The Cappuccino Analogy (Part 1)

A friend and student of mine told me once a great analogy about martial art and cappuccino and I liked it so much, that I have to share it. It also helps to get a better understanding of some trainings that are done but make no sense at the beginning.

It is based on the 3 levels of martial art.

• The physical level (70%)

• The psychical level (25%)

• The energetical level (5%)

He said, that based on that martial art is like a cappuccino.

The coffee is the physical level and the biggest part to achieve. You can drink it alone and even then it is good. That means that with good physical skills alone you are able to defend yourself.


The milk froth is the psychical that is not so big but more complex. Even that you can eat/drink alone and with that knowledge you are able to avoid most physical confrontations.

The cacao powder is the energetical that makes the taste perfect. If you take a spoon and try to eat it alone it is horrible but in combination with coffee and milk froth it makes perfection.

When you want to learn a true martial art and I do not mean traditional, I mean a true martial art it has to have this 3 levels of improvement.

That does not mean that fighting sports are bad. In my opinion they are great and very effective but they have no answer for older ages, woman and weak people and not everybody wants to train like that. But even there they use the 3 Levels but they do most of the time not concentrate so much on that or even do not realize it. They train the physical very strong to be able to stand for several rounds in the Octagon. On psychical level they have to develop self-confidence in their abilities and they have to know when in a fight the self-confidence of their opponent is broken and if you search there for an energetical level it is also there. The energetical levels are the feints and tricks. When it works and you trick your opponent that he for example drops the hands down course you gave him the feeling that you make a kick to the groins but in fact you wanted exactly that to hit him in the face then it is great. If it did not work you must fight anyway.

At this point I want to make a statement before I go on with the article.

Only if you separate all this Levels and try to go as deep as possible in each of that you will be able to reach the highest levels of martial art. If you only want to concentrate on one then take physical or the psychical level but never ever the energetical level.

Here is a small list what is included in each of these Levels. Of course it is not all and should more be seen as an idea.

Physical Level:

Here it is all about training and understanding the physiology and anatomy.

• Kicks, Punches, Grabs

• Tuite

• Grappling

• Self-Defense, Tactics, Combatives

• Knowledge about anatomy and the weak points (Kyusho Jutsu)

• Working with the center

• Knowledge about inner muscle constrictions

• Weapon Training

• Sparring, Fighting

Psychical Level:

Here you try to understand the psychological aspect and you try to become stronger yourself and in the same way try to use it to weaken your attacker.

At a higher stage it is about avoiding any kind of confrontations at all.

• Self-confidence

• Knowledge how to cause protective reflexes of the opponent

• The ability to handle fear

• Knowledge how to handle constrictions that are cause by adrenaline and how to use them as a benefit against the aggressor

• The knowledge about the right timing

• Knowledge about mirror neurons

Energetical Level:

This is one of the highest levels of martial art and it causes also the most discussions course it is not understood. It is based on a deep understanding of the physical and psychical level and a perfect synergy of both.

• Causing reflexes without touching

• Knowledge about conditioning and how to use it in a fight

• Knowledge about subtle movements to create beneficial reflexes


The Autor:

Benjamin Cem Gencoglu

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