I suppose there’s a certain point in training. Or said differently, I think I have a point I reach when training. Distracted. Sore. But physically as ready as I am going to be.
I’m at that point with a few days before this latest Chinese swordsmanship tournament.
Could I in better shape? Yes.
Do I wish that my foot and shoulder weren’t tweaked? Yes.
Could I practice more? Yes… but I fear with diminishing returns.
Muscle memory accounts for a lot. You’ve got to train the basics into the bones, by passing the brain. Deflections, counter-cuts, basic cuts, stepping – all of it has to be trained into the bones so that you can execute anything and any time.
Until this sort of training isn’t done unquestioningly then you can fight practice match after practice match and not get a bit better. You’ll be stuck thinking about what to do as supposed to doing it.
But, at a certain point, that training ceases to return the same kind of gains as it once did.
And that’s when the training gets much much harder. It becomes all mental.
I’ve been playing my opponents in my head now for a few days. Thinking about what they like to do and considering what my response will be. Thinking about what people who I’ve never faced will likely do and what my responses would be.
This may seems easy, but it is exhausting. Exhausting and crucial. For me, now, this is the most important part of my training. And I’m not sure if I am training well. Guess I’ll have to wait until Saturday to see how things go.