Thursday, August 7, 2014

PCC's personal reads

Sawadeekhap everyone,

PCC here. Just a couple reads of mine I thought I would share that you may enjoy and benefit from.
We have a library at York Muay Thai (YES! We do. Go check it out today) I thought it'd be appropriate to throw some titles out here. One of these books is actually in the library at our gym.

As martial artists, we come to understand that the learning process is an endless one. We are constantly discovering things about ourselves and others. Even in a single technique, the amount of improvements and tweaks that can be made are never ending.

In my experience, I've come to find training Muay Thai to be like a walking on a tight rope. That sweet spot in the center constantly eludes most of us. In order to even taste that sense of perfect balance on the rope, we must pay close attention and lean one way before we end up falling the other way...and then vice versa. It's tightening up one area of our abilities, only to then need to turn our efforts to another area, and then back again to the first. You can learn a lot about yourself in this viscious cycle, so long as you pay attention to the experiences.

Here are two books that helped me learn to pay attention my own strengths and weaknesses, and how they relate to my learning. Truth be told, I'm still working on applying what they've taught me.

I found them fairly accesible to any skill level of student...from the beginner to the athlete. I hope they might help you too:

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey in Pursuit of Excellence
By Josh Waitzkin

Preview the book: click here

"With a narrative that combines heart-stopping martial arts wars and tense chess face-offs with life lessons that speak to all of us, The Art of Learning takes readers through Waitzkin's unique journey to excellence. He explains in clear detail how a well-thought-out, principled approach to learning is what separates success from failure. Waitzkin believes that achievement, even at the championship level, is a function of a lifestyle that fuels a creative, resilient growth process. Rather than focusing on climactic wins, Waitzkin reveals the inner workings of his everyday method, from systematically triggering intuitive breakthroughs, to honing techniques into states of remarkable potency, to mastering the art of performance psychology. 

Through his own example, Waitzkin explains how to embrace defeat and make mistakes work for you. Does your opponent make you angry? Waitzkin describes how to channel emotions into creative fuel. As he explains it, obstacles are not obstacles but challenges to overcome, to spur the growth process by turning weaknesses into strengths. He illustrates the exact routines that he has used in all of his competitions, whether mental or physical, so that you too can achieve your peak performance zone in any competitive or professional circumstance. "

 The Talent Code
By Daniel Coyle
*Available at the York Muay Thai library*

Preview the book: click here

"New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition. "

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