Thursday 29 April 2010

Class notes: lat sau

Entry punches against the street guard: Unknown to me, this later in the session turned into the lat sau drill (detailed later in this blog entry). Martin said that many systems battle for the space that the arms occupy and thus have methods to work with this stimulus. If a guard is held, we want to aim for the chin and crash the distance. If we get stopped by the arms, we can feel for gaps and energy and advance from that, in addition, if we don't get our punches stopped then we have access to the chin. The drill started from outside kicking range, close the range quickly with a jamming right hand punch followed simultaneously a straight left, making sure the elbow is straight. This is because it prevents his punch, we are inside his arm, our left might even go high and tall. Matters not, what is most important is that this arm is straight as it negates his right arm. From here we looked at several options: The repeater punch if his left stays low. If the left arm lifts as he tries to escape the ‘stick’, let it go up and switch to a compact uppercut.

Lat sau: Basic roll and initial details, stick on arm and repeaters.

Stance: I asked about the negative posture which he often refers to. Shoulders should not be further back than the hips as this takes the power away from your body leaving you with only the power in the arm. Low rather than high because you are more compact and able to use the whole body power. He kept reminding of the need to be compact, think not of hitting with the hand but with the hip (from which the rest is connected).

Application work: From the same hand on the same shoulder position we looked at using the arm drag which leads into options such as following up with hits, the flying choke or releasing him back to face as crashing in with punches. From opposite hand to shoulder we use the head and arm trap. Head to the arm then pull in to the crook of the arm, takedown or elbow... A great counter is to go soft and have a good posture. Similar to my experiences in Systema, holds need tension to work against, soft and loose can’t be controlled as easily. Seems to create space and has a wonderfully startling effect on their hold.

Pyramids: To 7. No matter how much relaxation is mentally sent to the lactic in the shoulders, the elbows can still go forward but the hands feel empty and spasmodic. Ergo, pyramid much more as only working through the pain, the acid and disbelief will growth occur.

3 drill: Change detail, I had been chopping but Martin said it has evolved into a resemblance of a left or right cross, aiming the little finger along the jaw line of partner. Much more intrusive to be on the receiving end of and shifted me towards negative posture. As a result, will begin to employ.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Class notes: elbow power

No Martin tonight so Kam and Z took the reigns.

Ran through the form once, some came back. Enjoyed standing and learning, posted info above about the form and a few articles to outline and remind of the purpose of the form.

Elbow power:
Lots of focus on this today, in the 3 drill, opunching, chopping. Linked to this was engaging the lat muscles. I found it very hard to put my mind in my lats and engage them, but Kam said that when the elbow is down and moving along the centre, the lat will engage. Thankfully this explanantion made something almost esoteric, quite simple and something I can apply.

3 drill off backfist:
body hit, x trap, tan sau. 3 drill initial block pak sau

Pad training:
Focus was not necessarily on the numbers of the combos, but having elbow extension. I kept hitting with bent elbow, something I am very aware of in my own punching practise and am working on improving.

Friday 16 April 2010

My fear pyramid as of now

I have thought long and hard and tried to make sure that fears not dislikes have been listed, from the peak down.

Verbal anger and aggression.
Freezing in the face of raw aggression.
Being hit in the face. 
Failure: as a husband, a father, a chef, a teacher, a depatment head, a martial artist, physical prowess diminishing with age. 
Hitting the head of another.
Opening formal letters.
Checking bank account.
The dark and the tricks the mind plays about what lies beyond the field of vision. 
Speaking to a group of adults and wondering when I get the tap on shoulder and the whisper in the ear 'I am on to you, you don't belong here.'
Saying no to people.
Receiving negative jugdements, related to fears of failure listed above.
Calf tearing again unexpectedly.

Never done this before, read about it years ago in Geoff Thompson's book Fear, the friend of exceptional people. Glad to have done it as one of my fears means I have exposed my mind and thinking. Part of me hopes that only I ever read this, the bolder part of me hopes others do and criticise what I write so I may grow from the hardship.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Class notes: neck manipulation

Started off this week by looking at;

Arm drags: firstly from the position with your partner having their hand on your shoulder, then from lat sau and finally at the end of the, out of the 3 drill. In lat sau, the first punch (right) lands short but the second (left) one is very deep with a fully extended arm, the right simultaneously grabs and opens their arm
for the drag. Make sure the elbow lifts and the path of the arm drag is circular. This makes the motion more efficient.

Pad training: looked at 3 combos:

1-2-1-14 (LVP, RVP, LVP, RHE)

1-2-3-2 (LVP, RVP, LHP, RVP)

1-6-3-2 (LVP, DSP, LHP, RVP)

Noticed that on the final hit I was making a right mess of it, over extending, not relaxing enough, poor distancing. Must do some shadow boxing of these and even some visualisation to consolidate.

Catch wrestling neck manipulation: Nasty and feels like nothing at all. Come under neck, forearm out, other hand grasps by interlocking fingers, 2nd arm (hairy part) is flat against his head (ear area). Rotate and can open. Put ridiculous pressure on the neck and head. No effort my end, lots of pain his end.

3 drill inside gate lap and arm drag: Revising last weeks 3 drills and extending from the inside gate lap, swap to other arm to inside gate lap and arm drag.

Growing confidence through confident teaching. Martin is very confident in his abiliy to have a strong hit and the consequences of this on an opponents chin. I feel as if by hearing his confident and positive words that I am becoming more confident in myself, perhaps more empowered is more approproate a label. I am aware that this is not a false sense of security, just beginning to believe in the potential of my hands and thus myself.

Forward pressure from the Real Deal: He has excellent and a little intimidating forward pressure on his 3 drill. You know that if you were not to defend, your face would be smashed to bits. It is good for me to train with him as I can work on my posture and mind not collapsing under pressure

Friday 9 April 2010

Class notes: Put your toe in the bloody water

So last night was my first session with Martin. I remember texting my wife before I went in to say that I was racked with nerves. I walked through the doors and into a familiar sight; an exuberant Martin most welcoming and warm. The infant school hall made me feel comfortable as I had spent so much time there in the past training.

This is what we did; (my notes as I remember and not set in stone accurate. Any errors are all mine and a reflection on my bottom rung of the ladder-ness)

3 drill: - forward pressure - make each hit direct and aiming for target, not merely there as something to be 'blocked'
- taking the lop sau - over the top, never underneath as this gives them a path to come over and into your centre
- lop sau - to his hip - engage the lat and grab with thumb
- develop feeling for gaps and hit through the centre
- inside gate lop sau after first chop - key is to drop the elbow in the lop, this uses the correct muscles with the most efficiency. Also worked on the non-grab lop sau by using the web of the hand
- chops are from the elbow from the centre (as the punch) as opposed to my judo chop style hinging from the elbow

Pad training: Power in the first hit, extend the arm and hit with enough tension in the fist to whilst keeping the forearm soft as possible, fist to height of the wrist, elbows in tight, feet to move with the body. All of the pad training was from the pre fight fence position, left hand forward.

Combo 1: left hand lead touch the pad twice - right fist, left hook palm, right fist
Combo 2: hits the left arm - go with motion using immoveable elbow left palm strike - right fist
Combo 3: extended feed for outside gate lop sau - 3 hits with right fist and drive forward with each.

Pad training development: worked on random variations of the 3 at pad holders discretion, then moved into using hands on hands working relaxation and softness.

Anti Grappling: escape from the can opener. Looked at understanding the head control and how to apply it correctly - tight head and neck control. Elbows in tight and close, drive them forward as this will make the head pull down much easier, puts lots of pressure on the back of the head. Counter: palms on face and drive back up and over his hips whilst applying forward pressure, keep him stumbling. Swim 1 arm in, then the other for own can opener and drill continues.

Pyramid punching: (all x10)

doubles, then doubles with other hand forward
7's then back down the pyramid. I felt good up to 5's then the lactic kicked in and it all went stiff and sour. Something else to work on there then... I held the pads for Grandmaster who was solid, consistent, relaxed and sharp for all of the pyramid.

After the session I had a brief chat to Martin about where this is going, his honesty and mine in the training journey ahead. I felt very pleased to make this first step. I look forward to what will be a challenging and rewarding training future with Martin and his group of students.

On reflection 24 hours later, I am aware that I made many small errors tonight but am looking to develop these into positives and thus a decent level of skill.