How do you tell a beginner not to resist techniques?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, May 11, 2020.

  1. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    I'm not saying people shouldn't resist techniques. It's definitely something important for pressure-testing techniques. However, one thing I see periodically in beginners is they try to resist a technique simply by out-muscling it or being "tougher" than their opponent, and that's how they end up getting hurt.

    It's most common in teenagers (boys or girls) or young men. You're putting a wristlock on them, and they want to prove they won't be taken down by a pain technique, or you're trying for a sweep and the lean into it. I've seen some wrist injuries and leg injuries because of this.

    On the one hand, I tell them not to fight it too hard, because they could get injured (and I've seen it happen - especially when the partner is a beginner that doesn't have much control over the technique either). But on the other hand, I know that if I tell someone not to resist the technique, they might start thinking "then this technique only works if people aren't fighting it."

    While there are counters for the technique (some we teach, some we don't), "resistance" doesn't mean being stubborn until your joint bends too far in the wrong direction.

    How do you tell students to train in a manner that won't injure themselves, while also not making them feel like the technique is worthless?
     
  2. Aegis

    Aegis Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    Work with them yourself for a few moments and demonstrate that the techniques work.

    For the wrist lock, let them resist, but apply the technique slowly anyway. The fact that you can demonstrate controlled pain against a resisting opponent will be a much better lesson than telling them to not resist.

    For the sweep resistance, if they end up leaning the other way, switch the technique. If they're strongly resisting a sweep, then a hip throw is probably wide open, and again you can do that with good control to demonstrate why that particular form of resistance is ineffective.

    Once you've proved your point, then you can suggest to them that they train the techniques with less resistance. After all, you've already proved to them that techniques you are teaching will work one way or another, so at that point they don't have anything to prove by resisting. If they carry on, gently remind them that you - someone that knows what you are doing - can take apart that resistance and turn it against them.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    There was one time I was doing this, I was worried I was going to pop their wrist.

    I did something similar, but in a different situation. In this case, it was a woman who was complaining that she can't do the hand grabs because her son was pulling against it. I explained to her that at the advanced level, you learn which grabs to use depending on where they're applying strength, but at her level (she was a white or yellow belt at the time), we're just learning the technique itself. I told her that even I wouldn't be able to make the technique work if he's pulling against it, but I could easily make another work.
     
  4. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    375
    Trophy Points:
    218
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Right on. While the instructor should be seen to be in control, he should never force a technique on the student. Aside from the chance of injury, it shows the instructor is not skilled enough to handle the situation. Aegis is suggesting exactly the correct strategy. Reverse the technique, use a knee to break his stance and balance, or apply a thumb to a tendon or pressure point, or even a hip or shoulder bump to distract him. One way or another, the student should go down, and learn a valuable lesson - by being flexible and adapting, the opportunity for victory always exists.

    Also, while showing a wrist lock takedown, for example, the instructor should point out that (at least in karate) most takedowns follow a strike or two which softens up the opponent prior to the "soft" technique and lessen the chance for resistance to begin with.
     
  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    19,346
    Likes Received:
    4,842
    Trophy Points:
    308
    For me it is easier because I don't teach. So if the technique fails it fails. If I get caught I get caught. And there are some techniques that I am a dud at and people can muscle out of. And there are some techniques that I will do slowly and they have more of a chance to muscle out of. And I just don't care.

    So if they muscle out I just let them go.

    If they want to try to defend in drills I think the best opportunity is to let them. Moves can be defended. So teach the defense let them explore that idea.

    Wrist locks are tricky because they are defeated by good structure. And if you don't break the structure you mostly don't have the lock. Most drills for wrist locks are from them having good structure.

    So when you teach half the technique and find that person are easily countering it. You need to explain there is another half of the technique.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    They're not countering it. They're being stubborn and would get their wrist popped if I kept going.

    To put it into striking terms, it would be like blocking with your face.
     
  7. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    9,337
    Likes Received:
    2,313
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    You can ask the beginners to do the following drills:

    1. Kick - A throws a side kick, B blocks it. A borrows B's force, spins his body and delivers a spin hook kick.
    2. Punch - A throws a jab, B uses hard block. A borrow B's force, changes his jab into hook punch and hits on A's head.
    3. Lock - A uses shoulder lock on B. B resists. A borrows B's force, changes his shoulder lock into elbow lock.
    4. Throw - A pulls B. B resists. A borrows B's force, changes pulling into pushing, grab B's leading leg and takes B down.

    The basic principle in MA is if your opponent wants to

    - bend his arm, you help him to bend more.
    - straight his arm, you help him to straight more.
    - sink down, you help him to sink down more.
    - raise up, you help him to raise up more.
    - stay in wide stance, you make his stance wider.
    - stay in narrow stance, you make his stance narrower.
    - ...

    After beginners can understand the principle of borrowing force, they won't make the same mistake anymore (such as to resist with extra force).

    They will then understand the "water strategy" - when their opponents resist, they change.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  8. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10,689
    Likes Received:
    7,023
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    I don't know. Never really had a beginner that didn't follow instructions.

    But I am curious, @skribs, about something you said.

    "While there are counters for the technique (some we teach, some we don't)"


    Is there a reason you don't teach some of the counters? Is it a matter of time, of preference, or not part of what you do? I'm just curious, not critiquing.
     
  9. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    Combination of the above. The stuff we don't go as in-depth on, we also don't go as in-depth on the defense against it. There's a lot more in martial arts than you can fit into a class.

    I think one of the recurring comments I've gotten when I've asked about people designing their curriculums is the hardest part was figuring out what to leave out.
     
  10. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4,765
    Likes Received:
    1,583
    Trophy Points:
    303
    Simple you let it go. Teaching isn't about your ego if they're being stupid you simply let go and get someone else to show it on. If you injure that person then that's on you...it's your fault not theirs. The instructor is meant to be in control and going hard just because someone isn't complying isn't an acceptable reason to hurt someone.

    Tbh if anyone quits just because they see something doesn't work exactly the way it should in practice then they probably wouldn't stick it out anyway
     
  11. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    19,346
    Likes Received:
    4,842
    Trophy Points:
    308
    I don't understand your issue. I would have to see the technique.

    I spar with wrist locks and don't have that issue.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  12. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    If someone else injures them because they're being stubborn, that's also on me for leading the class.

    A lot of these students are teenagers who need guidance in humility. Just ignoring them and letting them drop out isn't going to help them.
     
  13. paitingman

    paitingman Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    145
    Trophy Points:
    98
    I've also never had this problem with beginners. They normally just listen if I explain not to resist overly hard and just learn about the techniques.
    I've had problems with upper levels being overly playful and rough when doing the techniques once they are at a more exploratory phase in training with locks and things in the system, but then I'd ask them to become a little more serious and honest about how much resistance is constructive for training at that moment.
    Beginner or not, supervision and guidance mostly eliminate this issue, but it can be challenging. There's just a constant example and standard for the training tone and culture that gets set and most students enjoy staying within the training norms.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,374
    Likes Received:
    689
    Trophy Points:
    318
    Location:
    Houston
    I ran into this all the time in hapkido/aikido/aikijutsu classes.

    The above suggestion by @Aegis is one way, showing them that method, so they start listening to you since you can do the technique or one of it's easy countermoves smoothly & effectively and they should stop wasting their own time and learn what you've got to teach. This might be a fear response on their part, a lack of interest (mom put them in M.A.), or lack of respect (they don't think you know what you're doing). This last one is the one that seemed to show up most often in your target age group, but the former was there relatively often. At teen years, parents putting them in stuff they don't want to do seemed to decline.

    Another alternative I've used is the slow-motion walk-through, especially for wristlocks and other wrist and elbow techniques. Show them the initial start-point of the technique, whatever that is... then making sure they are almost completely limp-wristing things, very slowly move your own arm/wrist/hand (whatever) in and through the technique right up to and almost over the point where you'd be starting to be concerned about causing damage if things go farther.
    I usually would ask, "See how this could be very bad if I went through it fast?" Get them thinking about "what can happen" and then transition into "how" you can make it happen.

    Then, we almost always devolve, either in that class or later on down the road, into "Well, you can't catch it when we're moving fast so it doesn't work." Which is partially right... but not totally so. My grappling guys will acknowledge this as truth: When you are moving in for an armbar and getting things set up the opponent in defense almost always offers you a choke, and vice-versa. I've found that it's a similar sort of situation in stand-up, striking situations, where one side is attempting to wail away and forgets that sometimes the other guy can get his/her hand on or in the arm's natural arc (the position or movement) and literally follow the hand back and right into the lock.

    One of the most dynamic kotegaeshi throws I ever had was in a sparring session with a TKD/HKD guy and I just happened to follow his right hand back as he snapped it back after trying a cross which I slipped and caught mostly on the forearms. My hand just fell on top of his fist, and as he pulled back I pushed it farther than he wanted and at the end there was the most minor of twist and the guy nearly jumped out of his dobok backwards. The fall was not pretty at all. He probably translated about 5 feet from where he was, all by trying to (reflexively) jump out of the locking portion of the throw.

    It caught me way by surprise. Throw happened, lock didn't, and we had to stop and really think about how it had gone down.

    Wait... what was my point...

    Oh yeah... after the immediately above is a good time to go into the method Aegis described. And as always, make sure that people know the risks involved in trying to fight something... and failing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    24,609
    Likes Received:
    7,228
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    This can be difficult with some students. It's a tough place for someone starting out who doesn't understand how the toolbox works. This is particularly true, in my experience, with any of the aiki-related arts. Our general approach is to train to recognize the opening, and (whenever possible) to only use the technique until it meets resistive force, then change techniques. So, when practicing a drill of a specific technique, any resistive force actually takes the entire drill off-course.

    What has worked best for me is to take a moment with the student to first show them what the progression is ("So, this technique is used when X. If they then Y, as you've done..." then do the technique/finish that takes advantage of what they've done to resist the first technique). Then explain how that progression works. I often use a jab as an analogy: "If we were practicing a combo that starts with a jab off a small step, and you just took a giant step back at the beginning of the drill, that jab off a small step is the wrong answer. We feed the drill something that makes the technique we're practicing a good answer for the situation, so we learn to recognize the situations where we can use it." I use the jab in that comparison, because it's something they're likely to already know is an effective technique.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    That's what happened in my class. I just worry that they'll get the wrong idea.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    24,609
    Likes Received:
    7,228
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    The issue is probably in drills, not sparring. Essentially, it's folks not doing the drill by offering a resistance that would cause you to choose not use to the technique in question, but that's the technique you're supposed to work on in the drill.

    In sparring and dynamic drills, it can also happen with folks who are being stubborn about a lock "working" and trying to muscle out of it. Some locks (especially small joints) have a really short area of pain, so if someone tries to muscle out of them, it can quickly result in injury if you continue the lock.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    606
    Trophy Points:
    273
    I wanted to address the wrist lock part separately from the resistance part.
    If people are getting wrist injuries from practicing wrist locks, that shows a lack of control. The person doing the wrist lock should be doing it slow enough that they learn to feel whats happening. Most importantly, they need to learn to stop if the other person is too dumb to tap. Whats probably happening is that the person receiving, resists with strength and the one doing, resists the resisting with even more strength.

    If a person is resisting your lock... he is giving you an opportunity to train the rest of the technique. Instead of increasing pressure on the lock, look for other adjustments you could make or should have made on your entry. In fact, the way the class is being taught, should be placing emphasis on using more precision in technique, not more pressure and strength, to apply locks.

    There is no need to pop their wrist. The wrist pressure and pain are only one part of the technique.

    Bear is absolutely correct here. A properly done wrist lock involves breaking their structure, and I would add taking their balance. If you have broken their structure and taken their balance, they will not be able to generate enough power to resist. This is what I meant before, about things you should have done before they resist. You should have broken their structure and taken their balance, before the wrist locks.

    Now, some people like to ignore the pain and not tap... or some people just don't feel the pain. (there are some locks that really light up most people... that I don't feel at all) If you did the whole technique... structure breaking and balance taking... you still have a ton of options open, to do more damaging techniques. I am getting to the point where I think the most valuable part of a wrist lock is not the wrist break, the pain compliance or any part of the lock on the wrist at all... the most valuable part is the structure break and balance taking.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    606
    Trophy Points:
    273
    Now I want to address how to deal with students that resist techniques in general. There are a few different ways that I use. Different people respond to different ways. I would like to say I can tell which way to use with each student... but I would be lying. I just keep trying different ways of explaining until one works. Here is the general order that I use.

    1. Explain that we are training to learn to do the technique correctly now... we will resist later. Your partner needs you to comply for now, so that he can learn to do it properly.

    2. You need to learn to receive this technique safely. There is someone out there that can do this to you, and there is nothing you can do to stop them... they are that good. So, we need to learn to receive the technique.

    3. There are 3 places to counter a technique: before, during and after. You are really good at countering before. But, you need to learn to counter during and after. Countering during and after, mean you have to learn to receive the technique safely.

    4. By receiving the technique, you are actually learning 75-80% of the reversal. Once you can receive the technique correctly... when we teach you the reversal, it will be very easy to learn, as you already learned the hard part.

    5. Explain that countering this technique, is actually a set up for 3 other techniques. If that student can safely receive any of those others, then do them to him. If not, demonstrate with another uke who can.

    6. Demonstration. I have the luxury of having a few uke who love to be thrown high and hard. I have them give the same resistance, and I really whip through and show the technique at full speed and power. "If you want to resist like that, then you are asking to be thrown like this... if you are not ready to take that fall, you may want to turn down your resistance, to a fall you can take."

    Usually, one of those will get them in the right space to train. If I get someone that is really determined to resist everything and basically just being a jerk about it, having something to prove... I switch the class up to lot of rolling and falling and then to whatever that student likes doing the least. Then the student finds someplace else to train or just leaves. But, to keep that student, means someone is going to get hurt... either him or the person he is working with. So we weed them out. Its not worth risking my other students for. (this has only very rarely happened...)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    5,455
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    Most of those injuries happen at the beginner level (i.e. a beginner injuring a beginner). My fear is that if I exercise that control, the other person will view it as the technique doesn't work.

    One thing you have to keep in mind is that I'm teaching. In this case, I'm teaching specifically the wristlock part of the technique.

    Even if we're looking at the whole technique, especially at the beginner level, we teach the specific techniques to the students. If I encounter resistance at my level I can change to something else, but that doesn't help me demonstrate the specific technique I'm trying to teach. Especially to beginners, where rabbit trails can start to add more information than they need.

    Another part of it is that slow, deliberate movements don't often work as well against resistance. It's a lot easier for my partner to step out of a throw if I'm doing it at 1/2 speed. It's easier for them to regain that structure so they can outmuscle the technique.123
     

Share This Page