How does everyone here break up their material to practice?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by watching, May 17, 2018 at 10:38 AM.

  1. watching

    watching Yellow Belt

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    I train in kenpo which consists of self defense techniques (I have 35 right now), forms and sets, and basics. I'm curious how other people who have a similar breakdown of material, practice when not in class. I tend to either practice by belt, so one day I may practice only my yellow belt stuff, the next day orange, then purple the following day. Or I will practice all of my self defense techniques one day and do all of my forms and sets the next day. I very rarely practice the "basics" in isolation since I perform them within all of the techniques and forms/sets.

    Could anyone share their routine for practicing their material and staying sharp on the older stuff?
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    As an ex-kenpo guy myself, what you describe makes sense. You can focus on the techniques or the forms, or do it by belt level, it can all be good.

    I will say one thing however: you most definitely ought to spend serious time on the basics in isolation. Just doing your forms and sets and self defense techniques does not develop your basics in they way that they need. If you take the time to develop your basics as they ought to be, then your ability with your techniques and the benefits you get from practicing forms, will improve and increase dramatically. But that will not happen if you do not systematically and regularly drill the foundational basics.

    Honestly, I would say that you could spend 60 percent or more of your practice time on basics, for the rest of your life, no matter what level you reach, and you will be better for it. Basics are far far more important and deserving of your time, than any of the techniques and forms.

    Techniques without solid basics are useless. Strong basics without self defense techniques are still very useful. Self defense techniques WITH solid basics are devastating. Tie it all together.
     
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  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    I would separate days into form vs SD techniques vs 'kempos' vs basics. Depending on how much time I have, get to what I can in that day. And do things like 5, 5, &5 (a technique, 5 pushups, a technique, 5 situps, a technique, 5 squats, or whatever variation of 3 workouts you want to use), just to keep it interesting.

    Definitely set up a day each week for basics, at least. That's the most important part.
     
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  4. Matt Bryers

    Matt Bryers Orange Belt

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    For our classes, and when training ourselves, we start with the basic movement patterns. In Jiu-Jitsu this is more technical stand-up, shrimps, rolls, etc. All basics / fundamentals are in the "movement". I would assume in Kenpo that those are your forms.

    When it comes to training actual techniques, we use our curriculum as references to develop realistic training flows. For example, if we wanted to work on Ippon Seoi Nage, we would start off with some sort of attack or scenario, and then build a "flow" off of what could happen. An example of that would be:

    Person A: Haymaker Punch:
    Person B: Crash the line with our Framing concepts
    B: Knee Knock to create space in the hips
    B: Ippon Seoi Nage
    B: Armbar
    A: Armbar Escape
    B: Closed Guard - Armbar

    I find (for me), that this is the best for us to develop a true combative skill-set that allows students and ourselves to understand how it works, but also to develop / enhance our techniques found in the curriculum.
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'd say I probably spend at least half my personal training time (not counting fitness/strength training time) working on individual movements, punches/short combinations, kicks, etc. The other (maybe) half is forms, individual techniques, etc.

    That's when I'm not working on something in the area of curriculum development - that always skews my training time.
     
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  6. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Honestly, I'd like to say "I work on the material that I'm weakest on" and I do encourage that in students. But I'd be lying if I said that's what I do.
    I work on what 'feels' right for that day. I might spend the whole session on forms (I practice about 50, so that's a long session...). I might spend it all on bag work. I might spend it all on sparring.
     
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  7. wab25

    wab25 Green Belt

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    In Danzan Ryu our arts are organized by lists of techniques. (we don't do the long kata/forms like karate does) Here is a subset of the lists:

    Yawara – Techniques of Gentleness
    Nage Te – Throwing Techniques
    Shime Te – Constriction Techniques
    Oku No Te – Deeper Techniques
    Shinnin No Maki – Beginning Level Black Belt Techniques

    Goshin Jitsu – Self Defense Techniques
    Tanto No Maki – Scroll of Knife Techniques
    Daito No Maki – Scroll of Sword Techniques
    Tanju No Maki – Scroll of Pistol Techniques
    Keri Te – Kicking Techniques
    Uke Te – Blocking Techniques
    Atemi – Striking Techniques
    Hanbo – Half Stick Techniques

    The first 5 are taught in order, white belt - Yawara, blue belt - Nage, green belt - Shime, brown belt - Oku and black belt Shinnin. (there is some blurring of the lines) The other lists are sprinkled along the way. During class you might run through one or more of the lists.

    Some of the blacks belts got together to train weekly, outside of regular class and we worked out a decent way to practice all the arts. Instead of doing all of Yawara, then all of Nage then Shime... We would start with the first technique of each list. That is: first Yawara, followed by first Nage, first Shime, first Oku and so on down the list. Then we would go back to the first list and do the second technique of each list. Each of these lists has a different number of techniques... the longest would be around 35 arts the shortest is 3 arts on a list. When you get to the end of a particular list, you wrap around to the start. So, as we practiced, we had a marker on each list showing what art we were on. We do that art, move the marker over or back to the front. When time was up for this session, we just left the markers and picked up next week. Over time, this produced different sets of techniques, as the lists were different lengths and would wrap around at different times.

    It was interesting to see how the early techniques get used as building blocks to the more advanced techniques. We started making more connections between the lists. We really started seeing how to transition between different techniques and how they all related. At the very least, it allowed us to practice all the levels, while having a new set each week. It was also a different set than when we were at the regular classes... where the lists were run in there normal order (practicing Yawara tonight, Nage next week...)

    Sorry for the lengthy post here... but I thought it was a worth while way to train the different sets of techniques.
     
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  8. watching

    watching Yellow Belt

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    Thank you for the advice! I definitely will start to practice those basics! My school very rarely focuses on basics drills. My old dojo often did partner drills with strike pads and we would work our basics that way, I really miss that. It seems like when we do basics, it's in the air as the instructor calls them out to the class.. kind of lame in my opinion. But if I can get a wavewaster for at home, I would feel better about my training.
     
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  9. watching

    watching Yellow Belt

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    I'm glad I asked this question!
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    In the interest of full disclosure, the division I mentioned earlier for my own training is not really the result of analysis and careful planning. It's just what feels right (and seems to work) for me.
     
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  11. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Oddly enough, I literally JUST revamped my training routine. I wanted to get in at least an hour's worth of practice per day. Now granted, it has to be GOOD practice, not half-a$$ed, but still.

    So anyhow, I picked 5 different kinds of activities.

    1: Forms
    2: Footwork
    3: Shadow Boxing
    4: Heavy Bag Work
    5: Wooden Dummy Work

    I realized if I did 15 minutes of items 2-5, that alone gave me my hour. :)

    I don't do it all at once, because I can't, so then I had to determine how to split it throughout the day. That came easily enough too.
     
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  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    For general training, I like to break up as:

    1. weight equipment strength training - heavy bag, weight pulley, single head, double heads, ....
    2. Endurance, flexibility, balance, speed, and ... - running, static stretching, dynamic stretching, solo drills, ...

    For MA skill training, I like to break up as:

    1. How to enter and set up - front door and side door entering, uniform stance and mirror stance entering.
    2. How to finish - knock down, take down, arm bar, leg bar, choke, ....
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 2:15 PM
  13. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Purple Belt

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    I'm also glad you brought up the thread too, it's been awesome hearing about how others structure and prioritise their training, and it's given me some great ideas.

    My own training it depends, if a grading was coming up it would definitely more curriculum/cardio/stamina focused. Currently have a tournament coming up in 5 weeks so most of my home training is geared around that.

    Otherwise in between periods I'm the same as Dirty Dog in that nowadays I train moreso by feel and what I'd like to work on.

    I'll find and post my schedule that I used to go by with my home sessions, its on my phone somewheres... it covered all bases in a session but had a specialised section which I rotated, to be continued!
     
  14. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    There is nothing wrong with doing basics in the air. When you're hitting a bag or working with a partner you end up focusing more on power or speed but in the air you should be focusing on the precision and the co-ordination of your body. For example in kenpo say your doing a thrust, reverse punch combo. There's so much to look at. Just at a basic level. Making sure you have the correct toe and heel alignment, making sure your not bouncing in your stance, making sure you put your forward bow in on the reverse punch, making sure your using rotation, making sure your non punching hand is checking or covering your face, making sure your front door is closed and probably loads more.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    This brought a thought to mind (not a criticism of your training or anyone else's):

    This is something I thought about a lot as I approached my shodan grading lo those many years ago. I decided I wasn't at all happy with the approach of preparing for a test. I decided the test wasn't the point, but it was testing for something and that "something" was the point. So I spent my time between brown and black getting good enough to pass the test easily, by working on what the test was really testing for. That's why I don't announce and schedule tests (I might have to go back to that someday) with my students - so the test isn't a test of how well they prepared for the test.

    Mind you, while I think that's a very good approach for someone training with self-defense in mind, I don't think it matters so much for those who have a different focus. Nor do I think it's necessarily wrong to prepare for a test even if SD is the focus - so long as that's actually just a way to push yourself to a higher level of competence (rather than just passing the test).

    Your prep for the competition highlights this. If I was training for competition, it would make sense to do some special prep before each competition, because I know when it's coming. That prep might be to to peak my cardio, have a rest/recovery period, avoid injuries in the days leading up, etc. All of that makes perfect sense when you know the competition is coming. If a competition could spring up at any point, I'd have to stay more or less ready for it all the time as best I could (probably never really at "peak", because you can't hold that level constantly).
     
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  16. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    One footnote to this: since I have my kids on weekends, I give myself a little bit of a break. I still do all my forms, but I cut the time down from an hour to a HALF hour...because, you know, kids...
     
  17. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Purple Belt

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    Ah totally makes sense, I get what you mean. It is weird to make a special effort to prepare for the test, when that's sort of beside the point of what the test is about and what it leads you to demonstrate.

    I can sorta understand both sides to it, on one hand, practicing the material required for the test helps build confidence, sharpens technique, helps you to understand it better, and just generally helps you feel ready for the day. Not to mention working on cardio/endurance stuff can be super helpful so you don't pass out haha..

    But on the other hand, it can maybe lead to slacking off during the year, only really practicing and sharpening skills prepping for grading, then just cruising after it's done, getting sloppy in technique and convincing yourself that you are that grade. But depends on the individual I guess (and instructor, how they've taught and what's expected in class). Can also lead you to think that the test is the be all end all, and can take the focus away from the journey that you're on day to day. Gradings aren't necessarily the pinnacles (they can happen just during normal training sessions), although I consider them milestones of a sort.

    The majority of gradings I've undertaken have not only been a test of technique, knowledge, understanding, ability etc, but a really heavy focus on endurance, perseverance, and a fighting spirit. So yeah in a sense, it would make sense not to do any 'prep', so that that can be really tested, but in another sense training hard in prep for it means you can push a bit harder in the test..

    Great food for thought Gerry! Never pondered it along those lines before!
     
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  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Then allow me to argue the opposite side. Yep, I'm going to argue with myself now (the rest of you can go home).

    There's something to be said for a period of higher intensity and focus. It wouldn't matter when that is, but the upcoming test makes a good trigger for it. This is especially true for the hobbyist (which is most of us), since he can't put in full intensity all the time. And focusing on the test, itself, does have some advantages. It then becomes about setting and clearing a goal - an important life skill, and probably more important than the fighting ability.

    Part of my personal approach likely comes from the fact that I don't really get anxious or stressed by testing. I never have - not in school, not in martial arts. So, for me, the test was just a thing that had to be done, and it came to feel odd that I spent time specifically preparing for it (which I'd always done because that's what people did where I trained). When my personal approach matured enough for me to think for myself, I realized that just didn't fit me. It really surprised my training partners that I wasn't scheduling special sessions with advanced students to prepare for the shodan test. Everyone else did up to that time, and (so far as I know) everyone since has done so. Who knows - maybe they have the right of it, for different reasons than me.
     
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  19. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Purple Belt

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    Ah yeah that's fair enough, yeah it would depend on what suits the person. I tend to get a bit nervous when a grading or tournament is approaching, so I guess I like to drill alot of things to make sure (or help in some way) I don't forget anything during the grading haha, and just to perform the best I can on the day.

    I'm actually experimenting with relaxing on the prep front, the last tournament I did it was much more of a casual approach, did some extra training for sure, but didn't go nuts like I used to (and subsequently burn myself out big-time haha). So I'll take that approach with this upcoming one too methinks :)

    But definitely has given me much to ponder and take on board for sure
     
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  20. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Blue Belt

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    I train kenpo karate too and we have 24 technique what ever is assign to us thats what we practice and sometimes we practice all of it even the sets foms and basic
     

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