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whistlekick Martial Arts Radio

Jul 21, 2016

Muscle memory is when your body does something automatically. Muscles remember what to do by repeating something many times. Sometimes this is called motor learning. In martial arts, this is the ability to, say, throw a punch without thinking about all of the small things required - which knuckles to use, twisting the hand, the retracted hand, etc. 

There's a bad side to motor learning - like when throwing a technique, someone throws it to the same place without thinking. Every time.

There are ways to expand muscle memory and not be locked in to only a few patterns. Practice things differently. Routine is the enemy. It’s not that we don’t want muscle memory, it’s that we don’t want it to limit us. Work different heights, different body placements, different combinations. Strange combinations. Different speeds. When you slow things down you can focus on the movements and make adjustments. That's something we should all be doing anyway.

Jeremy offers his favorite drill for combatting the negative effects of motor learning.

Today's featured product is our sweatpants.