Efficiency

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bigshadow, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Great topic and great post!!

    I remember when I first started TKD. There's so much I didn't know that it was impossible to relax into anything! Actually, I think that stays with you in some form no matter how long you train. Now, consider someone who has switched arts.

    Switching arts definitely isn't relaxing considering that you now have to unlearn a lot of stuff and adapt to a new way of doing things. It's kind of like getting older. The more things start to creak and crunch, the more relaxed you become about most things. This, of course, is really nothing more than experience.

    I'm not sure if there are any shortcuts but I do have an idea for experimentation........ How about pairing good, established teachers from different arts up with people who are proficient with body movement but haven't had any type of martial arts training (one such method starts with an F, btw)? They've already learned a thing or two about body movement so they're not going to be fighting the awkwardness of having to learn how to move their body properly. If there were any shortcuts, it seems like they would be easily picked up by such people.

    Pstarr has a great article out there about the importance of establishing a strong base. Maybe one good thing about drawn out training is that it teaches people how to endure the dreaded plateaus that are a part of training and life. Maybe that's why people don't do shortcuts so much? In the case of needing to train someone quickly, the personal development stuff is out the door. Asking for a little personal development in return for the ability to potentially harm someone doesn't seem like too much to ask, in my opinion. There are those, however, who adamantly disagree. :)
     
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    30,314
    Likes Received:
    4,658
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    Thanks
    Agreed.

    On the topic of switching arts let me address adding another art. I think I see where Bigshadow is coming from, kinda. I can relate to this since I recently added Sanda to my Tai Chi. In training strikes in Sanda the Sifu was surprised I caught on to the Sanda palm strike so fast. It is really not that I am advancing in leaps and bounds in Sanda it is that the Sanda palm strike is so incredibly similar to Piquan (Splitting or metal) the first form of Xingyi 5 elements and I have trained Xingyi and recognized this, but in Sanda it is stationary not moving as in Xingyi and the relaxation needed for that then comes from Tai Chi. In this way it may be considered a short cut to efficiency, but it comes from the student not the teacher. If I were to teach this strike by telling the student to think like a combination of Xingyi and Tai Chi it would be pointless if they had no prior experience.

    Yet there are other parts to Sanda that are not as easy for me to figure out without a lot of training. Some of these things when you think about them and break them down move-by-move are simplistic and rather direct as compared to Tai Chi, but I cannot relax in them at all. I absolutely cannot get a handle on the upper to lower forearm strikes to the rear and it should be simple, but I cannot relax into it and it will take a lot of forearm strikes to the rear to figure it out. And a very big issue here is that I am thinking about it way too much as I do it. This is were in order to gain efficiency I will need to train a long time in order to stop thinking about it and just relax. What was that saying from Bruce Lee or was in Kwai Chang Kane, Don't think...do. I just can't do that yet in much of the Sanda I am learning. But in Tai Chi it is relaxation all the way. Of course this can become a debate of internal verses external but I honestly hope it does not because that is not what this post is about.

    I am not there yet with Sanda, but having the prior CMA experience I do have does help and I guess might be considered a short cut to efficiency. But how much of a short cut is it really? I trained the other stuff for a long time, so is the fact I can do a sanda palm strike well on the first or second try constitute a short cut? Maybe if I am just thinking Sanda but not if I think CMA.
     
  3. morph4me

    morph4me Goin' with the flow

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    6,779
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Ossining , NY
    What would happen if you didn't try to find a common thread between the techniques and concentrated instead on the principles?

    I once had an instructor explain a technique to me in such a way that it became immediately clear. Basically he asked me " Do you know where your hands belong at the end of that technique?" and when I said "Yes, Sir" he said " Well put them there". The result was an immediate and drastic improvement. He had, in one sentance, reminded me that I had spent so much time trying to think it through and figure it out that I wasn't moving properly, and as a result frustrated myself and couldn't relax into the technique.

    I think that's one of the reasons that effeciency is so hard to teach, and learn. We like to make things more complicated then they actually are, we find it difficult to believe that what we are being taught can actually be that simple and we try to dissect it.
     
  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    30,314
    Likes Received:
    4,658
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    I'm not looking for a common thread, I did not mean to give that impression, and I apologize if I did. The similarities were just there; the sanda strike was done so quickly because the muscle memory and the training was already there. It was after the fact I realized why, it was not a conscious thought as to how to best execute this palm strike. I have also come across a lot of similarities between Sanda (non-sport) and Xingyi as far a power is concerned.

    And yes knowing where your hand should be at the beginning and the end is a good thing, but a strike, any strike for efficiency is not just start I am at point A and I need to get to point B, I can get there a number of ways. All of the points in between and the positioning of the body are also necessary. And that is what needs to be trained. I have never had to train a high followed by a low forearm strike that is to the rear before and actually it is the way the waist figures into it that is the biggest problem. I can get the forearms where they belong but I can't get the power.

    But this is not what this post is about, I will get it, it will just take time. It was an example of efficiency and that it takes time, training and experience to get there. But if you have previous training that is based on similar principles it can get you there quicker.
     
  5. Mustafa

    Mustafa Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Oslo
    Sorry for not reading the replies.
    I would say, it is more efficient approaching something from different directions.
    And it is better to prevent a cut, than it is to heal it. The cut will heal by itself if we dont poke into it all the time. (And i mean not putting a bandage on it)
     
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    27,758
    Likes Received:
    1,514
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Mustafa could you please explain your post? Thanks.
     
  7. Mustafa

    Mustafa Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Oslo
    If we can accept that it is healing by itself, we dont have to worry about being cut. (It is easy to exaggerate with the medicaments when we are heavily injured).
    Like, instead of just eating the food. We can cook it ourselves.
     
  8. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    30,314
    Likes Received:
    4,658
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    But how does this relate to the following, which is the original post?

     
  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    21,764
    Likes Received:
    2,061
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Regarding teaching efficiency...

    After more than 20 years of training, I've found a few things that work for me. I tried, with a student, skipping to the end result without the intermediate steps. It didn't seem to work; in fact, it was detrimental. The student ingrained some bad habits that I've had to remove. And my style isn't complicated!

    It seems that before we can be efficient, we have to be inefficient. I often use an analogy of building a road with students. If you've ever been involved in building a road from start to finish -- you know it's a long process. There's route planning, then clearing obstructions, preparing the road bed, paving the road, and finally adding lane markings and signs. When you start -- it takes a long time to get between two points. But when that road is finished, you zip between those same points. But you can't just throw down blacktop and paint and end up with a good road.

    I've just found that if I eliminate some of those early steps -- the results aren't solid.
     
  10. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    16,462
    Likes Received:
    223
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Very good points - especially that last line.
     
  11. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    30,314
    Likes Received:
    4,658
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate

    Very good post.

    I agree completely. Without a foundation or root you are not going to get anywhere and you certainly will not be efficient.

    It all matters, proper body alignment, proper execution of form, proper use of power, etc. If one part is lacking efficiency is much harder to attain.
     
  12. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Messages:
    7,162
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    At an OP in view of your house...
    Well....exactly. That is why we have our own proprietary programs rather then sticking with a "traditional" martial art. The "traditional" format is as it is for many reasons and benefits; but effeciency isn't one of them.

    As to starting people off at a "higher" level, I find that if your dealing with things that will work in fights, then this isn't an issue. Techniques that are effective are relatively simple and can be learned in a few minutes. It is the physical and psychological attributes and awareness/perception that can take a lifetime to develop.

    So I find that when you are working towards more effeciency and effectiveness, the actual "techniques" get simpler rather then more complicated. What I find with training that you are doing, at that point, is finding better ways to work the material to program it, and to develop physical and psychological and perceptual skills.

    But, I expect that my views on this as well as our approach will differ from others. :)

    Paul123
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

content