Whats the most fundamental skill a martial artist must develop?
The skill that is a common thread regardless of the individuals style or syetem?
It’s what makes the master seem untouchable.
It’s why the novice is so unpredictable.
It’s the difference between effortlesly beating an opponent and being in a fight.
What is this great skill?
At some point in out martial arts career we’ve al thought that we were a bit tasty and really put it up to our superiors in a sparring session.
More often than not we were put straight back in our box.
But if your coach is twice your age and half your size, how is it is seemingly untouchable and able to pick you off at will?
It’s his sense of timing, his ability to read the situation and move only as much as he needs and no more.
At Wild Geese, we’re all about effeciencey. You cannot be effecient without good timing.
So how do you learn this skill?
By learning to flow with a training partner. Free play and sparring are the keys to developing a keen sense of timing. Learning to move as he moves, when to exploit he openings and offering up your “openings” as a trap.
The Filipino’s use many such drills, as do Tai Chi, Wing Chun and many of the Chinese styles. BJJ players will also spend time “rolling” which is the same thing. Playing with the training partner with a predetermined level of resistance, attempting to apply various techniques while not falling victim to your opponents.
At first there should be complete cooperation between the partners so that a basic level of skill may be accomplished, then as that skill improves, the resistance should go up in response.
The end game is basically free sparring whee anything goes.
Although there is absolutely no need to rush to the anything goes stage. A degree of cooperation is necessarry in order to best develop the skills and techniques. All out sparring should be kept for special occaisions.
Add some flow into your own training and you will very quiclky see your abilities improve. You won’t have any new techniques bt you will lear when to best apply the techniques you have.
This is timing.
This is the art.