I took my first Krav Maga class the other day. It was fun, albeit a little simplistic. I have a background in Japanese jujitsu, and many martial art forms and self-defense classes borrow from Japanese jujitsu in some form or fashion. Krav Maga is no different. The names for stances and defenses may have been altered, but the techniques are similar, if not the same ones that are found in Japanese jujitsu.
That being said, I loved the simplicity of the class. It reminded me of my early days in Japanese jujitsu. I remembered the thrill I used to experience when I trained. I took delight in having a frame of reference for what the instructor was saying and in having the ability to understand why one stance was preferred to another or how one technique worked. It was exhilarating on both a mental and physical level.
Those reasons alone cause me to cherish the basics. If I had only those reasons, I would be content. I would defend the cause of remembering the basics. Fortunately, those aren’t the only reasons. Returning to the basics is a good checkup. It ensures that I haven’t wandered too far off the path. It requires me to revisit techniques and, perhaps, to learn them better than I have in the past. Maybe I didn’t comprehend a technique fully the first time I learned it. Returning to it can help me to understand it better or on a deeper level.
Writing is no different. It has its basics. Those basics need to be reviewed and revisited regularly. It’s the only way to grow as a writer. Most writers don’t simply awaken one day and write wonderful things. No, writers can write wonderful things because they understand the importance of the basics. Those writers don’t forget or ignore them; they learn them, return to them regularly, and build upon them.
Why do you cherish the basics?