Friday, September 09, 2005

Moving Past Basic Learning

More advanced students should start focusing on lock-and-block and sparring more. The chance to work out with different people at different skill levels is an invaluable learning experience, how to read opponents and remain in control.

Control doesn't necessarily mean hurting someone; superior control is not
hurting someone because you don't have to, though the capacity is there.
That's the challenge when working with classmates, to find the edge and not
step over it. Sometimes that's a judgement call, opinions differ. I think
the Dog Brothers motto at their Gatherings pretty much sums it up: Friends at the end of the day.

Lock-and-block starts with my "matrix". Using the "matrix of sixteen"
builds smoothness, accuracy, and lastly power, which cannot really develop
without the others. From there work in new angles progressively. This is
even good exercise when you are advanced. Use progressive feeds (1-2,
1-2-3 etc; both timing count and angles). Even if you are advanced,this is a good warm-up to "picking" ("picking your target" using feints, etc).

Sparring starts with counter-for-counter timing, allowing each person to defend and attack. The basic is "the box" because it teaches efficiency and directness of movement. It's a good place to drill in strong compact movement. With progress this opens up to incorporate everything you know.

Do not rush this process; improvise only when you have the basics in place. It is not "free" until it is understood, by both mind and body. Then the techniques simply become tools and you can create what you need. But always (always!) sticking to the underlying principles of the movement: compact efficiency and effective
leverage through good angles, footwork and grounding.

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