Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Importance Of Live Drills

Above is a video of a Hsing-I Chinese internal art drill. The art, while a sister to Bagua and Tai Chi, is the most aggressive and outwardly powerful of the Chinese internal arts.
No one drill can provide for every fighting situation, so there are hitting drills, grappling drills, weapons drills, avoidance drills and so on.
Many of you have probably seen someone, say even at Brown Belt level, get out of sequence in a pre-arranged fighting drill. They stop and look at the other guy, place blame for what went wrong, and re-wind their stepping patterns to start over again. Are they going to do that in a self-defense situation?
The reason, in my opinion is that some drills are "dead". There is a start, and a definite finish, and everything has to be done just so. There are three of four moves and that's it. This leaves no room for the student to experiance variables and grow with the training pattern.
The drill in the video represents a much more dynamic type of drill. Sure, it has it's limitations, but IT'S ALIVE. It has continual motion, advance-attack, retreat-defend. A small variation will fit right in and not disrupt the drill. We have similar drills where we may start out hitting, roll into a joint-lock flow, and resume hitting. Live drills are continous. Once the boiler-plate is laid, variations are encouraged. That's where the real learning begins.
I finally scored a digital camera, so I will try to get set up to post some examples of the types of drills we are working on. In the meantime, enjoy the video above.

No comments: