- Nov 14, 2013
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That “role” is important. Without it, a lot of scenario training turns into “punch and hold”. That’s fine for a first drill on a technique or application, but loses the dynamics. One of the best changes I made was defining what the attacker is allowed to do if the defender fails (or fails to respond). Do they repeat the same action, try again on the other side, or what?
When I'm working with a lower belt in Hapkido, I usually go through at least a few steps in this progression of providing resistance:
- Walk them through the technique, and kind of do the technique for them (i.e. if my arm is supposed to bend, bend my arm so they see what the next step is supposed to look like)
- Let them perform the technique with no resistance
- Let them control the technique, but provide enough resistance that they at least need a little control. If it feels like they are improving, then I just kinda go with it to build confidence
- Let them control the technique from start to finish. If they don't have control, I give advice on where they lost it, or we reset and try again
- Let them control the technique, but if there is a point at which they leave me an opening, I take it and counter the technique
Sparring is separate because it's not exactly part of the drill. Basically, I start where I'm helping teach the technique, move into building their confidence that they are learning the technique correctly, and then move into confidence that they can actually apply the technique. If they learned it fast from watching the Master, then I can skip Step 1, and often times I can settle into steps 3 and 4 pretty quick. Sometimes I jump ahead to show them why they need to maintain control, but then settle back until they have the proper technique.
One of our black belts in Taekwondo got yelled at by the Master yesterday for making it too easy for one student. A few minutes later I scolded him for making it too hard on another. The student he was making it difficult for is his mother, who is an orange belt. The technique is a hand grab, that starts by pushing their hand up and away with the web between your thumb and pointer finger, but he was locking his arm so tight she couldn't move.
I explained to him that in a real situation, if someone is locking their arm like that, I'd just go the other way, swing down and inside to get a wrist lock and then hyper-extend the elbow. It's very easy when his arm is locked from pushing one way, for me to switch to the other. But that's not the technique we're currently drilling, and we're not drilling for contingencies. We're preparing for a test, and she needs to demonstrate mastery of that specific skill as part of the test.
"Make them have control, but don't fight them" (basically step 3 or 4 above) is what I try and tell the students. Mostly I have to tell this to newer students in the adult classes, or to kids (who don't learn handgrabs) as they transition into adult classes.
Sorry if none of this is in experience with Krav Maga, but it seemed relevant to the discussion the way this thread has gone.