When evaluating a technique being demonstrated, it’s vitally important to have a process in mind as to what fundamental issues are of immediate concern – particularly as a means of forming an initial understanding of the technique and as a foundation from which to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions.
Often, a technique demonstration happens very quickly, and unless there is a substantial amount of time spent talking through the technique (which is good), you may be left wondering what you saw and how to emulate it.
This is where a Kravology Method will come in handy. In essence, when we are watching something unfold before our eyes, our brains need to be trained to notice three critical things:
- How are the platforms (feet, hips, and shoulders) moving? Generally, as you move powerfully, two of the three platforms will move or align together. And, these platforms will align or move in specific, identifiable ways (i.e. feet and shoulders stacking for a front kick, hips punching out). The sooner you train yourself to notice this aspect of the movement, the better. Without this understanding, you’re basically lost. This process will typically include your initial defensive (e.g. pluck) and/or offensive movement (e.g. punch).
- What is the striking surface and at what range? It’s important to notice what striking surface is making contact and at what range. This reveals the ideal range in which to respond or illustrates an important point (usually related to the technique addressing acute stress during violence). This is why we send a front kick during a two-hand choke from the front; that is, to avoid asking the defender under stress to make a decision about what combative at what range might be best. Understanding the appropriate striking surface also provides a more targeted means of delivering power in the combative. This is often overlooked and critically important when you need to drop your antagonist.
- Notice the relative position with which the defender starts and finishes his/her technique. Pay special attention to how the attack starts by noticing where the defenders and attackers centerline start. While it’s important to notice what the limbs are doing in a defense, the truth is it’s the easiest part of the technique to learn (and often where the focus starts and stops – not good). Instead, follow the defender’s centerline relative to the attacker and notice how the angle and distance change from start to finish. This sounds more difficult than it is. A little practice and you’ll have it down.
I wish I had a dollar for each time I had to stop myself from over-doing and over-thinking a technique over the past 18 years. Returning to the fundamentals of a technique is vitally important. In the end, it‘s these fundamentals or basics, if you will, that you’ll want to execute with speed and power should you ever need to defend yourself.
In short, utilizing these three concepts will allow you to quickly analyze and understand what you’ve seen and how to begin to put that knowledge to work for yourself. Commit to this process for 90 days – you’ll love the results.
…walk in peace.