An Intensity Challenged Person

Runs With Fire

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My girlfriend recently brought up some of her personal weaknesses in martial arts training. She is currently a second degree in Tang Soo Do in my school. By far, her strength is where I fall short. She is one of those people who get out there and make everything look super smooth, calm, fluid, and graceful. But her greatest weakness is in intensity. During her second degree test she failed to break several of seven boards with predetermined strikes. Still, even with less than fifty percent in breaking she still had a high overall score.
That's where I come in. Of 230 ish students in my school, I'm considered one of four most powerful; and the only one less than 200 lbs (a thin 160). I won't mentipn her weight, though she is smaller than me. Anyways, I will be working with her on it. Of our Krav Maga instructors, I am usually the one scheduled to work on intensity drills. Problem is, I don't know if I've worked on such an extreme case before. Most of my guys in Krav are there because they were already intense. I have a person lesson guide roughly developed including : heavy bag workouts, boxing drills, blindfolded drills (to change up her current reactions), and hopefully involve her in a few group stress drills in my Krav Maga class, free of charge (I teack krav in the same school we study TSD at).
From the more experienced than myself, what would you do/ recomend?
 

PhotonGuy

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For the board breaking in the test you mentioned that she failed to break several of seven boards. Was that a stack of seven boards that had to all be broken at once or was it boards that were broken individually?
 

WaterGal

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By intensity, do you mean she's not putting her "all" in, that she's generally lukewarm or meek in her training? How's her sparring? How is she with heavy bag drills?

If the problem is just with board breaking, I think there are a few possible issues that could be going on, and they have different solutions. These are the main problems I see when I work with people on breaking, roughly in order of how common they are: 1) the person doesn't know how to generate power effectively enough with the technique, 2) the person aims their power at the surface of the board rather than through it, 3) the person is afraid of hitting the board or lacks confidence, 4) the person is not strong/large enough, or 5) the person is lukewarm/not really trying.
 
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Runs With Fire

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By intensity, do you mean she's not putting her "all" in, that she's generally lukewarm or meek in her training? How's her sparring? How is she with heavy bag drills?

If the problem is just with board breaking, I think there are a few possible issues that could be going on, and they have different solutions. These are the main problems I see when I work with people on breaking, roughly in order of how common they are: 1) the person doesn't know how to generate power effectively enough with the technique, 2) the person aims their power at the surface of the board rather than through it, 3) the person is afraid of hitting the board or lacks confidence, 4) the person is not strong/large enough, or 5) the person is lukewarm/not really trying.
It's not just splitting wood, she lacks in the ability to generate intensity when needed. She is quite small framed but I have enough experience to know she can do more. It's not that she isn't trying, or that she isn't dedicated. She just needs to learn to let her small framed personality turn into a big framed personality. She has incredible control, now she has to learn how to unleash when necessary.
 
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By intensity, do you mean she's not putting her "all" in, that she's generally lukewarm or meek in her training? How's her sparring? How is she with heavy bag drills?

If the problem is just with board breaking, I think there are a few possible issues that could be going on, and they have different solutions. These are the main problems I see when I work with people on breaking, roughly in order of how common they are: 1) the person doesn't know how to generate power effectively enough with the technique, 2) the person aims their power at the surface of the board rather than through it, 3) the person is afraid of hitting the board or lacks confidence, 4) the person is not strong/large enough, or 5) the person is lukewarm/not really trying.
Due to the unbroken boards, there is now a lack of confidence. There is need to focus on follow through with techniques.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Forgive me, but I suspect 'intensity' (a nebulous word in this case) has little to nothing to do with it. Breaking boards is more about focus and technique, IMHO.

I am no expert, but we don't break boards; we break concrete pavers when we break anything (which is not often). I don't know anything about intensity required. I do know that my focus is a point several inches past the impact spot, and my technique either works, in which case my palm drives through the concrete like it's not even there; or it does not work, in which case I bruise my palm.
 
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Forgive me, but I suspect 'intensity' (a nebulous word in this case) has little to nothing to do with it. Breaking boards is more about focus and technique, IMHO.

I am no expert, but we don't break boards; we break concrete pavers when we break anything (which is not often). I don't know anything about intensity required. I do know that my focus is a point several inches past the impact spot, and my technique either works, in which case my palm drives through the concrete like it's not even there; or it does not work, in which case I bruise my palm.
It's not about breaking boards, That was just a specific example. She's a bit to smooth and graceful for all the time. We are working on "going intense" . Being more powerful and dedicated to aggression when needed. Being less "fluttering butterfly" and more "raging bear".
 

drop bear

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Easy.

Do focus pads. Hit them like you are trying to kill them. It means you are crawling out at the end of the session rather than joking and laughing. But it also gets you hitting harder.


Show em how it,s done J.W.

 

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Define "intensity " better. What is "too smooth and graceful "? Nothing you've described in your plan addresses much beyond physical conditioning and a little reaction practice. Do you mean focus? Commitment to the attack? "Killer spirit"? Do you understand what is involved, emotionally and psychologically in working through those barriers? You're probably not the best choice to work on that sort of thing with YOUR girlfriend, because you will almost certainly be going into some sensitive areas.

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It's not about breaking boards, That was just a specific example. She's a bit to smooth and graceful for all the time. We are working on "going intense" . Being more powerful and dedicated to aggression when needed. Being less "fluttering butterfly" and more "raging bear".


Mmm if my significant other started telling me that I'd be off like a 'speeding racehorse'. Are you her instructor, if not I really would leave it to whoever is to sort what needs to be done, even if you are I'd leave it to someone else. You can either be her boyfriend or you can be her instructor because the 'intensity' I see comes from you and it looks very intense.
 
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Define "intensity " better. What is "too smooth and graceful "? Nothing you've described in your plan addresses much beyond physical conditioning and a little reaction practice. Do you mean focus? Commitment to the attack? "Killer spirit"? Do you understand what is involved, emotionally and psychologically in working through those barriers? You're probably not the best choice to work on that sort of thing with YOUR girlfriend, because you will almost certainly be going into some sensitive areas.

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Yes, killer spirit, Or rather , to control one"s fight or flight tendency as best one can in a safe environment. As my initial Krav Maga instructor once said "you need to learn to flip the switch from passive to aggressive to dead set killer. I've seen students freeze up, i've seen students have anxiety attacks, and panic, and go into stress induced emotional trama. I know when to stop and I know when to keep pushing. I also don't work alone for the reasons above. Basically a bit of general, non-technical Krav Maga style training; Mental conditioning. It's a mindset.
 
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Easy.

Do focus pads. Hit them like you are trying to kill them. It means you are crawling out at the end of the session rather than joking and laughing. But it also gets you hitting harder.


Show em how it,s done J.W.

I was thinking of that myself.
 
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This, all because she is preparing for her third degree testing in July.
I'm basically talking some boxing drills to help her develop a "harder hit".
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

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Yes, killer spirit, Or rather , to control one"s fight or flight tendency as best one can in a safe environment. As my initial Krav Maga instructor once said "you need to learn to flip the switch from passive to aggressive to dead set killer. I've seen students freeze up, i've seen students have anxiety attacks, and panic, and go into stress induced emotional trama. I know when to stop and I know when to keep pushing. I also don't work alone for the reasons above. Basically a bit of general, non-technical Krav Maga style training; Mental conditioning. It's a mindset.
Physical conditioning doesn't really teach this. Unfortunately, there is not a lot that does, it is something that you are born with, can be brought out really quickly (when you first start learning)or that you have to gradually learn. Would be pretty tough to train her in "killing spirit" for a test like you might train her in technique or physical conditioning.
 
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Physical conditioning doesn't really teach this. Unfortunately, there is not a lot that does, it is something that you are born with, can be brought out really quickly (when you first start learning)or that you have to gradually learn. Would be pretty tough to train her in "killing spirit" for a test like you might train her in technique or physical conditioning.
I agree completely. I can't train anybody to "be tough" but I can give a safe opportunity and encourage someone to get there. Tends to work.
 

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I think she will find her killer instinct and I know who the first person to know that will be. :cool: Probably better to start ducking when she says 'fine' through gritted teeth.
 

Bill Mattocks

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It's not about breaking boards, That was just a specific example. She's a bit to smooth and graceful for all the time. We are working on "going intense" . Being more powerful and dedicated to aggression when needed. Being less "fluttering butterfly" and more "raging bear".

Not sure I am able to grasp what you're saying. I am sure I would get the concept if I saw what you meant, but I am just having a hard time picturing it from your description. Sorry, not your fault, but I'm not getting it.
 

Tez3

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Not sure I am able to grasp what you're saying. I am sure I would get the concept if I saw what you meant, but I am just having a hard time picturing it from your description. Sorry, not your fault, but I'm not getting it.

He wants a Ronda Rousey not a Gabby Douglas.
 

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I assume the OP is referring to the person as having a mild mannered temperament and does not display ferocity in her training. There could be psychological reasons behind this that she should explore if she agrees with this assessment. Visualization exercises can help along with some scenario training to build stress. It needs to be done slowly and carefully over time or else it will just crush confidence rather than increase it.
 
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