30 Day Challenge/Day 23: Fitness levels

One of the most important areas of our training is our Fitness levels. Defined by Mr. Hancock into five areas: Spiritual, Perceptual, Emotional, Mental and Physical. Each, although interrelated helps us to govern areas of training and to recognize aspects of our overall improvement and/or short comings. I believe I could fill novels with the value of exploring Fitness Levels but we will keep it brief.
How the Fitness Levels work together and aid us has several different methods. What I have discovered about my purpose for teaching is really what I call “Self-Improvement through Self-Defense.” I use Self-Defense training as a process to introduce and develop pathways for Self-Improvement. Again, it really gets back to our Ultimate Purpose- ACTION: “Absolute Commitment To Improve Ourselves Now.” (See Day 3- ACTION) The process of introducing improvement must filter through each of the Fitness Levels.
I’m going to give a brief description of each area but the intent of this article is how I relate the levels for training development and how it relates to improvement. For a much deeper understanding of Fitness Levels I can’t recommend enough to reading Mastering Kenpo – The Path to Excellence by Skip Hancock. (Mastering Kenpo)
Physical – We start our training with physical fitness because it is the easiest to affect. Measured by muscle response, physique and organic function it is through these modalities that we can start and then work to understanding and developing other Fitness Levels.
Perceptual – As we become aware of our physical abilities, sore from training, interact physically we become more acutely aware of our senses. The quality of our sight, sound, touch specifically but also increased is our awareness of smell and taste is all measured by how much we are Intune or aware of them. Our perceptions are the signals that we receive and improved levels of awareness that inspire our Mental Fitness (See Day 12- Controlling Yourself)
Mental – Mental Fitness is the correct interpretation of the events (a response to the signals received) and to focus attention, avoiding distractions until achieving set goals. Through experiences we gain understanding of logical process (See Day 19- Most Logical) As we interpret the events that we are involved in it is important that we make clear choices and avoid unnecessary aspects that may limit our successes.
Emotional – This is the process of reframing situations in such a way as it makes us more powerful. So we interpret the events and then reframe them for our improvement. In Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene a study was done on people who were feeling anxious about public speaking. Those who used words like nervous, concerned, etc. had relatively difficult speeches. Those that described their feelings with words like excited and ready performed much better. They then took participants that were anxious and got them to repeat the word “excited” and their performances improved immensely simply by saying the word even though they were still somewhat anxious. Our emotional aspects are very powerful but it is like I describe especially for my younger students. “Things are boring. We are the ones who define them as such. Things aren’t fun. We are the ones who define them as such. We merely need to change our definitions. Things are what they are. We are the ones that make them something else.”
Spiritual – This truly is the process of improvement. The courage to live by our standards and beliefs. To use the principles we train with for self-defense in our daily lives. To not run with the crowd but to actually take a stand for what is right and against what is wrong. To be free from intimidation. It’s a long journey and we often times fail. But armed through our training with Confidence, Commitment and Compassion it becomes easier and like a muscle the more we train it, the stronger our Spiritual Fitness grows.

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