My question involves the response-based approach to martial arts instruction as outlined in your article http://www.circularstrengthmag.com/21/sonnon4.html. I understand the clinch example in the article, but I’m still uncertain on some finer points of how to apply it as an overall teaching strategy.
In my training group of three, two of us have been training together for 17 years, the third guy has about 3 years experience, all of it with us, beginning around the time we discovered your materials. My partner and I have a background in Bujinkan as you know, with a primarily hard work centred self-defence/combatives slant. We immediately latched onto the drills and concepts presented in the various RMax series and were able to apply them to our base. As I’ve said elsewhere, this material seemed like the grad school of martial arts, and it was exactly where we were headed at the time.
The new guy had mixed results. Initially he made great progress with the drills and situations that we set up. His ability to improvise solutions improved rapidly, he became very fluid and he quickly uncovered his natural abilities, especially in leg fencing type work. But he seemed to hit a wall. Some things were missing. I wonder if it was because he had no classical base? No tools or movement template on which to build?
Specifically, he seemed to be lacking things like: a sense of distance in striking (always falling into surface hitting from the periphery), no feeling of forward pressure / of dominating the joint mass centre (his opponent was rarely off balanced in the clinch, taken control of)… These were things that we had built with classical exercises like basic striking drills, how we acquired that crucial sense of distance and of striking with the body. He had none of that.
I think one answer to my question may be based upon p. 54 of 3DPP, under “You need to flow to know”. You state thatAm I correct in assuming that basic strikes form the movement palette in this venue (in the same way that the movements in GT form the palette for grappling)?“There must be the movement palette upon which skills blossom. The student must be acquainted with the movement potential of the game, so structure must be in place.”
When I read that we immediately included some static work on basic strikes, taking them into fluid drills right after. Before we had done this he was trying to apply the concept of non-intentional striking, but his strikes had nothing behind them, they were always on the surface. Our non-intentional strikes were solid. Do you have a different way to develop these skills in a response-based approach, or is this the right track?
My first question would be then, when teaching striking in this manner, do you first need a movement template to build upon? Is it necessary to have some classical base, or does a response-based approach preclude such a base?
Second, how do you program which biomechanical exercises to explore, as outlined in the article? I understand how the screwing arm drill teaches locking arm power transfer. Or how you might use the lateral screwing arm press and the hi-leg roll to explore moving into the mount when both fighters are lying on their sides. Is there a more systematic way to program this in RMax? Some sort of progression?
When we first began to work with the GT series, when we found these movements showing up suddenly on the mats we explored them more purposefully. Or, if one guy had a particular sticking point we would try to find a biomechanical exercise that might address that movement pattern. But this depends on our ability to see it. Is this the way it’s normally done, or are there more systematic ways to build this?
Thanks very much, as always.
Also, my question was addressed to Coach Sonnon and what he wrote in his article, but it's not exclusive by any means. If other members of the Tribe have thoughts or experiences to share I’d be really interested to hear them. :!: :!: