Drill it Drill it Drill it
Seems a funny title Drill it drill it drill it, But how is any skill learnt? Only by repetitive action can one build the necessary neural pathways to enable it to be engrained in your mind at the subconscious and physiological level. Looking at your martial arts training we use drills to build the skills but we don’t get bogged down by them. The only reason we do the drills is so we can come out of them.
Let me explain, say we go into a locking drill that starts with a wrist lock then goes to a centre lock and then finishes with a shoulder lock. That is one drill, we may do a knife tapping drill where the opponent stabs you you parry the blow, attacker then removes your parry and stabs again you then repeat the process and the attacker changes the angles of attack each time. This is another drill. There are so many drills to do and I am sure you can think of many more.
The point is you learn to go from one movement to the next movement over and over again in a natural way without the need to analyse the situation and create pauses and gaps.
We have all experienced that magical moment in your martial arts life when after days, weeks, or even years of practising something, it happens that perfect kick or throw that propelled your opponent through the air without any effort on your part and or that punch pad workout where you were so sharp and crisp with your all movements to the point of you don’t even know how you are doing it.
How does repeating a movement over and over again help us?
Well we have all heard the saying ‘‘practice makes perfect’’ this is partly true as we prefer to say it is ‘‘perfect practise that makes perfect’’
We all have in our brains specialised cells called neurons that talk with each other using electrical signals called action potentials. When we repeat an action over and over again we undergo physiological changes that build strong neural pathways that help us to be more efficient and effective when preforming a task and or and an action.
How does this help our martial arts training?
When we repeat many different drills over and over again the body starts to find it’s way to do the most economical, efficient and effective actions based on the strength of your neural pathways. So drill it drill it drill it and it does not matter if you go into different drills as the only reason we do them is to come out of them anyway.
Space your repetition drills out to aid your learning, this means don’t try and cram 6 hours in one day once a week as studies have shown that your brain works much better at building neural pathways doing something for less time but more often. So twice a day at shorter intervals would be more beneficial as this builds the Myelination which is the process of coating the axon of each neuron with a fatty coating called myelin, which protects the neuron and helps it conduct signals more efficiently.
So keep practicing but do the drills slowly and correctly because if you do them wrong you will still be building strong neural pathways but in the wrong way that won’t help you!
Stay safe train safe be safe.