Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Advanced Martial Arts Training

Our last article talked about basics and that it is attributes which make them. (Before you read today’s article it is best that you become familiar with this here). Today’s article will talk about advanced attributes and there solid bond with the basics.

Advanced attributes do not involve anything new. They do not involve some special secret style which only the most gifted and trusted students are shown. They involve many hours of repetition of the basic attributes, so as these basics can be used together.

When the martial artist first starts learning these basic attributes they are practiced with seemingly basic techniques such as static knee strikes, front kicks, slow shadow boxing in front of a mirror, basic hip throws, cross arm bars etc. Techniques which do not involve many steps in order to carry out and ones where basic attributes can be kept in ones mind whilst putting them into practice.

As the martial artist progresses, he/she will start noticing that a combination of these basic attributes is needed to carry out certain techniques which may be labeled as advanced, but are in actual fact, still basic. It is just that more than one attribute is needed to carry out the technique and it could be seen as an advanced technique.

For example one can perform a hip throw against an opponent who stands still, without any movement and who allows his arm to be grabbed so the throw can be practiced. For this, the only basic attribute that is practiced is proper body positioning with the throw. This is a very basic way of practicing, and something that would be common for beginners. On the other hand, imagine if the same throw is practiced against an opponent who is moving, and slightly defending as the person performing the throw tries to grab his opponents arm. Now, more than one basic attribute has to be combined into the drill. Timing, when grabbing the opponents arm and proper distancing when moving in have been added to the original practice of just proper body positioning with the throw, making it a much harder practice.

From the above example we can see that the technique itself is still a hip throw. One of the first throws taught to beginners. However, with slight alterations on the way it is practiced, and by combining more than one basic attribute to carry out the throw successfully, it can become much more difficult and something that could be labeled as, advanced.

How many times have you heard the saying “I can perform well, with perfect form, but in live sparring, it all goes out the window and is forgotten”. This is a very common saying. Many people think it is because they are doing something wrong regarding there actual techniques. Sometimes this is the case, however, most of the time it is because one finds it hard to combine more than one basic attribute, something sparring is all about.

Sparring is live and dynamic. It is a training drill which involves constant movement, constant changes in tactics and techniques and constant changes in strategies. It is a very advanced way of practicing the basics attributes, and because of this, these attributes must be programmed into ones muscles so as they can performed with techniques without thinking.

The only way this can be achieved is through practice. Practicing the basics over and over again and then adding variations so as there are combinations of more than one attribute. Eventually through many years of this, one will instinctively be able to perform these attributes against a fully resisting opponent through live sparring.

Hopefully this gives you a clear indication that without solid, constant practice of the basics, one will never be able to learn advanced ways of fighting.

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Neal Martin said...

I enjoyed your articles Mark. Thanks for writing them and helping to highlight some important issues.

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