Monday, 22 September 2008

Sloppy Martial Artists

As a martial artist progresses in his/her training, when basic techniques and combinations have been learnt, it is then that speed and strength (sometimes) are pushed for. *(see end)

When this happens it is all too easy to let bad habits develop and to become sloppy fighters. Sloppy techniques, movement and body usage when carrying out techniques can develop. Grapplers will notice this more however than strikers. Once a grappler notices that more strength is being used over technique, this should be taken as a sign that he/she is becoming sloppy and should then figure out why and make necessary adjustments to fix the problem.

For strikers however it is a little more difficult to spot sloppiness. The only time you may notice, is either if your (good) coach spots it out to you, or when you find yourself being dominated in sparring or in a fight, which may be too late.

The easiest and most successful way to stop sloppiness developing is to often check your form and revert back to basic training. Work slowly and check to make sure that your rotating your hips and body adequately on techniques, keeping in mind not to let your elbow drift outwards on straight punches, and that your not telegraphing strikes, use a mirror to check to make sure your constantly guarded whilst defending and attacking, make sure your moving on the balls of your feet rather than your heels, etc.

By constantly checking your form and noticing bad habits or sloppiness, you will easily be able to fix any problems that may develop and shall keep your basics sharp which will always be your foundations as an advanced fighter.

* (The reason I say sometimes for strength building is because grappling martial arts should be trying to actually decrease the amount of strength used to throw or ground fight and try and rely on good technique more. This does not mean they can slack off in building body strength however.)


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Lori O'Connell said...

I agree wholeheartedly. We must always keep ourselves in check no matter how long we've been training.

Anonymous said...

This was a great post. I think that as I got into bodybuilding and weight training I became sloppy over time. And I've been wondering how to fix my sloppiness, but my practice is inconsistent.

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