Most people have a false assumption about learning a new technique. Some instructors think that once they share all the details of a new technique, that the fighter should be able to apply it to his game right off the bat. Likewise, some people will watch a video on Youtube and assume they can instantly apply it.
After years of training, teaching martial arts, and research, these are some tips I follow to improve specific techniques.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Bruce Lee
2. Repetition in Progressive Stages of Resistance and Isolation
“An Expert is a Man who has made all the Mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” – Neil Bohr
Repetition on its own sometimes fall short. This process will help us understand the major details that we might have missed, by slowly increase the difficulty in order to understand the technique a little more. Also known as position sparring or isolation sparring.
“Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.” – Immanuel Kant
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
― Bruce Lee
After going through the above step with much success, try applying it in sparring. Sparring is a good time to experiment. Improvement comes from figuring out when it works and when it doesn’t. And to accelerate your training is to have 3 types of sparring partners.
- One that is lower than your skill level
- One that is equal to your skill level
- One that is greater than your skill level
4. Refine & Polish Your Technique
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit.” – Aristole
Overtime you will gathering more information on the technique with more insights for improvement. Refine & polish by repeating tips 1-4 while adding the new details and tweaks or eliminate any unnecessary motion that may telegraph the technique. .rinse and repeat.
5. Develop Different Ways to Execute the Technique
“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” – Sun Tzu
Look for different ways to apply the technique. From different positions, postures, angles, distance, etc. rep them out with tips 1-4.
6. Consider Transitions Before, During, and After the Technique.
“Water’s formation adapts to the ground when flowing. So then an army’s formation adapts to the enemy to achieve victory.” – 6:34 Sonshi
Most techniques has a natural flow into the next technique. The ability to link different techniques before, during, and after will make a big difference towards its mastery. Experiment and develop using tips 1-4.
- Think defense before, during, and after
- Think offense before, during, and after
7. Develop a Re-Counter Response to Common Reactions.
Developing a re-counter to common counters / reaction will bring your technique to another level. And having a variety of 2-3 re-counters per reaction will keep your opponent guessing.
This approach can be applied to striking, defending, submissions, escapes, etc. By the time you invested a good amount on one technique, the surrounding techniques will also improve. Increasing the versatility and leading you to technique mastery.
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