I do a lot and I mean a lot of Research and Development in the Martial Sciences. I watch video footage, read books, attend seminars and intensives with instructors from different systems, etc., etc. As a serious martial practitioner I put a lot of effort into understanding how other people and or systems move and work. This is very important in my opinion in understanding how people move in violent situations. Beyond even that I have also spent time with unsavory types to get a serious flavor of how they attack and or prey on people. Bottom line we as martial practitioners need to be prepared for anything when it comes to personal protection. One of my favorite things to do though is watch really good martial practitioners in their natural setting whether in person or on video footage. Recently I came across some old tapes with some silat guys pretty much just practicing and showing their skills with some partners. This is absolutely great footage. Sure I love really well made footage as well. You know the kind that is professional to the extreme. However, there is some thing special about seeing things that are not quite as supped up. Raw footage is pretty cool irregardless of what it is. I have totally raw footage of some of my training time in Japan. That stuff is priceless with a capital P. The Shihan who let us film is a one of a kind person and he blessed us by allowing us to video tape him teaching. It is raw footage in the extreme but more important to me than any other footage that I have. Research and Development is so important and of course it gives you inspiration! Inspiration is essential for the long time practitioner! If you have good, solid research you can then be inspired, train and learn from it. Learn of course with an instructor so that you do not make silly mistakes or ingrain bad habits. However, learn from your research even if it is just seeing how a system moves so that you can then recognize those cues. That may be all it takes to give you an edge in a violent situation. Make sure you have some time set aside beyond your training to do good Research and Development! This is important! More important than you may ever know to your over all growth as a martial practitioner!
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