March 09 - Spain Seminar
This is my third time teaching in Spain, the other two occasions that I taught there was just outside Barcelona but this one was in Madrid. The attendance I was told was over 70 folks which is pretty good but can present problems with translation and the most important thing people paying attention to what's being taught and what I want them to do. This was a one day seminar so I decided to just cover one thing, and then at least I have left them with something. Far too many folk who do seminars don't teach they just show a bunch of techniques that have no relevance to each other and the students go away with allot of drills and techniques. I don't do that because my purpose is to teach and leave the students with something that makes sense rather than things that don't.
Like everything else you need a beginning, a middle and an end. In jkd the beginning is the stance and the transportation system, i.e. the footwork. The stance is important for the delivery of punches, kicks and movement, it’s the place of balance and the foundation. If its not constructed right moving in a straight line and getting your full weight behind the tools is greatly compromised, sadly most folk don't take the time to look at it or understand it at all so if you want more force behind your tools spend a bit of time on it, to understand the direction of force and how your feet are lined up for max leverage.
Okay moving onto the footwork, the feet, well every time you move you need to shift your weight so you can move faster and be in control of the distance, so shift, then step. Looking at moving there's really only 4 ways to move and you can take each one and drill it till there's no thought behind it, when you can do that you can just move and do any that just happens or comes to mind. Really the only time I need to remember is when I teach folk because you train to forget rather than remember.
I like to train the footwork like a dance, like dancing where the weight shifts then step then shift and step without putting both feet on the ground, its like a see saw shift step. Once you get into this you will find it difficult to go back to single steps or individual moves. The thing is when you do this there is no thought about moving your head so you don't get hit because your heads always moving because your shifting ,but like everything else do 10,000's then you will see the difference.
So after this I moved onto the lead, I decided to do the stance followed by footwork and lead, and then check the time to see how I am in terms of if I’m on schedule or behind so that I get everything covered. I would say the leads got to be the most difficult punch there is in jkd, purely because there are so many parts to it that must move at the right speed and time and if ones out of sync then the rest are just the same playing catch up. I tend to teach this in parts or sections, like the hand, the hand out, the hand in, the hand and waist out, hand and waist in, the hand and foot, oh and just step, and then step and push. Then once you got all the parts build it up into a punch, but that's not just it, there's more to it than this but as I said you need a start and this is basically the start to jkd. The reason this punch is difficult is purely because of one simple factor and that's that the hand must move prior to the foot. As human beings this is certainly not easy for us to do considering that we move hand and foot at the same time like which we would do if we were running or walking so to archive this there's no way you can do this at any seminar, you can only show but the students must go away and put the hard work in themselves by doing 1,000's, but not a 1,000 you could probably get it after 200,000 reps and that's not even considering hitting a pad that's just getting yourself reprogrammed. Everybody struggles with this, one seminar I did in England not one person could do this considering they’re supposed to be teaching jkd, I think not but let’s not get into that.
Well we got to move hit recover our balance and not get hit that's a very tall order but I think not impossible if you’re willing to get going with your reps. So I split the footwork down and built it up and I did the same with the punching, putting it back together is sometimes like opening a present you don't know what your going to get, and that's the same with this while I’m teaching a seminar I hope they get it and when they put it together its a bit better than what they had to start with but considering I was only there fore 5 or 6 hours it looked pretty good. So if they did the upper body and weight shift then there evasion would be better, if they did there punching right then they should be able to feel a small difference in the force and the snap behind their punches. Considering there was allot in attendance they picked things up rather well, I put this down to a few factors one doing only a few things that folks can grasp and understand and two breaking this stuff down to manageable parts that makes sense to the person trying to get to grips with it. Anyway I can honestly say it works because I could see the attendees moving better and hitting with a bit more authority, mission accomplished.
So in closing I would like to thank the folk who attended and the guys I know from the previous seminars that I have done in Spain, and to the host Jose, and to Juan, Mark and the other Mark who did a very good job translating for me on the day well done.