One of the most important methods you can use to prepare your fighters for combat is to have them train “around” power.
Why “around” power?
This is what I mean: Fighters and students must learn to harness power, utilize power mechanics, stop power, redirect power, control power, manipulate power, withstand power.
The FMA man is always calling himself a “weapons” expert, yet he rarely practices with power. Barring certain styles of blades and sticks, what good is a weapon if it is not wielded with power? We cannot assume the machete will cause major damage just because it is a heavy blade, or the cocobolo stick will break bones simply because it is a strong wood. Just because our Guro taught us a block, or a pass/check, a redirection–that the technique will work. Opponents do not strike the way your classmates strike. If you do not prepare for the frenzied unpredictability of the untrained man’s attack, a simple increase in power from the levels you are accustomed to will ensure the failure of 99% of what you have practiced in training. Weapons–especially blunt weapons–are pointless without the inclusion of power. You must not only practice the strikes and attacks in your system, but you must frequently practice those attacks with good, raw power. And you must do this far more often than you practice intricate movements. For some reason, too many FMA people prefer to emphasize the tricky movements over the crude movements that cause the most damage.
I will give you two tests. Try them, and you tell me.
- Take your stick and go to your punching bag or Wavemaster. Execute 250 power strikes against this bag. (FYI, this is half of what I require of my advanced beginners to practice with) If you have the kind of power I believe the stickfighter should have, your 250th strike will have the same amount of power as the first.
- Take a stick combination that you practice regularly. If you do double stick (I don’t), take a sinawali combination. Execute the combo full power 5 times, as quickly as you can. You tell yourself (1) if each strike you just threw had fight-stopping power, and (2) if this type of practice would help you increase your lethal potential in combat, or if it would make any difference at all.
If my test left you feeling like your technique needs no improvement, then hit <back space> 3 times and stop wasting your time on my blog; I don’t have anything useful for you. But if you feel like what you just did fails my test–and you want to improve on what you’re doing, then read on.
- fighters must spend a majority of training time learning to destroy things with his strikes. too often, FMA people are walking around with perceived skill, but in reality, they only have power with basically two or three angled strikes. and what of the rest of his martial knowledge? just sitting there, waiting to be used for a demo, or practiced with a partner somewhere… but never to run the risk of taking an opponent out when it really counts.
- you must be able to have bone crushing power with every strike in your arsenal.
- you must be able to posses this kind of power in every strike in every combination. notice I did not say “use this kind of power in every strike…” I am saying that you must be able to pull out full power on every strike whenever you want. too many people do not have access to this ability.
- power should never hinder speed, timing and accuracy very much. many people either have good accuracy, good speed, good timing, or full power–rarely all at the same time.
- your blocking technique must have been practiced against full power strikes, or they will be useless. how many times have I heard an FMA guy say, “you dont have to practice against full power strikes in order to have effective blocks in combat”, but they are not willing to test that theory against my strikes.
- blocking a full power strike should never hinder your movement, your follow up, your counter attack, or your concentration.
- you must practice against heavy-handed partners until their heavy handedness does not affect your intentions or performance. often I will see men do well in casual practice just to be thrown off by a change in power. power should never be a bad thing.
- make sure that as a teacher, you have worked with both the deliverer as well as the recipient of power so that you can tell your students all about it.
- understand how to teach power mechanics–how to generate more power when necessary. this is an important piece of saying that you “know” a technique. and you will need to know more than just “hit harder”. there is so much more to power than just that!
- when fighters are accustomed to power–both using power and defending against it–they are more prepared for fighting.
Doing this will help your fighters increase the natural level of destructibility they possess with their body type. Power is too often ignored or discounted by the FMArtist. And if you do not work with power regularly, it will not be accessible to you when you need it.
Thanks for visiting my blog.