Tuesday 4 February 2014

Class notes: peripheral vision

Footwork basics:
Get the distance between feet and stance length correct plus balancing. Good old fashioned drilling of the footwork. From observation my weight is too much over the front leg so I need to shift it back. The usual refinements in front of a mirror and camera need to be employed for this and the rest of the training from the night. I want to be able to do it all well, fluidly and naturally and this won’t come by writing and thinking about it. Last Sunday morning, whist watching UFC 169 I worked on visualization and repping the lessons from last week.

Off lining foot work:
Remember that going back in a straight line is a no no so this helps to create vital time and space. For me, the best way to interanalise this is little step, big step, pivot, side step. We did this for a few rounds in the air then against a moving partner. The key is pulling the far side hip back as this will cause the rest of the body to follow. Again my weight was too much over the front leg. Need to get the feeling of 60% on the back whilst being on the heels, tight defence, chin tucked, flexed knees, lifted yet relaxed shoulders. In addition, move off line and out of danger and don’t be too quick to square up afterwards.

Peripheral vision drill:
Foot, foot, elbow, elbow, chin. First facing your partner then being perpendicular. This led into applying the right cross as when it lands you are not looking at the target as you are protecting your chin from counter shots.

Jab and counter:
Building on the reps from last week and refining the motions. Tonight more subtle details were added – be cognisent of the range, don’t be step into that danger zone, tucked chin, make sure you move the head and hand half distance, not just one.

Pak scoop jab defence followed by a right cross:
Rear pak guides the punch along its powerline down and away just giving you enough space to counter with the right cross.
This was full of little details for me hence the following list. This will enable me to practice the mechanics of it much easier.
Twist and extend, not lean and over extend. The finishing position, if photographed, sees the body balanced, head tucked into the shoulder chin arm, eyes looking down as the chin is tucked.
At first this was very bizarre as I am so used, wrongly, to having eyes on the target. This is where the peripheral vision comes in, also feeling his arm under yours can only mean that his head is more than likely at the end of his arm. It was nice to be called on my errors and refine the mechanics tonight. Now I know what it should feel like I can get on. A shade over 20 years in martial arts and tonight I learned how to throw a correct right cross. Better late than never.

Shoulder roll against the right cross:
Pull the far side shoulder back as you lean into the turn away. This is one of the passive defence techniques and makes more sense than biting down and swinging for the fences no matter what is coming your way. I think it also encourages constant movement and something else Martin talked about was using the body in ways that it is is always looking for ways to attack and set up attacks.

Jab counter with movement and freedom:
On with the 4oz gloves and more aliveness was brought into the drill. It was so rewarding to put the gloves back on after 9 months of no contact. What was interesting working with Darren tonight was seeing the tightness of his defence and movement. Nothing exaggerated or wasted, good balance, precision of movement, never still, presenting very small if any targets, confidence in movement. It is these refinements that I am enjoying learning.

Give and take a shot drill:
This drill teaches defending big shots but borrowing the energy and direction of the attack and loading it into yours and attacking from it. No good is it being hit and giving no response as the end will come quickly. This drill teaches tight and precise mechanics, efficiency in defence and attack,
Left hook attack, head hug defence – left hook counter, then from the right hook. Left body shot – meet it – uppercut, then the same from the right hand. This was most intruiging as well because the defence to a body shot traditionally is to fold slightly from the hip to minimize the target area, the problem is that this leaves you with few attacking options and outs your in a more vulnerable position. Meet it and stay tight, you can then fire the uppercut as your counter.

Double wrist-lock against grab from the rear:
As last week.

High on the chest taking of the back:
Turn the hips out, step back and behind them with nearside leg. From here you can lift, takedown.

Bringing the class to a close Martin talked about there being no concrete definition of what the class is. The journey is individual to us all. Hence the new blog URL. It is still about growth and learning from mistakes but it is also about becoming that complete martial artist. For many years it was about fear: of being attacked, of fear itself, of violence, of not being to deal with a violent encounter, of pain.
To a massive degree, BJJ and MMA taught me a lot about my fears. I still have them as part of what makes me me and my motivations to train. But I also am enjoying the journey a lot more. No longer am I concerned with some imagined destination where I become a ninja with B-movie style superpowers leaving all in my wake. It is now about refining movement, physical chess, learning to use my body and skills efficiently, not collecting forms, techniques and books (which I did for far too many years). I guess it is about being a martial artist and not someone who does martial arts.

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