So often people confuse the sophisticated movements of our art with the applications and qualities that Martial Arts training develops.
To probably better understand what we are discussing let’s consider weight training. Absolutely you could go in each session grab a comfortable set of weights and do a chosen amount of repetitions. Have your workout routine set for a specific amount of time and never vary. The problem with that concept, although for many considered a “maintenance” program. Is that it is proven that over time you will actually digress in your fitness levels.
To benefit from your training and continually “improve”- gain muscle, strength, cardio, etc. You must increase resistance, duration, alter exercises, etc. However, the important thing to remember that by continually improving your overall physical fitness levels you can complete daily requirements of; house and yard work, lifting, bending, and playing with the kids, etc. quite easily with little risk of injury. Also, should the need arise you have that little something extra to draw on.
Training in the Martial Arts really is the same thing. As one advances they are introduced to more sophisticated applications and more challenging actions that have a lessor margin for error. However, when push comes to shove; the skilled Martial Artist is going to execute the most basic actions that he/she is most comfortable with.
Now to the common observer this action may appear highly skilled and “complicated” but to the trained individual it is truly almost second nature. Much like a gymnast, dancer or musician. Also note like the gymnast, dancer and musician; that developing the precision of these actions regardless of sophistication level it takes time and effort.
So martial arts training has very effective and simple applications often learned in the earlier stages. However, to improve them and develop them- like your muscles you need to challenge them with a higher degree of difficult, increase their speed and or increase the repetitions that you train with. All of this designed to move you towards a higher peak of performance. However, ultimately to help you easily navigate the simple things in life using the simplest of methods to perform them.
We have a theme we use when analyzing our choices of actions referred to as “economy of motion.” Our definition is choosing the best target, best weapon, and best angle to achieve maximum results with minimal effort. So you can see it is not really about a complex move in application but the challenging of skills so that at the moment of need the simplest of choices/actions can solve the situation. However, you have higher degrees of skills available should you need to resort to them.
So in reality as a Martial Artist under pressure, both in a defense situations as well as in life the goal is to “simplify.”