When I started training in the martial arts, I found that learning techniques came quickly. The coordinated movements seemed to fit together with decent balance. The flow of techniques in drills – stances to kick to stance to punch – helped develop them further. This is the start of developing discipline and focus.

This was much easier than figuring out how a pattern moved and why it moved. Developing the application of techniques is only proper to martial arts training. The work put into figuring out why a technique has been included in the pattern. Then how is it being applied as the technique shows up in other patterns,

Okay, so now I’ve got the movement down and an application set. What do I know? Probably still very little. I do tell students that they can use a “Hollywood” story to hep them remember the pattern but I warn them to not keep that as the only story. That version may not include practical application of the techniques. It isn’t until you look at techniques as being applicable combinations separated in patterns by direction changes. Yes, when you change directions, you change the fight. Patterns aren’t really one full fight but rather several linked together.

The next item that comes into play is being able to articulate what you see as the application of a technique to another student. I have written student manuals to help students but I know that in several places my labeling of technique and movements are inadequate. They don’t say what is truly happening but I don’t have better words. This ends up being an illustration of why I’m always a beginner. There is way too much to learn and pass on.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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