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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"MY LESSONS WITH THE MASTERS..." Ari Kandel's personal training blog. #20

You've Got to Be In It to Win It.
In the Monday night class, John went over some important stuff for everyone to keep in mind.

He pointed out that as many people get lazy or complacent in their training, contact flow devolves into a medium-range hand-fighting game, with the training partners basically standing in front of each other while looking to hit and not be hit. Granted, it's fun, and Guided Chaos principles may be involved, but such training dangerously misses the point.

John showed that in order to deal with a bigger, stronger, faster enemy, you have to be able to close the distance and smother his movements while controlling his balance. Simply standing and trying to deal with his hands will get you killed quickly. Key skills to cultivate in contact flow, therefore, are getting offline, even if only a little, while closing the distance to smother his attacks and end things quickly. Instead of just hitting through an opening, you need to pour your entire loose, heavy body into it while feeling and adapting to his motion. This enables you to disrupt his balance and bring your whole body to strike with finality.

Further emphasizing why standing face to face while practicing contact flow is a bad mistake, John asked how often one can expect to be attacked head-on. The possibilities of getting blind-sided or being attacked from multiple directions simultaneously are too great and too dangerous to not keep them in mind while training. In such situations, the ability to slam the whole body into heavy dropping strikes that arrest motion and disrupt balance as well as do damage, while using these full-body steps and drops to keep yourself moving unpredictably, "bouncing" among and around assailants while staying loose enough to not get broken and covering your head, will do much more to save your hide than trying to play with incoming hands.

It was a very interesting class, replete with lots of high-impact demos with some of the biggest guys.

Lots of food for thought and training. . . .

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