Abandon all weakness, ye who enter here.

Instinct - The Importance of Daily Training for No Technique

How can instinct influence your training? Well, a tip from Enter the Dragon can give us a quick summary:

Shaolin Abbott: What is the highest technique you hope to achieve?

Bruce Lee: To have no technique.

What does it mean to have no technique? INSTINCT. When you have the instinct to do an action, it no longer is a technique – instead, it becomes a part of you.

Dan Gable said about tasks that “If it is important, do it everyday”. This seems like sound advice from someone who wrestled through the 1972 Olympics and won gold without giving up A SINGLE POINT. But why is this advice so important?

Well, I'll ask it this way: how are habits formed? Research suggests that it takes about 21 days to form a habit, which means that you have to do that habit EVERY ONE of those 21 days. The first couple of days that you do it, you have to consciously push yourself to do that task, and you'll probably struggle through, constantly finding reasons not to do the task.

Yet, the longer you successfully go through with doing the habit, the more ease you'll have. By the 21st day, you don't even think about what you're doing, it just happens. In fact, by that time, it's harder for you NOT to do it than it is for you to do it, which is why you want to avoid making bad habits.

So how does this relate to daily training? Let's look at wrestling for example. As a wrestling noob, one of the first things you learn to do is shoot on your opponent.  

The first time you try to shoot, it feels INCREDIBLY awkward. Dropping your leg and sliding your foot across the wrestling mat just feels like an unfortunate, awkward dance that a drunk relative might attempt at a wedding. But the more you practice shooting, the easier it becomes; when you move onto more complex take-downs or pinning techniques, shooting comes as second nature. IT'S NO LONGER A TECHNIQUE AT THIS POINT. You don't have to get on a mat and say “Oh, this guy is open, I should do that shoot I learned in practice.” When you see the opening, your body seems to shoot on its own, with everyone else remarking how “fast” it looked and how “easy” it seemed.

There is a quote that comes to mind, unknown author, that goes “Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong.” When your training is embedded into your body, when your techniques are carved into your every movement, you essentially embody your sport, martial art, etc. You don't have to think about things, you just do. You reach the highest level.

You have no technique. It's all instinct. That's how you learn to become a BEAST at whatever you do.