Martial Arts Development
Martial arts development - Learn the two concepts most essential for proper training in a martial art
For achieving martial arts development we must realize "what" we want to improve
This we do with the C-S-T-T - Conception-Strategy-Tactics-Technique
After we realize the “what” we want to improve, our next objective is to choose how we want to develop it.
In this article, regardless of our choice, we will try to understand two general concepts of martial arts development and training which are essential for any improvement:
The two concepts are:
1. Avoiding our comfort zone - Training the same quality from different angles
2. Mindedness to “what” we train
Avoiding our comfort zone for achieving martial arts development
Studies show that the correct way to improve and develop any aspect is to train it in different ways – To never feel comfortable in any drill… - The moment we feel comfortable is the moment we stop improving.
Let’s examine how this concept comes into play in different areas –
* If for instance we want to improve our punching power – we should practice it not only with the punching/boxing bag.We should develop it with other drills, such as a wall bag, stretching rubber, “working in the air”, light weights, plyometric exercises for the hands and so on….
Even with each tool, we should change the drill practiced with it. Continuing with the punching bag example –
We should change the amount of time working with it 15 minutes half an hour, 10 minutes…; We should practice while changing weights - if the bag, at first, weighs 60 (120 pounds) kilos, increase the weight, then decrease it.
Work with the bag moving, towards our punch or outwards,
Work with a follow through punch, or just a whipping punch.
Work with a step or with out; Whilst stepping forward backwards or sideways..
All this information is assimilated in our body, and improves its abilities overall.
We must be very versatile with our drills. Never wait until we feel comfortable with an exercise, train one for a short time, and change, when we come back to it we will be surprised how much it has improved.
* Another example –
Training an arm bar (arm lock) – Aside from working on the power of the arm bar itself, which we can do with dummies, weights and such.
There’s the question of flowing into the technique from different situations, we would do ourselves a "bad service" by working on it only from the mount position. We should train applying it from different starting positions; we should train applying it with different distraction, for instance a third person, slapping us…
When returning to one of the starting positions we will be surprised how much we improved our execution ability without doing only the specific drill.
This method of training holds one more important advantage. It makes sure that we have the ability imbedded in us no matter what the situation maybe.
We will be able to execute the response/technique with power concentration and precision from any position, because it is ingrained in us.
(Following the same pattern of thinking – If we find it hard to execute a new technique, we shouldn’t try to push ourselves too much in order to get it right the first time. If we leave it for a while, train something else, and then come back to it, we will be able to do it better than when we left it. – our body has its own assimilating and adjusting methods…)
Mindedness to “what” we train in-order to achieve martial arts development
Focus and concentration is everything.
Who of us hasn’t experienced reading a book, when while reading, our mind drifts and find a few seconds or minutes later that although reading and passing several paragraphs we have no idea what we’ve just read; and we need to re-read it.
Our body trains and teaches itself in the same way.
If we are not focused on what we want to exercise our body doesn’t internalize and learn it.
• Let’s say we’re working on the boxing bag and we are trying to teach our body to work with the hip – to put our waist into the movement and not only our upper body into the strike. If we do not focus on this element it will not improve, but when we do the results improve a lot faster.
• Imagine that we are working with a partner with the pads (focus mitts), and we want to improve our punching quality by not falling into the punch (not losing our balance if we don’t hit the pad). If we don’t have this attribute in our mind whilst training, we would not be able to eliminate this behavior.
However, it works the other way as well.
Although whilst training we try to assimilate a certain behavior and internalize a certain response and a certain way of doing things; sometimes, for instance, when working with a partner We must practice mistakes, for example, telegraphing our punch or kick, in order to allow our partner to respond. If we are minded to the fact that we’re practicing a mistake, the mistake will not be imbedded in us.
For more information about "The 4 stages of technical work"
The examples go on and on….
Being minded to what it is we’re training is very important for our martial art development, and it can improve our abilities, in countless ways. It also makes our training more efficient and economic, so we can achieve great results.
Conclusions of martial arts development
The two keys for any quality training are:
1. Avoiding our “comfort zone”
2. Keeping minded and focused during our training.
Our mind and body work in a similiar fashion –
If we don’t give it any stimulation; If we don’t give it any hard "problems" to solve; If we don’t give it new ideas to try and comprehend; If we don’t work with them outside their (our) comfort zone – they will not develop.
And if we are not minded - if our thoughts wonder off - to what ever it is we give our mind and body to work with – We will not achieve a thing.
These two concepts are the programming language of our body, if we train it any other way we will assimilate only a few qualities or none at all. Our training time would not have achieved its goals.
In order to achieve improvement and development in any martial art we must put into action these two concepts!!
Now let the “rain of sweat” begin!!
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