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I recently read Tim Hauser’s biography/oral history of Muhammad Ali, and found myself equally fascinated with the recollections of his trainer, Angelo Dundee as with those of  The Champ himself. Dundee was Ali’s trainer and corner man for the vast majority of his professional career, and several of his observations about training Ali overlap with the unwieldy task that faces the serious martial arts instructor. Caveat- One thing is apparent above all others: Ali is one of those people who is massively gifted in kinesthetic intelligence and physical ability. The vast majority of us will never be able to approach his prime level of ability, even with the best possible training. My point here isn’t going to be that we can/should all perform or train like Ali, but that some things that his trainer did to work with his natural abilities are worth considering.

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"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin

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