KUNG FU WARRIORS

Be Your Own Bodyguard ... and Walk Away Alive

 

 

 SPEED TRAINING

Fighting is quick paced and changes at lightening fast speed. One moment you are shifting to perform a move and suddenly you change plan to avoid an attack from your opponent. This is the nature of fighting and it is exciting.

Life is dynamic, it changes quickly. One day your going in one direction, the next everything stops or your going in another direction. You drive down a highway and suddenly you need to detour and reroute yourself with another highway. A good driver is prepared ahead of time and can quickly create an alternative.

 

Fighting is just like life, you need a game plan that you fight by. This plan must be flexible to provide for the sudden changes that fighting delivers. With fighting, the changes can be life threatening. Unlike life, though, alternate plans are few because the moment to moment dynamics of fighting require immediate action and the actions are based upon what is available at that specific, brief moment in time. You are ready to strike and positioned, then your opponent looks down at your feet. That brief glance down is your moment in time and you need to strike fast. But do you?

 

A great fighter is always ready to attack. It does not matter what the attack is, a kick, a punch, an elbow, an open hand smash, a head bash or even a bite, the attack has to be always in the forefront of a fighter's mind. Win is the mindset. This is the mindset of a true warrior.

 

To be ready, you must train with speed attacks. This type of training is extremely simple and very demanding. You must learn to attack from any position and with any weapon. Your target is any place that you can immediately strike at and do the most damage, preferably the head. For example, you just threw a boxers cross punch and your opponent slaps it away so that your fist is now passing the chest of your opponent's body. You have a few options immediately to chose from: one, flow into a backfist and strike the side of your opponent's head, aiming for the mandible knock out spot; two, roll down into a hammerfist and strike the kidney; and three, collapse your arm and drive your elbow into the chin of your opponent. These are just some possibilities.

 

In training, use a double ended speed ball to develop your eye-to-hand timing as well as your speed. In the beginning the ball may be on rubber straps to make it more stable but your ultimate goal is to use both bungy cords  so that the ball changes directions and is "squirrely". Your main emphasis is on punches but blocks need to be used too. As you advance and gain control over the ball, add elbows and head butts.

 

The best training is with another person who trains you. You can switch off with this person or have a group of warriors who all train together and switch with all of them. This is advantageous because you get different timing and energy from multiple fighters. If you train with the same person all the time, you begin to get too familiar with the same actions and lose the spontaneity which is the closest similarity to actual fighting.

 

When training, use focus pads to strike at. One pad is high, simulating a head strike and you hit with anything; a jab or a cross or your head. Immediately another pad is low, around the waist level and you quickly do a front kick or a knee or a hammerfist. Next a pad is chin level and facing the ground so you immediately execute an uppercut. The pad is still there and you bombard it with multiple uppercuts. Then suddenly your training partner throws a focus pad directly at your head and you block it with a pak sao slap hand or if you are really fast and furious, you strike it with a punch!

 

The point here is to constantly be attacking. This keeps your opponent always on the defense which you continually wear down. Each attack causes your opponent to be blocking and deflecting which you constantly strike more and more pain into each blocking body part. Also, your attacks that do get through cause even more pain and damage, bringing you closer and closer to victory.

 

The physical aspect comes through rigorous training in speed attacks when your trainer provides a target only for a split second and you strike. You must train both punches and kicks but the main emphasis is punches. This is because you face your opponent in hands range much more often than kicks range. Even when you are moving around, squaring off, circling clockwise or counter-clockwise, or moving in and out, the two of you are not in kicking range; a kick will not strike your opponent but only air. When you do enter kicking range it is to actually kick or while in transition to execute your next, actually planned move. Therefore, the ratio here is 2 to 1 (2:1) or even three to one (3:1) for punches training to kicks training. The last of the speed attacks training must involve using both hands and feet.

 

Speed attacks training is vital to your development as a warrior because it sets you up for the sudden changes that are the dynamic nature of fighting. When an opening appears, you need to take advantage of it and attack. Fighting is much like life, it changes moment by moment, but if you trained properly for it, you will be victorious. This separates the men from the boys.

 

 

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...Sifu Mike