Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ten Methods for Practicing Fallen Sword

Since it's Fall Break and you're all missing class as much as I am, I thought I'd give you some things to think about during your time off. With that in mind, here are ten ways to practice one of your beginner techniques which will help you with all your kenpo.

1. Visualize your performance. Imagine yourself performing the technique. See every strike land. See your opponent fall at your feet. Always succeed. Never fail.

2. In the air. You can't rehearse the motion enough. The body relies on proprioeception and motor memory to perform physical tasks, and those are both developed through repetition.

3. On the body. On as many bodies, as often as possible. Performing karate in the air is good practice, but it's like playing air guitar. The skill is designed for the instrument.

4. Around the clock. Face 12 and perform Fallen Sword against punches from all directions. Learn what movements are necessary to achieve the necessary positions.

5. Kenpo Formula. Add/Subtract/Prefix/Suffix/Alter (timing,targets,weapons)/Re-arrange/Excise. Practice Fallen Sword with each function of the formula. Separately and in combination.

6. Against other attacks. Can Fallen Sword be performed against a push? A punch? A grab? Slaps, knives, clubs? What about a broken beer bottle, or a roundhouse kick? The attack in the technique is a teaching tool, make sure you're studying the lessons.

7. As a grappling response. Instead of block/kick/handsword, could you work grab/sweep/headlock? What about parry/pressing stance/pushdown?

8. Left handed. Fallen Sword can be performed against a Left Step Thru Punch just as easily as a Right. Simply use the opposite side stances and maneuvers. Practicing your techniques on both sides will improve your coordination and timing.

9. While sparring. Have your opponent throw nothing but step thru punches while sparring. Defend every time with Fallen Sword. Gradually vary techniques and increase speed and intensity.

10. On the ground. Can you perform fallen sword from the guard? While under the mount? While in the mount? What purpose can the lower body serve? Learning to fight on the ground is like learning to fight on your feet, you have to play the game to learn the rules.

Practice every technique like this. Every basic. Every set. Every form. This is how you master the art. Repetition. Study. Experimentation. You should investigate this thoroughly and understand it well.

Just because the school is closed doesn't mean you can't be practicing and studying. Look for ways to keep it fresh. And make sure you come back excited and ready to train!

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