- Aug 3, 2015
- Reaction score
Correct. Science has stated that biologically it's a survival skill that's rooted genetically and martial arts may have understood this long before science. In terms of martial arts pattern recognition can either be a big help such as recognizing telltale signs or it can be a horrible curse.It turns out pattern matching is at the root of most expertise (chess, music, martial arts, etc.).
Some of the lessons that I train for myself and with student in fighting and self-defense is how to be more conscious about pattern recognition. In terms of sparring and fighting I train students how to exploit humans natural ability to recognize patterns. For example: If I'm fighting, I can throw 2 sets of double jabs. So the pattern looks like the following
1st Pattern: double jab with lead hand
2nd Pattern: double jab with lead hand
3rd Pattern: lead jab then kick.
The body will subconsciously recognize the 1st Pattern. The fighter will conscious understand the 2nd pattern and conscious look for it. The 3rd pattern is me exploiting this natural programming of pattern recognition. I often tell students that they should be always be active in reprogramming their opponent.
I also teach about pattern commitment, which is when a fighter is honestly committed to a pattern. BJJ guys are often committed to a specific stance even when they are punching, TKD guys are often committed to a specific stance as well. If a person can recognize when this pattern occurs then it possible to get good idea of what will attack will come next or what defense and counter will be used. Our bodies naturally pick this stuff up, but it doesn't mean much to us because we don't train to consciously to something with it so many times it passes off as "intuition" where the fighter just felt that his opponent was going to try something specific.
Here you can see that one fighter is committed to a kick and the other is committed to a punch. For Hapkido, the lead foot and the position of the body gives it away. Lead Foot pointing forward with slight lean forward means punch is favored. Both feet pointing in the same direction with toes pointing away from opponent means kick is favored. If a punch is thrown while feet are pointed for kicking, then the punch won't be a committed and will often been thrown without power.
Every system has it's own pattern and with each physical pattern three is a timing pattern that can be exploited as well. Some times my sparring classes seem more like a science class than a sparring class.. I can probably write a book about this subject.