Discussion on time

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by skribs, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Me and a couple of the Hapkido students at my dojang met yesterday for a practice session. Of the four of us, I was the senior member there in terms of Hapkido rank.

    One member (the next senior) was talking about the timing of techniques. How we should be going for techniques as soon as we're grabbed, or else even when we see a grab coming we should spring into action. But as it is right now, we typically drill where you get grabbed and then you go. Our scenario sparring usually starts from a random situation, in which we usually take a moment to process and analyze before we go.

    Another member (next most senior) had a different complaint. That in BJJ you're taught not to chase bad techniques, but rather adapt to the situation and try something else. The Hapkido equivalent is that if a V-Lock isn't working, you read your opponent's resistance and do a technique that moves in that direction.

    I listened to them both, and I said, "I think you're both bringing up different things, but the answer to both is time." I went on to explain that in the case of timing techniques, our timing is getting tighter and tighter with more practice. And in the case of modifying techniques to not force a bad technique, as we drill more we get more comfortable moving in and out of different locks and throws.

    What do you guys think? Is this sort of the normal progression? That timing and execution come with time? Or would you have something different to say?
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Timing comes with specific drilling.
     
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  3. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    It also shows up with non-specific sparring/rolling practice, less effectively (from a length of time to get there basis, but more effectively from a breadth of applicability basis).
     
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  4. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Interesting question. I don't know there is a good answer given the many different attacks to different parts of the body, and the many defenses. An example might be if you see a movement towards your right arm and move to defend against the wrist grab, only to learn the attack is intended to grab the elbow sleeve. Some wrist grab defenses might help for a grab to the forearm clothing, but won't be very effective against a grab the sleeve at the elbow. Waiting that split second to be sure where you are being grabbed might make for a more effective defense as opposed to a possibly failed defense.

    But that gets back to your question on timing. Can you adapt if you find you mistook the target of the attack? Perhaps. If you wait too long to be sure do you risk an attack being too successful too quickly?
     
  5. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Adapt to the situation.

    The situation sometimes changes. Adapt as it does.

    You really can't go wrong if you train hard and adapt.
     
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  6. Christopher Adamchek

    Christopher Adamchek Blue Belt

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    if its not the largest focus at the 'time' lol - then improving timing comes with time

    peoples developed timing is also highly related to direct or indirect timing related drills

    As you said techniques adaptability is also important. Depending on the subject i often try to break down the timing of the techniques as "i see it coming", "just barely saw it coming", and "OH sh*t its here" and different response options at those points.
     
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  7. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    I think it is important to work on the different timings. Too soon, just right and too late. Even after you get pretty good at getting the timing just right, don't neglect training too soon and too late. Your just right timing, works great in your school, with the people you normally train with, who are reacting the right way. As you work with other people, from other places and other styles, it gets harder to get the just right timing. With time, you can get the just right timing on more people... but until then, you will need to be able to still be effective at too early and too late.

    One of the common issues with this type of training (wrist lock / grab defense) is that everyone focuses on what happens with your hands. Sure thats important... but its more important to learn focus on what your body is doing. I like to train the too late defense. Let the other guy get his grip fully, and settle in. Now I try to do the escape. If I am using just my hand or arm, in fails. This means I need to work on my body. Get my feet in the right position, get myself into the correct structure, then learn to generate the power through the use of the body, through the hips and connected to the hand / arm movement.

    I like to think of the wrist locks, and arm grab escapes as foot techniques. If you get your feet in the right place, and use your legs to generate the power correctly, it takes much less hand or arm strength. Where you step and put your feet and how you split your weight between you feet... will off balance the guy grabbing you, break his structure and generate the power you need. Then you work on transferring that power from your hips, into the escape or lock. As this becomes easier, you can make it dynamic and add motion and all kinds of other stuff into your drills. By focusing more on what your body does... you start to care less about whether he grabs your fingers, your hand, your wrist or your elbow. Or if he is punching instead of grabbing. You may have to use a different technique name when explaining what you did... but thats ok.

    Yes, what you do with your hands is important. But, if your body is not in the right position, it won't matter how correct your hands are.
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I'm going to simultaneously say we don't do that, and we do do that. We fall into the habit of trying to focus on the wristlock or muscle the other person down, but that's a personal error and not an error in the curriculum. We're reminded over and over again to use our footwork, especially when we fail because our footwork wasn't correct.

    It's also an error I make less and less.
     
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  9. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    Welcome to the club! That is the joy of training.
     
  10. Pentti

    Pentti Yellow Belt

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    You have a good reflection.

    Fighting is like playing chess, only moves are faster.
     
  11. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Everything about Hapkido moves are important. Unfortunately, especially I think for Westerners, feet don't get the attention they should. As @skribs pointed out,I think they are part of techniques, and the techniques won't work correctly (if at all) if the feet aren't moved correctly. That doesn't mean application of the hands and body can't be incorrectly used for an effective defense either.

    In the Hapkido I learned, instruction was normally by Korean 3 Dan black belts, even though students were normally Americans only. They didn't make a big thing out of it, but sure did a lot of patient correction of foot movement until dummies like me finally got the message. It always seemed to me that if you had the hand movements correct, and the footwork correct, your body movements would naturally follow most of the time.
     
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  12. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    i have been thinking about your question from time to time. In the Hapido I studied, we practiced many ways. If I was teaching and gave a relatively inexperienced student lots of time when I attacked or was attacked, I was learning too. I not only practiced myself that way, but continued with establishing more muscle memory. Muscle memory is important. As time goes by you begin to see other defenses you may not even have learned yet, and new defenses will get easier because you will recognize thing s you have already learned, whether in part or in total. In my opinion, doing the way you did a lot of, as did we, builds up a lot of muscle memory, as well as being able to 'feel' things that are going on, even if you can't see them yet. I think you already know that.

    So what about timing? I am inclined to think it is something we learn along the way. I made a point of never choosing one or two favorite defenses. I let myself react when I saw an attack coming, even when I was letting a student choose his attack. I think a lot of timing takes care of itself when I do that. I also think you can still make mistakes, but not as often. That may sound a little simplistic, and maybe it is, but it seemed to work for me. I think it helps that there are defenses that will only work when an opponent has committed himself.

    @skribs, I would love to hear your opinion on the above, and maybe some refinements you could think of.
     
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  13. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Pun intended?

    Overall, I agree with your post. Don't have much to add.
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    A few thoughts, in no particular order. Hapkido has a lot in common with Nihon Goshin Aikido, so I've spent time discussing, teaching, and considering these same issues.

    To the difference between ideal timing (move/react very early in the attack) vs. the common drills (many of which have a static start): Firstly, I think this is a beginning level. We can go back to it to consider concepts, but if we stay at it too long, we're not progressing the drills, which can slow down our development. Secondly (and somewhat in conflict with my first statement), these may represent worst-case scenarios. Almost any technique is easier to get if I recognize the attack early and respond at the ideal moment. But what if I don't? Knowing how to get the technique moving from past that point is helpful, as is knowing how and when adding muscle can overcome a hitch in the technique (and, by association, when it can't).

    To training timing: I've seen folks develop good dynamic timing without much dynamic training. It's a slow process. If dynamic training is introduced early (and in stages), that timing seems to develop more quickly. But there can be trade-offs. With aiki/hapki-oriented arts, trying to teach that dynamic timing too early can make it harder to learn the "aiki" and develop the kind of feel needed to find it when moving. Though, at the same time, I've seen lack of dynamic work cause it even worse, so....

    It's a progression. If your Hapkido uses traditional starting "forms" (whether they are called that, or not), those contain the base principles unique to the technique, but perhaps not the overall movement principles. What I've seen from Daito-ryu varies in whether it contains what I consider the movement principles within the forms. Yoshinkan Aikido which is in some ways closer to Daito-ryu than other branches of Ueshiba's teaching uses more static starts (as does NGA), which means it needs specific work on developing that movement.
     
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  15. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    We call them "techniques", but other people may consider them "short forms". There's 27 at white belt and anywhere from 4-9 new ones at each belt level. There's a general situation per belt level (up to Red Belt):
    • White belts deal with various grabs from the front
    • Yellow belts grabs from behind
    • Purple belts grabs while kneeling down
    • Orange belt does punch defense
    • Green belt attacks the other person
    • Blue belt does kick defense
    For the white belt techniques, there are a mix of grabs (mostly straight wrist grabs, cross wrist grabs, or grabbing both wrists or both hands grabbing one wrist). Most of the techniques use either a Figure-4 lock, a Z-Lock, a V-Lock, or a shoulder lock for the take-down, although sometimes these present in different ways. For example, #14 and #16 are both V-Locks, but one is achieved by twisting the hand, while the other is achieved by securing the wrist and then using a knife-hand to push their hand away from the wrist. Sometimes we make them tap out while they're standing, but for the other 20, there's only 7 different submissions we use at the white belt level.

    So it becomes a mix n match. #16 and #17 are essentially the same, except one is a double grab and one is single. #11 and #12 are also similar, but #11 being a double grab there's a bigger motion in the setup to break the grip, where #12 is a quicker motion because it's only a single hand. #14 and #16 are different ways of achieving a V-Lock, but both use the same submission after the throw.
     
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  16. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I wanted to express myself a certain way, and inadvertently made a punny statement. It went right over my head until you pointed it out.
     
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  17. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    One of the things I like about Hapkido is the seemingly endless number of techniques to defend against different attacks against our bodies. Any place on our bodies that you can attack, including grab, from whatever direction, we have at least one defense, but usually several. Then it comes to the preference of the kwan GM, or even a particular school as to where selected techniques will be taught. There can be more or less techniques as the teacher wishes.

    For example, in the Hapkido I studied, at the white belt level, we had 37 techniques at the white belt level, consisting of 7 each techniques against wrist grabs, using strikes, then breaks, then throws. Then at yellow belt, 27 techniques to deal with with specific attacks such as belt grabs or front chest grabs to a shirt, Then we went to hand strike defenses with another 29 techniques. From there, we went to primarily kick defenses at blue belt. At red belt, there were a lot of differing defenses, including when I studied, knife defense. I have heard the Association moved the knife defenses to 1 Dan level, and then back again. Also along with other things were multiple attacker grab defenses.

    That doesn't mean any other Association, kwan or school is wrong if teaching different techniques or at different levels. It's all good. I sometimes think to compare what I hear of other school's teaching progression. From what I have seen and heard, there is no required progression. Naturally I am inclined to prefer the progression I learned, but also have to admit that if all techniques are taught, does it matter much.
     
  18. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    It also depends on the leverage your attacker gives you. If he's pulling down, then a V-Lock is going to be harder, but a Z-Lock easier, for example.

    My Master throws strikes out the window. Of the 8 students we had in class on Saturday, we had:
    • 1 person who doesn't take TKD
    • 2x people who are 1st Dan in TKD (one of whom is our only HKD black belt student)
    • 1x person who is 2nd Dan in TKD
    • 3x people who are 3rd Dan in TKD
    • 1x person who is 4th Dan in TKD
    Since our class skews so heavily towards TKD experts, we don't do a whole lot of striking in Hapkido class.
     
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  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That sounds like what NGA would call "applications", but with the formality of what we'd call "classical techniques" (our short forms). Seems like a similar approach, overall, except the organization by belt (NGA's doesn't have a similar clear cut delineation).
     
  20. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Choosing how to structure his teaching is entirely your master's right to choose. I am happy to have learned a lot of punch defenses; more tools in my tool box.

    Does your master not teach kick defense for the same reason? No insult intended by that question, just curious. As I said, how your master chooses to structure his teaching is his decision for his own reasons.123
     

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