Solo RMA Practice?

arnisador

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Do any of the Russian arts such as Systema and ROSS lend themselves to solo practice? Arts that use kata/forms are of course amenable to solo practice, though of course it's always nice to have a partner--but the Russian arts seem to be very much wrapped around partner practice drills from what I see.
 
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Rich_

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Solo practice is possible; working on bags, practising movement fulidity, moving on the ground and so on - fundamental conditioning and motor skills. Which, really, is what kata are - no-one should expect to be a great fighter just by doing kata.

However, partner practice is the meat of the training; you can't fight on your own. Just as in boxing, judo and so on; if you don't practise against an unpredictable, resisting opponent you may just as well be curled up in bed with a book.

Of course, kata/forms also have the self-improving quest for perfection inherited from Taoist and Buddhist philosophies; Russians, like Westerners, are more interested in pragmatism. :)

I'll post some ROSS solo practice drills later.
 
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dc8ball

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This is because partner drills are the goal or what looks appealling, but they do not alone make a human better.

Solo practice is what builds the platform for partner drills. It's desirable to and necessary to develope each day in your personal pratice and make it specific. In my path using ROSS I have gone beyond what I have been showed and began to create new and stimulating ways to build my platform or vehicle to make partner drills more exciting and beneficial. This was my main reason for switching to ROSS so that I can begin creating on my own the place I was before would not allow to become my own person with my own solutions. RMAX productions has some programs such as Warrior Wellness, and Maximology to begin to see how to create for your self solo drills. I respect Kata or Forms more now than I ever did when I was training in someone else's Style because my outlook on it has changed.

Hope this helps,

Coach Dan Chomycia
ROSS IT
 

jellyman

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Well, there is a bunch of special calisthetics I do, and I have a heavy bag in the garage.

At times I'll image someone in front of me and basically shadowbox. My wife thinks it's funny, though.

Outside of that. I'd say most of my 'solo training' is visualisation. I may go over what someone did to me, and what I could have done, or make up counters to my favourite moves, etc etc.

Past that, I have semi-solo drills, in that there's more than me involved, but I'm the only one who knows there's training going on. No, I'm not mugging people for practice lol...

Look at someone that you're walking by on the street. Look at the shoulders, and try to determine which foot is planted from as they walk from the way the shoulders are set.

As someone passes you, try to gauge the potential attacks they can pull on you from where they are. Visualize the arc of the limb, etc. Try to visualize your response.

In a crowd, try to walk through without stopping or jostling anyone.
 

Pervaz

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I think the best quote was from Mikhail - solo training is a bit like having sex by yourself !..

I think JM is good in advocating calisthetics and getting used to swinging a stick/sword etc around - for you to feel it but I believe that you do need a body (the more bodies you train on the quicker your understanding e.g. when using pressure points etc)...

Other things to practice can include 'people watching' e.g. where the stress is on their body, how they walk (which can be a give away about themselves), their clothes, following people without being seen (great fun if the person walks into an Anne Summers store and you confront him with a picture - long story!)

Also you walk into crowded places to find out you move if someone accidently bumps into ..

Sorry for rant!

Pervaz
 
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Rich_

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Dan, I agree wholeheartedly that solo work is essential to develop the artist - whether conditioning, attributes, reactions or responses - but in terms of developing the practice and execution of the art itself, no amount of insight and conditioning will work if you have no practical feedback to relate it to.

The reason this is so important is precisely that you are developing a style unique to yourself, and that makes it imperative to have regular reality checks. One can develop all one wants, but if it's from a weak base then it's worthless - heck, anyone can develop their own style (and far too many try to!) without going through the difficult step of testing it. And testing it against a resisting opponent, once the flow and movement has been functionalised, is also key; a week's practical 'sparring' is preferable to a year's video courses or book-reading when learning to manipulate someone's balance or time a counterattack.

I'm not knocking kata for arts where one has to learn a set pattern of movements and philosophy of moving; they're a great tool for ingraining muscle memory in that case.

The sex analogy is amusing and true, as far as fighting goes; you have to interact with someone else, and no amount of fantasising what a fight will be like will prepare you for someone there in the flesh, with their own ideas of what will happen.

Moving through a crowd quickly and with minimal contact is a good drill. Also, picking a fixed point on, say, a door jamb or a post and making light contact with a forearm or shin, then moving around it keeping a constant light, sensitive pressure on it. Once that's under control, use a moving point; a hanging bag, say, or a door, or a chain. Make sure your footwork is always strong and aligned.

Another useful drill is to pick a point, then close your eyes and move. Without opening your eyes until contact is made, try and strike the point. This is great for spatial awareness, and comes in very handy when vision is restricted by poor light or your opponent's actions.

And, of course, the more work done in transitioning from standing to the ground and, more importantly, from the ground to standing, the better.
 
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Rich_

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Great link, Arthur. It reminds me of another drill we learned in Russia, a killer: crocodile walking.

Start in a low press-up position, elbows out, feet spaced, back parallel to the floor. Put a bottle crossways across your lumbar spine (about 4-6" up from your pelvis). Now walk, crocodile-style, across the room, without dislodging the bottle. It's a good way to learn all about how your joints move, and how quickly they can ache. :D

(PS: thanks for getting your friends in contact, we'll hopefully arrange something soon!)
 

Arthur

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Back to the original topic... the drills tape that is packaged with the Bayonet series from rmax.tv has some fantastic stuff you can do solo (well with a stick anyway).

And of course Grapplers toolbox series is excellent for this sort of thing.

Arthur
 

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