approach to teaching, instead of a one size fits all approach. And honouring each persons innate capacity to grow through a purposeful environments built on play, personal challenge, and expanded further through a mindful approach to the experience on the training mat.