During the training, I have noticed, not just with those who may be beginners in martial arts, but even with those who have been training for a long time in various systems of martial arts (especially impact sports like Muay Thai, boxing, and so on) , that when I start them with a particular training drill—–all they are thinking is how to out-perform their partners, and as the minutes roll, I see a simple drill, is turning into a sparring match. It is very frustrating to see these things, but it is part of my job to put the practitioners in the correct mindset in order to produce the best possible psychological and “emotional” orientation (“content”).
It is very difficult, nor is it wise at all to put all aspects of fighting into one training session. Therefore, as a coach, I have to isolate specific things; and those specific things are meant to develop a narrow set of skills at a time. IF you as a practitioner judge a training method or a set of drills from the perspective of strategy and an all out fighting, while I am trying to develop specific attributes within you first, then you are totally missing the point of drilling and training altogether. For the most part, drills are NOT meant to address strategy [initially]; instead, they are meant to develop specific attributes (Ex: foot work, rhythm, weight transfer, etc). Strategy is another aspect of fighting that would need to be worked on [after] you have developed a good set of attributes. Strategies are useless without attributes. It’s like trying to play a full game of golf with some decent golf players, and you don’t even know how to swing a golf club with proper body mechanics; OR trying to solve a calculus problem when you haven’t even understood the dynamics of simple algebra.
Therefore, when you are training, and your coach is telling you, ‘drill passing the guard this way’, or he or she asks you to do a certain kicking drills——don’t let your mind wander off into strategies and ask questions such as, what about my groin being exposed here, or what about being open for this punch or this throw! Your coach, at the moment may want you to get a feel for having posture and good balance inside a guard first, or having a good distance control and lateral foot work first. He is not worried about other things at the moment, and neither should you. You would freeze and paralyze your attribute-development with bunch of strategy questions—–something you should not be worried about right now. Eventually of course, down the line, those questions and concerns get addressed and ultimately, both the attributes and strategies would merge together to make you a potent martial artist. Martial arts is like a marvelous story book with many continuous chapters——-you must go one chapter at the time, one topic at the time, one paragraph at the time, ………..one word at the time, and you must comprehend each word beyond its dictionary meaning.
Development is a life time process. It takes patience and fortitude. You must know that there is no end into this process, so enjoy the ride and reflect on what you need to develop at the moment. Your coach, your instructor, your sifu, your professor wants you to get there as soon as possible, but out of wisdom, he or she knows that things are evolutionary in nature, and understanding comes in stages, not all at once.
From now on, orient your thinking and perception for long term development. Anyone who says to you, do this technique quickly or practice such a such scenarios and you become good in fighting very fast, is being less than honest with you. I am telling you the truth my friend. So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the journey, enjoy the teamwork, enjoy sweating and building your stamina and so on. I am telling you, you will be disappointed with yourself, if you worry about things WAY ahead of the game. Stay focused!