Friday, March 25, 2016

Walk. Run. Fly.

Experience plays endurance

Ever notice how the best fighters rarely show their hand right away? To the untrained eye they look like they are sleeping in the beginning. They may even seem to be losing, as their opponent comes out guns blazing to outwork them. Yet all the while they are reading their opponent, calibrating their timing and finding the best pathway to deal damage. Even when they take a good shot, they seem to remain calm and collect themselves in order to launch an effective counter attack. In fact, you can be sure the last half of the round, if not last half of the fight will swing heavily in their favour. Buakaw and Yodsanklai are two popular fighters who embody this well. They understand that the danger of coming in wild, and reserve their ferocity for when they know their opponent is vulnerable.

The experienced fighters play the long game. Sure, if the opportunity for an early finish is there, they will take it. But what they don’t do is rush. Patience is a virtue.

Training in the gym should be the same. Sometimes we see students shadow box faster than their techniques can actually keep up. They are concerned with finishing a whole combination, and so the individual strikes that make up the sequence suffer in quality. The same goes for the physical conditioning. Push ups to a count are often done faster than they can be done properly, simply to reach a rep count. But that's where the danger lies. Push-ups done too quickly with your ass in the air or without the right extension only serve to weaken you- causing imbalances in your build. Shadowboxing faster than your technique can hold makes your combinations less effective for real combat.

If you pace your training like a high level fighter, you will reap your rewards by sticking with it. Technique first. Power will come from technique. Speed will come from fluidity and time. Prioritizing in this way is crucial to development, just as the military moves its units in a specific order for attack. The most difficult part in all of this is patience. If we aren’t moving quickly, we often feel left behind. If we aren’t doing something right away, we often feel like opportunity is slipping from our grasp. But if you can become aware of those fears, and build enough experience to control them, you’ll eventually find yourself where you belong.

Slow down.

Walk. Run. Fly.

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