Nov 8, 2010

Martial Arts Training - Developing Better Balance For Maximum Performance and Power!

Almost daily, students ask me for suggestions in developing better techniques in their martial arts training. To which I reply, "fix your balance and you will have better control, speed, and power.

And, while it's easy to quickly demonstrate something for a student in the dojo, conveying some of these ideas to a student who contacts me through email, especially if he or she is new to martial arts training, or their teacher does not incorporate these Ideas in class - can be a bit 'difficult.

One of the tools I use for my students to improve and strengthen the skills, what I call the "drill". These drills and exercises to develop skills "are a way to isolate a special skill and drill" over and over again, until the desired results are achieved. Drills used to improve things like:





strategic thinking under pressure

The decision (the choice of the right skillsor technique to do next)

In the case of this article, I'll be talking about ways to improve balance. But, you can feel free to substitute any other quality or ability. You will just have to come up with a drill or exercise where that quality is the primary skill needed to perform the exercise.

But, for now, it's about balance. Because, balance or, more more correctly, "balance control," is the one skill or ability that most human beings lack. And, for the martial artist focused on real-world self-protection, you're betting your life on what you can and cannot do in this area!

While anything can be "used" for balance training - what most people think of as martial arts training can be described as a technique or kata. I cannot speak for any particular school or "style," and what they do or don't do to help you to attain mastery. However, from my experience, research, and observation, most students are limited to step-by-step "technique" instruction, and the mock-fighting practice known generally as "sparring."

Regardless of the martial art, one way to look at a drill is an exercise that is NOT a self defense technique - but has everything to do with self defense. What I mean is that, it can be a single "piece" from a technique, or a completely different exercise that is "drilled" or practiced again and again to gain proficiency.

An example of this can be seen from the world of music. Perhaps I play an instrument. And when working on playing a particular song, there is a note combination that I'm having trouble with.

Instead of continuing to rehearse the entire song, "hoping" that I'll get the move/notes correct "this" time - I can isolate that string and just play that part. By practicing just this piece over and over until I gain proficiency with it, I do 2 things:

1) I fix that part of this particular song, and...

2) I fix and strengthen every other song that I'll ever play that has the same note combination.

So... the drill with the note combination is not about playing a song. But, it has everything to do with how well I play songs on my particular instrument.

Do you understand?

In the case of developing better balance for our martial arts/self defense training, I could do several types of drills or exercises to strengthen my balance. And remember, balance is about physically aligning the parts of the body, each other and the center of the body - with the effect of gravity.

Here are some ideas for practice and the development of a better balance:

1) on one leg (if your system or a leg as the posture Hich Ninja has no Kamae, I use it) should be. Do relax in this position so that for longer and longer periods without wavering or drop your pedestal.

2) To extend the previous financial year, slowly raised his leg, as if kicking,and bring your leg has fallen from the rest position without the leg base. It is also possible to turn your torso upright with the leg extended, or leg in various directions.

3) If the stand head and hand. (This body is in an inverted position with respect to gravity and awakens your brain is the awareness of the effects of gravity and body alignment -. do something when you had to get up and walk as a child, then you can be knowledge, if theseyou are standing normally. Remember - Balance is about "alignment" of body parts to center AND the effects of gravity!

4) Practice your rolling or other breakfalls as SLOWLY as possible. Rolling is an exercise in "balance-control" - not agility. You will be more capable of not only faster rolls when you find the balance line that your body is supposed to be on, but you will also be able to change speeds and directions - in the middle of a roll - when you can do this.

5) Use aids like balance-beams (both horizontal and on rising and declining angles), K-Boards (boards with a fixed or moving fulcrum underneath that you will stand on and practice holding and shifting your weight so that the edges of the board do not touch the floor), etc.

As you can see, the above suggestions are not self defense techniques. But, like the analogy that I gave about music, they have EVERYTHING to do with how effective and how much power you'll be able to generate with your body as you move THROUGH your techniques - ANY techniques.


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