Not sure who coined this term, “MAFS” (martial arts fantasy syndrome). Probably Tabby Cat. It describes a syndrome in which the MA student has some ridiculous fantasy he (probably afflicts only males) will have to use his “devastating” skills he’s learning in some David vs. Goliath standoff one day. That is the big underlying motivation for his study. That is the “perceived need” that instructors pander to in their silly marketing messages about “it’s real”, “it’s devastating”, etc. It’s really stupid and possibly unhealthy and dangerous, but it’s easy to be afflicted by it. On the other hand, it’s healthy to have a “fantasy” of getting a lot better at some skill. It’s motivating. Lately, however, I just don’t really care very much about this goal, either. If I can make it to a class, I go. I try to work hard and learn something. Eventually skill comes from that work. A cliche of “kungfu” but maybe, just maybe, I am gaining enough maturity to “just do it” and not really think about the future too much. They say if you desire or seek wuwei, you won’t get it. Only if you aren’t trying to get it will you get it. I have always found that idea fascinating but confounding. Maybe the above idea of “just do it” is a simple way to look at it. I wonder what Dan Wieden thinks about the pop culture impact of his ad slogan.

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