By Jose R. Villanueva

As originally published on the Listen & Be Heard Weekly1, January 4, 2006

The Martial Arts does not have to be complex. In fact, it is the simplicity of techniques that can make it effective. A new practitioner to a system of self-defense may have the viewpoint that it is complex. This is only an apparency because of the unknowingness of one's ability. It is a new skill that is being learned; therefore, anything that is new seems to be complex. Simplicity is created once one's body is oriented to the stretching and exercise routines, one has learned the fundamentals of a self-defense system, and one has applied the techniques to perfection.

If a person is not in communication with one's body, it would be very difficult to manipulate it enough to be able to do the required techniques. If a new practitioner observes the moves and techniques without having an orientation of one's body, it will have the appearance of complexity. One obtains an ability to communicate with one's body by the stretching and exercise routines of the self-defense system. This helps to bring about simplicity.

Learning the fundamentals of a self-defense system will give any new practitioner a solid foundation. These are the building blocks of any system. It is the fundamentals that allow a practitioner to develop his skills on a gradient scale. It is the responsibility of the practitioner to hammer away at his fundamentals until they are perfect. Any weak fundamental will only lead to complexity, and an inability to improve. This aspect will aid to obtaining simplicity.

The techniques and exercises must be applied by the new practitioner on a consistent basis. It is the actual practical application of theory. Anyone can load up on theory, but without application one would never know one could apply the knowledge. It is important for any practitioner to know that any technique is workable. One practices any exercises and techniques to perfection. One must be confident and certain in one's ability to apply them.

The gradient scale of orienting one to one's body by applying stretching and exercise routines, the solidification of fundamentals, and the direct perfect application of exercises and techniques brings about a simplicity. Techniques and exercises themselves are not complex. It is only one's lack of knowledge and one's new beginning into an activity that one is not oriented in that has the appearance of complexity.