Many times today we tend to look or focus on the end goal or the finished product. By doing so we may very well miss the pure essence of a thing, martial arts being no exception. You can never earn a black belt in any credible system with money alone. The words blood, sweat, and tears come to mind here, more often than money. Can you master a jab without evaluating every single movement involved from the ground to your knuckles, including your chin, your guarding hand, your eyes, your breathing, as well as your thoughts and intentions? When you look at it this way it seems more complex than just throwing your arm at a target, would you agree? Also if broken into micro movements and trained individually and only then progressively put back together into a well orchestrated flow of mind and body can it now be actually called a jab. This could be what the great Bruce Lee meant when he said
"Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick.
After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick.
Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick."
We need to take everything back to the basics sometimes even after years of training, experience, and accomplishment to move to the next level. Contemplation of the journey we have traveled can provide valuable lessons on how to proceed to where we are headed tomorrow. The foundation of our skill is the proof of our understanding, the function and application of our skill depends on the proper training of our movement patterns. If our movement patterns are compromised and trained with muscular and structural compensations our skill will be sub-par and may become a threat to our own safety when we were depending on those skills to protect us.