Saturday, 12 September 2015

Less than ideal

I am sure lots of us are aware that an actual fight is far from what our katas feel like.

Nevertheless- I still regard kata as an important part of martial arts in this day and age. One thing it gives us- is the chance to slow things down and allow us to perform each technique at its best.

One of the main factors that make our techniques less than ideal in a real fight is time. I used to break my head about this a lot, but have come to the conclusion that it is not necessary to do so. The fact is- your opponent is not part of the program. He is not going to act according to any plan you have. In fact- any plan you may manage to devise would be based on how he (or she) acts.

As far as training goes- I regard sparring as a test and not so much as an exercise. Each encounter does give you new data to work on, but these encounters do go a lot better when we are prepared.

Now- in my preparation for this test I do not resort to the traditional forms we find in our styles, but rather imagine the fight as bad as it can possibly get. Then- as I imagine what my opponent(s) are doing- I let myself respond as I would like to.

This method of practice is a lot more exhausting than normal kata practice, because for one- the breathing is not allowed to be rhythmic and coordinated as it would be in a kata. I do try as far as possible to breathe in when blocking and out when attacking, but I abandon it when an opening which has to be seized immediately presents itself or when an attack that requires immediate attention comes. 

It is in this state where your techniques and positions no longer have names. They are also not called forth, but appear when they are needed.

You are welcome to try this method of training. You may tell me how it feels when you practice your techniques while feeling in control- or when you are in fear for your life or that of a loved one. You may also feel that your techniques feel different when you are angry.

At some point, however, you will have mastered yourself and then no longer feel any of these emotions when you fight. This is because you will have seized your energy and poured it into your moves. Where you used to dread the unseen kick or punch that is coming for you you will be eagerly waiting for openings to present themselves. Where an attack used to send you into a state of panic you will now respond to it with ease.

Your techniques are not all going to be perfect, but be prepared for that and deal with it.

Train well, everyone! 

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