Kayaking and the martial arts

This blog wouldn’t be the first time that kayaking has been compared to the martial arts. Kayak expeditionary Doug Ammons has often referred to the similarities between the two activities. This is going to be a short post as I do not want to labour the point, but I just want to place a seed for the idea of how to learn.

Kayaking has great similarities with Wing Chun, in that much of it relies on feel and sensitivity and not brute force. Kayaking also requires precision. Some say that in white water all the loveliness of practiced flatwater strokes go out of the window. I disagree.

It would be similar to saying that there is no point practicing precision in martial arts because a real fight is messy. You need to practice precision so that your muscle memory is built up and you have the movements down precisely without the need to think. Once this level is reached you simply ‘do’ the movements, and they are accurate because you have practiced stringently.

If you practice sloppily you will only be even more sloppy when the chips are down.

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