The Benefits of Collaborating with other Artists

To collaborate with people is sometimes quite a scary prospect. One is revealed in all of their glory and their downfalls. Yet this is why it is such a valuable process.

The process of a shared practice gives you the opportunity to emotionally involve yourself in your growth. You become motivated to be better, and you grow (simply by the process of assimilation).

EVEN if you are a guitar player, for instance,  jamming with a piano player: You will learn about the piano players process, musical knowledge, repertoire, strengths, shortcomings, the list goes on… This knowledge that you have gathered through shared practice is actionable and invaluable to you a person, and as an artist. This analogy is applies to every walk of life.

Just make sure that you are either doing this in your leisure time, OR that it is directly contributing to your primary goal/purpose. Otherwise you may find yourself learning about the bassoon while you’re trying to get your rock album down… that could be a waste of time.

Be willing to suck. You won’t suck for long.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” —Henry Ford

Also… couldn’t leave this out:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” —Isaac Newton


-Ben

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Photography by Pok Rie

Choosing the RIGHT Martial Art, and Choosing it RIGHT.

The decision to give yourself to a martial art is a good one. You will gain from it, and you will learn about yourself and about others in ways that you didn’t expect.

This decision is an important one, and it needs some consideration.

You need to find a teacher that resonates with you. You’ve got to find someone who challenges you to become better, yet nurtures your development and helps you heal your wounds.

You should find someone that you’d follow off the edge of a cliff if need be. Because you’ve got to trust the teacher that’s going to push you to become stronger. Without respect, there is no teacher.

Now you need to find the right style. What is your build? What is the purpose of the art for you? Is it discipline, is it focus, is it health, is it practical self defence? Is it sparring and competition? Is it real world self defence?

The question is, are you a fighter or a hobbyist? Consider this when assessing the atmosphere of the gym.

These are all factors to be considered before enrolling yourself in a gym. A quick search on the internet will reveal to you the different characteristics unique to each art. However the best art is fundamentally going to be the one you most want to devote your time to. The best way to get a feel for that is to try out some gyms. How did you feel after leaving, did it excite you? Did you like the people?

A martial art is a collection of guideposts, but the path is going to be specific to traveller. Get a feel for the direction that each martial art will take you in. Have a look around at the guys in this gym, are these guys that you would be happy to be like and to spend time with?

The difference between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Kali is going to be the difference between rolling all over the floor and head-locking people, and calculated in-out weapons combat and disarms.

A martial art is whatever you make it. It is a tool for self-development and discovery. The host of benefits are explicable enough not to even be mentioned on this post. If you are interested, then take a look here.

First and foremost, the practice of martial arts, if you give yourself to the practice and practice off of your own bat, then you will develop the discipline needed to be become a force a nature, and a force with nature.

There is no best one, there is one that you chose right.

And really you should know… If you’re going to do it, do it right. Don’t half ass it;

Like my Sifu said: Train hard, fight easy.


-Ben

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