The first element of martial skill is the need to develop your chops; your chops are your technical skill. You need to learn the stances, the strikes, the punches, the blocks, the holds, the subjugations and the releases. Practicing the individual techniques is really were it all starts and bedding these movement patterns in is fundamental to your progression. Practicing chops needs to become a habitual practice; enjoyment is key, make your practice fun, here’s some ideas on how to go about this:
1/ Tempo – practice at varying tempos.
2/ Have your goals in mind – see where you are going.
3/ Recognise advances in skill – this creates uplift and awareness that you are getting somewhere.
Now comes the theory, you need to know how the techniques are applied to varying combative situations. Here you will develop your combative strategy, your street security and your vigilance. See earlier blog on the circles of self-defence. But lets not get too lost here, theory is only useful if it can be applied and this is achieved through partner training. To keep partner training safe there are number of variables that shift, depending on what specific skill we are trying to better.
“THE POINT WHERE PHYSICAL TECHNIQUE BECOMES MARTIAL ARTS IS WHAT WE MARTIAL ARTISTS LIVE FOR” DAN COUZENS
If you look at great martial artist, great athletes, great public speakers, and great musicians, they have great timing. They know when to execute the next technique and because there timing is so good, it looks as if they have more time then everyone else to do their thing.
Timing and rhythm is key, however, like a great drummer, it doesn’t make you predictable it makes you the opposite. The better your timing the more you’ll see the rules of time and be able to break time down into smaller and smaller segments expressing both higher tempos and syncopated rhythms at will.
Expression is the most elusive of the elements; this is where you bring yourself into the game. Expression is what it’s all about. If you are simply regurgitating someone else’s ideas then you knowledge lacks something fundamental. YOU. You need to own your martial arts; martial skill should be part of you, expressed uniquely by you; this is encouraged through creative expression in Bushido Bristol Martial Arts. Creativity and expression go hand in hand. What we live for in martial arts is where your physical skill is so well honed that it truly becomes martial arts. Everything up to this point is simply learning.