How to Express Yourself and Not Be a Martial Arts Robot


Hey. Ando again from Happy Life Martial
Arts. Bruce Lee spoke famously about the struggle to express yourself honestly in
your martial arts training so how you doing with that i sat down with Sifu
Matt Ember to talk about how to make your martial arts journey your own so
you don’t turn into a sad rusty robot. It’s always more difficult I think for
people to do something of their own right than it is to just follow along
follow the steps give me the give me the form I’ll just do what you do and do you
think that artists creative mindsets make better martial artists when you’re
talking about owning your own stuff having your own self knowledge like
Bruce Lee would say I’m expressing myself but I always when he would say
that I always worried that yeah but if you’re not an artist at heart anyway you
don’t even know what that means you’re a few of the other type of brain where I
need a formula I need steps I need a logical flow from this to that show me
what the map is you’d be a very well designed machine and execute things well
but you’ll never really understand what Bruce Lee was talking about when he
talks about expressing yourself you might be right that you would never
understand that my my contention would be that I think everybody has an
artistic temperament they may not know it and I wouldn’t in my way encourage
people to express that and to find it and sometimes you don’t find it until
you’ve expressed it and then you realize oh that was it that was me being kind of
creative there so I think that’s good but I think I think it’s always in you
and I think for whatever reason people who identify themselves as creative
people feel more free to express it than other people who don’t identify as
creative person that doesn’t mean they’re not creative so if you have if
you get over the fear of failure or embarrassment you try more things then
you learn more about yourself and now you might be a lot more creative than
you think right yeah you can’t seriously if you if you let go of some of that
fear or you fuse fight through that fear that’s holding you back or stopping you
from try as hard as possible absolutely and you
know I’m very used to say to us I don’t want anyone to fight like me and I want
you to fight as I fight I want you to think the way I think and use the
techniques in the way I put things together in your way
but I always have to fight in your way he didn’t want to make you so sad I want
to make a whole bunch of little Andre BOTS rather who fight just like me
because it’s also impossible you can’t fight like somebody else and you can
only fight like yourself you can imitate somebody else’s movements but it’s
always gonna come out your way it’s like listening to two musicians play the same
string of notes it always comes out just slightly differently right we’ve had
students in wheelchairs right and we’ve had students who of those two students
that were in wheelchairs one could not get out of his wheelchair so he had to
learn to fight in his wheelchair the other one was amazingly good at just
bouncing out of his wheelchair and coming at you on the ground either you
know by himself or using his wheelchair as a weapon I mean any body type any any
disabilities can be incorporated any abilities can be incorporated you’re
very good at high-kicking so I would never say don’t high kick you’re good at
it I’m not as good at high kicking so I don’t tend to throw as many high kicks
but I had to learn how to defend against high kicks because there are people like
you out there right what advice can you give them to make sure they’re on the
right path so they are taking chances and heading in the right direction to
own their own life as opposed to being a robot I’ve two things the short answer
is the one that Andre gave to me after a couple months in this art he just look
one day and he said don’t quit and I said why did you think I was going to
and he said no but a lot of people do after a couple months and you’ll never
get it if you quit hmm don’t quit right the other answer is I think if you can
get people to try and not quit they surprise you and themselves a lot
they’re better than they think they are mmm-hmm at whatever it is they think
they suck at mmm-hmm because a lot of times at the internal critic is very
strong the one that says how you suck you suck at this you suck at that or you
suck in general it’s a very strong voice we can hear sometimes and it’s never
good it’s not a good voice so you have to learn away or find a way or somebody
has to give you a way to shut it up or to do it anyway
yes sir and so I think that was Andres way when I was just starting that was
him giving me the way to do it anyone don’t quit you’re gonna want to is
basically what he was saying even if you don’t today there will come a day where
you say to yourself I got something else to do or maybe I just don’t have it
today to go work out or you know I’m too busy these days you don’t have kids now
whatever don’t quit find a way even if you suck even if you’re injured even if
even if you’ve got little kids that need your attention and your time don’t quit
I didn’t quit teaching I just decided I’ll teach out of my house. absolutely I
think you just solved all the world’s problems right there. I doubt it.>No. Iwas kidding. For sure you haven’t. Not yet.

22 thoughts on “How to Express Yourself and Not Be a Martial Arts Robot

  1. It took me a few times listening to this to really get what the message was. You need a good instructor to let the students express themselves. Where I go most of the instructors are much younger and don't understand the difficulty of older students. We had one but he is not there now. My right leg roundhouse kicks were not that great at 25 never mind 58..It's a hip thing that is not going to get better. Crescent kicks on that side work great. Maybe being to old to be a robot is a good thing..(:

  2. First you have to do what Bruce suggested to his students, go and experience a variety of martial arts, take what works for you to spend what does not work for you and add what is necessary.
    As a martial artist who creates and refines his style all the time I can write a book on the subject, but in brief my tip is not to go for big changes just try to optimize what you do with the aim to spend less energy and reduce the amount of movement and shorten the fight, Which corresponds to the body's position after the previous technique, to learn to perform a simple technique in a surprising timing, to practice striving for a goal position in the battle from any contact with the opponent. Choose similar techniques or the same principle for a number of different situations and preferably prefer to practice the techniques that work for me better than to invest in other techniques that work for me less.

  3. How can you deal with being placed in bondage by emotion n the need or subconscious want to improve? I feel held bck by not knowing why i fight or express myself my stomach is tight n dishonesty crawls.

  4. Hey ando I just got my orange belt! I'm doing a inschool tournament and I'm learning a purple belt form I'm going to compete with it it's about 44 moves, I'll let you know how I place it November 3rd. Thanks for all your help!!!! Love your channel

  5. Although your ideas are very interesting, I feel you forget to say one thing.
    One can only express himself when one has mastered the art.
    This talk of « being creative, expressing yourself » is not appropriate for beginners in my opinion, because they don’t realize what works and what doesn’t, they don’t know their body and capacities, they don’t know anything about fighting.
    The Japanese have this conception of Shu Ha Ri : Shu meaning imitating to the perfection what your master showed, Ha adapting it to your needs, Ri meaning freeing yourself totally of it (there is no form anymore, there is no pre-arranged technique, all you do is express yourself in the correct way).
    Ri is what you and Bruce Lee talk about, but to get to that point you need to have perfect mastery of your art. When you do, you arrive at the point where the art can’t teach you anything new, and is only limiting you. At that point, you can free yourself of it, and everything you do will be good because the basics are inside you.

  6. Great interview. I would take it a step further and advise people to apply that creative mindset to ANYTHING they love and do, to look outside of rigid views and dogma and search for the essence themselves. Fair bit of warning; when you go against the grain, the grain rubs back.

  7. Hi I just wanted to say I’ve been boxing for 6 years now had lots of bouts my record is 12/4 and I’m still terrified of a street fight as I’ve never been in one cos it looks very different to boxing which I’m very confident in any advice?

  8. I had a TKD instructor who loved to teach self defense strategy that was based on his flexibility and physiology. They always incorporated really high kicking with great control. But my flexibility wasn't nearly as good as his, and I'm only 5' 7", so while these techniques were great for him to express himself, they just didn't work for me. Even now as an advanced student, I would never try those techniques. I'm simply built differently.

  9. Sensei i want to ask you something that is not related to the video but i need help. I am training in a dojo in greece for 3 years now and i feel pretty confident about defending myself but i still do not know how to deal with multiple opponents. Although i have never had to fight multiple opponents i'm afraid that i won't be able to handle the situation. Can you help me on that or even make a video on the subject?

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