munchman: Why My Grampa Used to Say, “Your Best Weapon is Your Brain”

Imagine – the old dood said that and we’re not even Jewish! Or Chinese! (Whoa, sorry. This isn’t a good environment for jokes based on ethnic stereotypes, is it?)

Black belts’ white matter shows how a powerful punch comes from the brain (UCLA News)

Brain scans have revealed distinctive features in the brain structure of karate experts, which could be linked to their ability to punch powerfully from close range.

Researchers from UCL and Imperial College London found that differences in the microstructure of connections in the brain were correlated with how black belts and novices performed in a test of punching ability…

“We are just beginning to understand how skills in different areas of expertise are associated with variations in brain structure. These findings show that success in sport might not just be due to physical attributes, but also to differences in athletes’ brains,” said co-author Professor Masud Husain of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

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Studies like this always intrigue me, in part because of how easily they can be converted into metaphors for success. To el muncho the bottom line here is:

Learn! Train! Practice your thing, whatever it is! It’s all about establishing those connections between your brain and, in the case of writers, your fingertips as they tap away at the keys. (Oh, musicians too, I suppose. Which leads me to wonder, “How is a piano keyboard like a writing desk?” For that matter, “How is a raven like a writing desk?”

Uh-oh, morphing into Lewis Carroll. Time to vamoose–