Refining Skills (diary entry)

discipline_1Tonight’s session was geared purely towards technical improvement. Although my client’s objective is primarily conditioning, we have agreed to have regular technical sessions in order that he develops skills as a framework for his fitness training. Skills, as a goal, can be a very effective motivator for fitness students and are a great means for expressing and measuring physical improvement. It involved brief episodes of techniques, analysis and correction. I find that a student absorbs more by having his technical work sliced up into small instalments rather than lengthy repetitions. Lengthy repetitions, a very traditional way to train, tend to pick up bad habits that became hard to undo later on.

As we continued our work on counter-offensive sport fighting, I had my client apply it to the agility cones. He hasn’t trained on these with me since we began looking at a defensive style of fighting. However, I had found that the footwork he had learnt prior to adopting this approach was nicely reinforcing the new material. Taking the application back to the cones was a little trickier. As always, the best way to use the cones over any other agility equipment – such as ladders – is to address them as if they were opponents. I wanted to ensure my client wasn’t just backing off through the cones, so he had to shift in first as if to bait an opponent. We then added on some short combinations.

We then went back onto the focus mitts and brought in some Thai clinch. Here he utilized the principle of the V-step to off-balance an opponent. A lot of this style relies on absorbing and deflecting an opponent’s advance. This isn’t done by simply meeting strikes head on or catching them, but rather moving off the strike and smothering their attack. The V-step works, just like a Judo principle for reversing a throw, by yielding to the onslaught and turning it against the opponent. We would look more into this concept in the next lesson.

Our post-lesson discussion was on the topic of martial “art”. Here is a small piece I wrote on the subject.