Today let’s look at a nice drill you can practice to add liveness to your training. Unlike other sport oriented martial art techniques, self-defence based techniques are hard to practice in a free or “live” way. Now when I refer to liveness I’m referring to a randomness of attack or technique.
Once we have learned some techniques we need to start adding some liveness or randomness into our drills. When we learn a technique it’s typically in a very static way. We know what’s coming and what we are going to do. This is often referred to as “kata” or maybe “kumite”. When we hear the work kata we often think of martial arts like karate, any pre-set series of movements, with a partner or without, is a kata.
The thing is that in a fight we are not typically going to have time to think about what their attack is going to be or what we want our response to their attack to be. They are going to attack and we need to respond. We need to take what they give us and work with it.
So how do we add this element of randomness and still stay safe? Well one way is the SHARK BAIT OR CIRCLE DRILL that we talked about before. Another way is to add randomness but narrow the focus.
The “Liveness” Drill
- This drill is designed to be done with two people, one attacks and the other defends.
- Two (2) types of attacks are agreed on, (straight punch and hook punch), (hook punch and front kick)…
- The defender then selects two techniques, one for each attack.
- The drill is then ready to start.
- The attacker attacks with either of the two selected attacks and the defender must respond to the attack. The defender is NOT told which attack will be used by the attacker.
- Start slow, the speed and aggressiveness can be slow increased as both people become comfortable with the drill.
- Make sure to very your timing and move around a little, don’t stay too static.
As your skill with this drill improves you can add additional attack options. (straight punch, hook punch, front kick)… You could even add the element of weapons, with rubber knifes and padded batons, just have the attacker start with their hand behind their back.
As above only the attacker and defender stand back to back. The attacker shouts “GO” and then turns around and attacks. The defender turns to defend. This will further reduce any visual clues as to what the attack will be (especially if using weapons).
Remember start slow!
As with any drill remember to use your head, respect your training partner and stay safe.
Once we know a bunch of techniques why don’t we train like this all the time, wouldn’t it be better? No not really. Our ability to adapt and adjust would become very good but our technique would suffer. You see we still need the “kata”. It’s through the practice of the kata that we can work on the never ending list of small details in an effort to perfect the technique. This simply cannot be done in a random setting.
I will leave the discussion about good technique vs. perfect technique for another day.
As always is you are looking for more great videos or to learn the wonderful art of jiu-jitsu please check out our web site at www.learn-jiu-jitsu-online.com. There you will our distance education program so you can learn jiu-jitsu anywhere at your own pace.
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Jamie Rickard (Sensei)
Koketsu Kai – Tiger’s Den Jiu-jitsu and Grappling
The Academy of Martial Arts
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