Improving Your Body to Improve Your Taido

Years ago, Rob Redmond (one of the guys who inspired me to start a site about Taido in the first place) wrote an article that changed the way I thought about my training – which ended up changing the direction of my career.

Summary of Redmond’s Axiom of Platform Dependency

Think of a really old computer. Now install some awesome new software on it.

It won’t work.

OK, so that’s the metaphor: You body is the computer. Taido is the software.

If you want Taido to “run” properly on your platform (your body), you need to put effort into developing your capabilities with respect to flexibility/mobility, strength/power, stamina/endurance – and that’s just the physical side of it…

(You could extend this to mental attributes like creativity, etc., which *can* be developed with practice. But for now, let’s focus on just the physical part, because it’s easier.)

If your hardware isn’t able to cope with a certain technique or movement, there are two ways to respond:

  1. Resign yourself to doing it poorly
  2. Improve your hardware

Of course, there’s a third response too: completely ignore this and just pretend that you’ll get better by practicing the same ugly movements again and again (to use the computer analogy, that would be like running the new software over and over again and simply hoping that your old computer will suddenly get better at using it.)

Most People Just Give Up (option #1)

Especially older people, because being older gives us the excuse. And some of those excuses are viable, but in many cases a few months of dedicated effort with workouts or physical therapy can really help.

Which brings us to #2.

Just doing more Taido probably won’t help.

Developing your strength, flexibility, and endurance are things that can be done efficiently if you work with somebody who is an expert in doing so (hint: your Taido teacher is most likely NOT an expert in this).

Just take it slow. Any improvement is improvement.

You don’t have to achieve pro-level fitness to improve your Taido.

But you can make a 5% improvement in your fitness and see an 10% improvement in your Taido as a result.

Think about your “platform,” because if you neglect to improve it, your software will never, ever, ever run the way you’d like it to. Even with many years of practice, many Taido students are never able to do some movements well.

This is why.

And you have every opportunity to do something about it.

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