Maybe you’ve never considered swinging around a sword or bo staff, throwing a knife, or battling an opponent with a weapon. If you’re a guy, you probably have. But did you know that there are some very real, tangible physical performance benefits to martial arts weapons training?
Many have found that Martial Arts weapons practice is the holy grail of hand eye coordination. While there are studies that show how video games and practicing sports can also help tremendously, there is much less risk with these activities when you compare them to a blade or flexible weapon grazing your face.
I’m not trying to scare you away from weapons training, especially when it can be as safe as gardening when you are given proper instruction. What weapons training offers is slightly more consequence and risk over harmless activities, affording you the opportunity to more rapidly improve yourself. Practice weapons training and your hand eye coordination performance will sky rocket.
The ability to focus is a skill everyone should thrive for both mental clarity and hand eye coordination. You’ll be training with a tool that may be sharp, flexible, solid, and was invented to expire a human life. If you’re not properly trained and show the tool the respect it deserves, you can get hurt. Remember the last time you used something dangerous to perform a task? Maybe a chainsaw in the yard or a knife in the kitchen? How much more did you focus because there was risk involved? Weapons training is the purposeful application of risk to improve your focus.
Your comfort zone will determine your ability to improve or hinder the process of getting better. Your comfort zone is basically your ability or inability to manage fear. The more you wield a weapon that can hurt you (whether it’s sharp or blunt), the greater your comfort zone will be. Going back to our first example, remember the first time you used that chainsaw? How much more comfortable did you feel the second or third time? Weapons training is the same, but you’ll be getting more comfortable with a skill that requires immense hand eye coordination.
Practice is an inescapable part of improving your physical performance, especially when it comes to skill development. So you have to ask yourself, are you practicing FIT?
Frequency: How often are your practicing?
Intensity: How much energy are you really using during your practice? Is your focused intention truly in the moment.
Time: How much time in one day are you even committing to your skill?
By using the right amount of FIT you will excel and progress faster. Think of weapons training like you think of your handstand; you can’t improve it unless you practice FIT. No amount of other activities can improve your handstand like doing more handstands. The same is true of weapons training.
You can only get so far on a skill training alone, and very few fitness activities lend themselves to skilled interaction with another party. Fortunately, with weapons training you have the opportunity for endless amounts of progression. Every opponent will be different, providing a different situation each time.
Having a training partner will improve your overall training development. A partner will take you out of a comfort zone and vary the moves you have been practicing. There can be extreme safety issues in weapon sparring with a partner, so there must be an even greater level of respect for the activity.
Weapons training requires an attention to detail, including targeting, situational awareness, and extended peripheral vision. With a weapon you will understand the importance of targeting. Life or death is the name of game in weapon combat. Once you accept this fact you will be able to use the weapon as an extension of the body. Your depth perception and ability to be precise is key. Developing an eye to narrow your targeting, never mindlessly striking at your target, adds to the value of weapons training. Are you striking at the torso, the neck, or maybe a tendon near the elbow joint?
Your situational awareness and peripheral vision are also integral. Situational awareness is the ability to understand your immediate environment and your body’s place within it. Understanding your space and possible obstructions is crucial.
Want to see Lance Brazil put his weapons training skills into action? Here he is as Deathstroke in Nightwing: The Series