Martial Arts, Movement

The Magic of Slow

If there is one thing that preparations for our Taekwondo black belt test has taught Mr E and me, it’s that there is pure magic in practising slowly.

We wanted to combine studying the Korean terms for movements with cleaning up our technique and basic stances, so we practised by naming each movement, transition and stance in Korean before executing it, and then moving into the next part of the form sequence.

The study partner verified each name (we used a forms book for this) and then confirmed or helped correct it before the next movement could be initiated.

This did not only help us focus more deeply on the sequence, it also helped us deepen the connection with each movement, it’s meaning and it’s purpose, while improving our balance, coordination and strength.

It enabled us to clean up ‘cheats’, movement shortcuts and ingrained habits, and the mental grasping for the Korean names meant more actual brain power was used while studying.

We each struggled our way through all eight forms this way (with mental and physical breaks in between, which took us two days in total in the end!) before re-testing them at ‘regular’ speed.

The end result was phenomenal.

Our movements were suddenly much faster(!), and at the same time more relaxed. They felt more crisp, more effortlessly powerful, more balanced, with cleaner transitions.

We felt more flexible and grounded than ever before.

The effect lasted for over a week.

I’m now inspired to try this for practising (and teaching!) dance as well as basic movements.

And you? What are your experiences with super slow and focused movement?

Where (and how) do you employ it?

What are the effects when you do?

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