This mantra is one that I learned back in Basic Training. One of my drill sergeants was reaming us all good one day as he was instructing us in the procedure of how to break and enter a building, to then clear a room. We were all struggling, trying to essentially panic through the movements, not working cohesively as a team either. Needlessly to say, our drill sergeant was becoming rather infuriated. He put a halt to the training exercise where he then gathered us into a huddle where he continued yelling at us, but the mantra of, "Slow is smooth; smooth is fast," echoed from his mouth, tearing through my ears, situated itself firmly into my brain. Ever since, I have repeated this throughout many of my difficulties that I have faced thereafter.
The essence of, "Slow is smooth; smooth is fast," is that even when one lacks the knowledge of how to execute, one can always begin small, begin slow,. until such time that one obtains the knowledge necessary to execute, in which case, the smooth will become fast. It is the simplicity of the words equating to a novice building her/himself up to the point that she/he becomes an adept then a master at whatever needs to be executed. The foundations, the fundamentals are key to becoming great. Without the rudiments, the essentials of construction, one will never achieve the goals one sets for oneself. If one believes that she/he can merely waltz into something expecting to achieve and overcome, she/he will never amount to the greatness that spawns from the work that is put in to actually achieve and overcome.
Slow is smooth; smooth is fast can be extended to control, control of one's emotions, one's mentality, one's physicality, even one's psyche. Everyone goes through periods where one is absolutely lost, has entered an abyss where only fog awaits to ravage one completely. However, there is a way to escape this abyss. Slow is smooth; smooth is fast. Begin with the basics of what needs to be overcome, work to master these basics, establish a foundation, then rebound to overcome the abyss. One will find her/himself into the light almost without realization, but when the realization does occur, one will smile in pure ecstasy as to how far one has traveled, how much one as overcome, how many goals have been achieved.
Control is indispensable as well with regards to training. One needs to have control over diet, over exercise, over motivation, all of which can be spawned from mastering the basics to become adept. Imagine that someone desires to lift 300 pounds, but has never lifted more than bodyweight. The basics of lifting require one to lift lighter than bodyweight to develop the joints and muscles that are required to execute the lift, such as the kinetic chain which is composed of the calves, quads, hamstrings, hips when executing a squat, deadlift, or clean. The majority of the Olympic and Power lifts are rather difficult to execute safely and effectively without the proper basic mechanics. One must perform these lifts with light weight, even just a broom stick, to be able to develop the mechanics efficiently so that when one begins to add heavier and heavier weight, the lift spawns directly from these basics to be able to lift the heavier and heavier weight. Thus, slow is smooth; smooth is fast.
Certain muscle groups actually benefit greatly from controlled, slow movements. The abdominals, one of the most desired well-chiseled section of the body for almost everybody, is greatly impacted by controlled, slow movements as these particular set of movements allow for all of the muscles of the abdominals to be affected as the abdominals are one of the largest muscle groups of the body, they can be trained more often, though still treated as other muscle groups. While performing abdominal or core exercises, the abdominals and core responds more efficiently to slow movements as it will recruit more and more muscle fibers which will greatly increase the impact the exercise will have upon the abdominals as the large muscle group can endure far more punishment than other muscle groups.
Motivation lies from within, though can be spawned from without. Internal and external motivation are the keys to being able to perform to the best of one's ability. What makes you want to fight? What gives you your drive? What sparks the fire within? Ponder this, that is what will motivate you.
Rise as a Phoenix; Strike as a Thunderbird