How martial arts builds attention to detail

“It’s attention to detail that makes the difference between average and stunning.” - Francis Atterbury

Take a plain watermelon for example, a big-picture type of person would leave it as a plain watermelon and sell it for its same worth, but a detailed oriented person takes the plain watermelon and turns it into a beautifully crafted, tropical drink, selling it for double its worth. Not only does attention to detail create more success for the individual, it also improves accuracy, creates positive impressions, and contributes to the capacity to foresee challenges and address them proactively. Detail oriented people eliminate the risk of making an error that could impact their credibility. It's not all about spelling and grammar; attention to detail simply relates to getting the small things right. Each small mistake you make could eventually add up to become a much bigger issue. Martial arts teaches students of all ages how this vital skill can be applied in the studio and in life.

So, how does martial arts provide people with this skill? In improving each student’s basic attention skills we allow them to become better at thinking critically on their own. It also teaches them to ignore distractions to better focus on what they are doing to improve their skill beyond basic knowledge. Finally, and most importantly, repetition. Period.

As an instructor attention to detail has not always come easy to me, especially in the beginning, but each day I teach I can feel that skill growing and after 10 years as a student, repeating techniques over and over again, I can visualize this skill appear in my school work and in life.

Repetition, however can sometimes be a bit mundane which is why Master Ko uses a modified technique to keep students engaged as well as detail oriented. His techniques have not only led me to become a better instructor at KOMA, but a better student as well. While doing poomsae, or just simply kicking paddles, I find myself noticing the little things that I do and can adjust to improve my skills.

The best artists, business leaders, doctors, and even martial arts instructors need extraordinary focus and an ability to pay attention to every detail, especially, when people don’t notice them initially. People should look at all aspects of life with never ending vigilance in order to fully appreciate it. They look at tasks not as things to be done as quickly as possible, but rather as personal objects that should be completed when an individual has taken enough care to complete it as best they can.