Can you flow?
Water flows, the waves on the sea flow, a fountain flows, nature flows.
In the dictionary it explains the meaning of flow as;
‘’To move or run smoothly with unbroken continuity.’’
How does this relate to our martial arts training? Or for that matter anything we are trying to achieve in life like playing the piano, rock climbing, running, playing tennis etc.
In martial arts the normal way to train is to have a preconceived set of movements or techniques and we hope that the attacker will attack somewhere in these given parameters. Unfortunately life does not work that way, we train hard to acquire so many techniques and drills in the hope that one of them will fit the pattern of an attacking opponent.
We have all seen demonstrations of instructors who get their students to attack in a certain manner but they should be able to say just attack me and deal with it. So many instructors have failed in front of a class as the person did not attack in the way that has been rehearsed or prescribed.
Jim Carey comes to mind (very funny and here is the Link)
Again I never say things to be confrontational just giving some ideas to think about and then maybe you can adjust or tweak the things you need to make your martial arts education more rounded.
Having said the above, can you flow when an opponent changes the attack that does not fit within your drills or techniques and what happen when you have a difficult opponent?
Drills do have value as ‘’It’s the drills that builds the skills’’ But the only reason we do drills or prearranged movements is so we can come out of them and not be bound by them.
Even in seminars you always get the ridged or awkward partners who will not do what is being taught or they will just do their own thing ignoring any learning process. That is fine but you should still be able to flow to the next thing and blend with these difficult people without building structure.
Things happen that will change what you do in martial arts and in life and you must be able to ‘‘ Adapt and overcome.’’ You must be able to flow into the next thing without a stop, pause or what we call in Filipino Kyusho a Flat Edge. When you stop your flow that is the gap for your opponent to exploit and for him to change his attack or counter. If your opponent counters your defence you just flow into the next thing, if he blocks your attack again you just go to the next option this then becomes a natural instinct after a while with out the need for a thought process. So this flow or blending changes to sensitivity and energy as opposed to techniques and prearranged drills.
To encapsulate Filipino Kyusho we would say it is the art of flowing and blending with pressure point striking which is done without the need for thought or prearranged movements.
‘‘Be water my friend not the bottle’’ (half Bruce Lee saying and half mine)
Train safe be safe