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Monday, February 05, 2007

"MY LESSONS WITH THE MASTERS..." Ari Kandel's personal training blog. #13

More Tim and Al Tips...
This blog post (and probably all future ones) will be more concise. Less background and filler, more training info. Hope you like.

This past Saturday, I had another lesson with Tim.

During the physical portion, I was generally too tense. Tim also pointed out where my excess movement was opening me up to his shots. He showed me how changes of less than an inch could completely turn the tables. Talk about economy of movement!

His advice during the physical portion of the lesson was as follows:

--I have to be one with what's going on.

--I have to think differently, not so logically and literally. Being intellectually "smart" is not an advantage with this stuff.

--I have to do away with the concept of an "enemy." Tim demonstrated that when he treated me as a "friend," it was easy for him to beat me up. With a broad smile and an advance towards me that at first looked to be a pat on the back, he loosely and easily destroyed me. I felt nothing at all threatening until the loose barrage of shots landed. He then "attacked" me as if I were an "enemy," with a glare and clear determination. I was able to feel his intentions a mile away and avoid almost everything. Very interesting!

--Tim commented, "You have to lower your energy into your legs. It's not just an elevation thing, it's not just bending your knees. You need to get all that energy out of your upper body and put it in your legs." As I did this, my upper body seemed to get looser and freer, and my balance was thus no longer as challenged. Tim said, "Good! You had about four good seconds in there. Good job, lesson's over."

I experimented more with this on my own the following day, putting all the energy, movement and pressure in the lower legs while moving and hitting, rather than moving from the waist or the upper body. It offers greater range of motion and looseness in the whole body, along with better balance. I found I hit harder, and with less effort, when I concentrate on this feeling. DEFINITELY something to work on! It goes along with John's comments about having "hydraulic legs," Gary Abatelli's comments about "balancing on your ankles," and indeed the instructions given in the book "Attack Proof" for many of the drills. Having Tim say it the way he said it helped me finally understand it in a new way. Go figure.

Now, as promised, some tips from my last lesson with Al:

--Al usually grabs your wrist when it stops moving. So . . . don't stop! Conversely, Al practically "dares" you to grab him, as it just sets you up for punishment . . . because it doesn't matter whether he's grabbing you or you're grabbing him, it's a connection he can exploit. Stop him from grabbing by a) being sensitive and moving with the whole body away from grab attempts, b) KEEP MOVING, c) HIT immediately!

--Drill during contact flow: Penetrate center with uprooting. Application: that's how Al takes up slack (penetrating to center through the arms) to get MEAN positions.

Coming next time: An extremely educational lesson from John about the differences between "Keechy Close Combat" and pure Guided Chaos! This one blew away everyone who was present! Stay tuned. . . .

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