In the Martial Arts world, many people unfortunately confuse the art of combat with the art of training for combat. Training should be a progression, a method. Therefore, the spirit behind cannot be the same as the one behind fighting. And here is the mistake, the common misconception: People train with “fighting spirit”, even anger, when they should train with “fighting attitude” and what Bruce Lee use to call “emotional content”. Strangely enough, one of the best ways to improve your skills in martial arts is to invest into losing.
Let’s say you are practicing Chi Sao, and you really don’t want to be touch, you don’t want to “lose”. You will tense up, forgetting the very essence of the exercise, and will have a tendency to only use the skills you’ve already mastered not to take any risk. At the end, you wouldn’t improve your fluidity, and you wouldn’t learn anything new.
On the contrary, he, who relaxes, and really does not care about being touched, knowing that relaxation and feeling are more important things to learn at this stage of his practice, will not only develop better sensitivity and intuition in the art of combat, but will also be willing to try “new stuff”, to take risk, knowing he is in a secure and friendly environment. Not being stressed by the will to win, he would also have the time to observe the techniques used by his partner, consequently learning new moves.
After few years of the exact same training, the student who invested into losing, accepting being touched during drills, sparring games, etc., will develop much better skills in martial arts and in life as well, having learnt the art of fluidity, (Tuloy tuloy). The other guy will eventually get frustrated and his intuition will always be overcome by stress, tension, competition and anger.
The “loser” becomes the “winner”, and the “winner”, the “loser”.