I taught the inaugural class at the Harmony Martial Arts Center in Pickering on Friday night. For a Friday night time slot of 7:30pm to 9:00pm, I had a turnout of 7. Not bad at all. After getting some housekeeping out of the way, we got down to business.
The first thing that we did was review the 12 angles of attack. Big deal right? Everyone knows the 12 angles of attack. Just go through them once and we’re done.
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Except I led the class in executing each angle 25 times each. By the time, we finished angle #12, we had compiled 300 repetitions.
Then we switched to the left hand and did the same thing for another 300 repetitions.
600 repetitions total.
What’s the point of practicing these basic moves so many times? Developing power, precision, control, endurance and correct body mechanics are the primary reasons for this kind of exercise.
But the main reason is simply engaging in continuous improvement of the art.
Too many people think that once they learn the basics, they don’t need to practice them much thereafter and prefer to spend time on the fancy material.
As Mark Twain once said:
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
The remainder of the rest of the class focused on the (1) block, check, counter drill; (2) the slap off/pull off drill; (3) the tapi tapi block; and finally (4) flow drill #1. The flow drill incorporates all three elements.
So we really practiced a limited number of techniques over the course of the 90 minute class. There were TONS of repetitions of basic material in this class.
It’s my belief that you can never have enough practice of the basics. The great martial artists have tremendous basics. Without them, you aren’t getting anywhere.
In the words of Barry Larkin, a short stop for the Cincinnati Reds:
What people don’t realize is that professionals are sensational because of the fundamentals.
Practicing the fundamentals with purpose and a sufficiently high number of repetitions will lead to a solid base from which exponential growth will take place. You can’t expect to grow with one or two repetitions of a technique, do you? How hard do you really train?
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