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Visible Martial Arts

Hit the Books

by Keith Pascal

You love martial arts. You’ve been a practitioner for years.
At times, you stagnate. You know this. There are simply periods in your life where training seems dull and interest lags.
After years in any discipline, from model trains to performing magic, you can’t help having different levels of enthusiasm and interest from year to year.
Recently, I found a way to “reset my martial interest level.” Are you interested in what happened to reignite my enthusiasm for the arts?


The Decision to Rearrange

After a major life event in our family, my wife and I decided to do some house redecorating, which included rearranging our books.
As I’m getting caught up in piling the books by category, I realize that the videos need some work too.
So, other than having to dodge precariously balanced piles with the agility of a ninja, are you wondering what this has to do with martial arts improvement?

Martial Arts In Your Face

We have sooooo many books. They are everywhere … literally in every room of the house. (Yes, including the bathroom.)
What makes our whole house ironic is that we HAVE A LIBRARY. Yes, we have a formal room to house our books, and we still have bookcases in most rooms of the house.
For the past four years, the library has housed our martial arts collection.
Well, we have now decided to put our martial arts books in the living room. There, they will be much more prominent.
In preparation for the book shift, we made piles by category. And the martial collection is already more “in my face.”
I pass the collection several times a day, and already, I’m perusing this book or that. I see a title that interests me, and I pick it up. After all, one of us showed enough interest to buy it in the first place. (My wife is an avid martial artist, too.)
No longer are our precious books hidden away in the “dusty” library.

An Awareness Wake-up

Right now, the titles that stare at me as I walk by are fresh. I’m interested in them all over again.
Simply interacting with a bit of information from this book or gleaning an idea from that book is getting my martial brain churning. Wow.

To get ahead of the game, I know that the next time the books become invisible to me, I’ll need to rearrange them, so the titles reignite my interest and my purpose in buying them.
When I owned a bookstore, we put some of our titles with their faces out, instead of just their spines. Maybe changing the facing books from time to time would shake things up in my brain. (You wondered how we acquired so many books. It helps to have owned a bookstore.)
Facing books also adds visual interest to the room. Just be careful of which titles you make prominent to your guests. They might wonder if you show off 9 Ways to Kill Someone in Their Sleep.
I now believe that if you are aware of your martial arts books and find interest in their titles, you will pick them up more often. If you pick them up, you will read snippets … and gain new perspective.
You will cause your brain to interact with your martial beliefs and skills.
This keeps you in the arts and interested about the martial arts.

The Joy of Martial Arts Books and Videos

Interacting with your book and video collection is so much more than just gleaning new information.
As mentioned before, it keeps you fresh in the martial arts. It gets you thinking.
Yet there is even more to it than that….
You need to consider your martial collections as a whole. Make your book collection represent something about you and the martial arts.
Keep what interests you, obviously. But maybe also keep some books that show the journey you have gone through to get to where you are now.
For example, if you used to practice one style, but now are in a different discipline, maybe keep a book or two from the past style.
And get rid of the rest.
Think of your martial arts books and videos as being living collections. Read new books; watch new videos.
If they appeal to you, keep them. If not, pass them on, or resell them sooner than later.
Make your collections valuable to you, not for the worth of some rare book, but because they offer tight information.

Get rid of anything not of use to you anymore. Make room for something new.
Now, comes the fun part … research and buy new martial arts books and videos. Use the money you got from selling the unwanted books and videos.
Keep your book and video library dynamic.
It will keep your interest in the arts peaked.
You may even build enough enthusiasm to practice what you glean.

Sample Martial Arts Video

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