Recently in the Classes we’ve been working on clinch techniques and using the same techniques throughout all of our training whether we’re doing MMA style clinch, Filipino boxing, stickfighting or knife defence. In this way you get to see the same shapes constantly and then learn them in more depth. By doing them in different contexts you’re sort of viewing them in different colours. In this way you’re on the path to integrated combat where you are formless and can go with the flow because you see certain constants all the time. Once you’ve got some of these shapes down then you need to spar them to find them in real time. Firstly we just play free flow with a couple of variables and then add more and more. Finding it for yourself is the gateway to truly knowing it. You’ve got to test your knowledge in a real situation. Like all testing and sparring it shouldn’t be too challenging but be progressive so that everyone gets to get better not just the ‘hard boys’ The more training partners you’ve got to train with the better.
We’ll be continuing in this field with a much more sparring related approach over the coming months. Less technique in terms of number but more understanding and facility. Training this way you learn to have a more subtle, fluid and changeable game. As a Tai chi master I know well says.’ If they’ve got a shape I can break it-I look for the guys who are formless/ shapeless and fluid. They’re the ones to train with’. See you there!