Saturday, February 2, 2013
I have never had the power, size, or ferocity to rely on it to overpower or overcome a much larger adversary .... I mean I know the ways to increase my power efficiency, and I'm not really saying that the ferocity or tenacity to defeat a larger opponent are not possible to manifest given the right motivation, but in training, in dueling, playing martial arts, it has always felt as though I start from a disadvantage.
Part of this is an unwillingness to take damage - I know I can probably take more damage than I think I can .. but I also know that it is wise to avoid getting hit by someone much more powerful, as they can much easier wreck you, than you them.
With this in mind, I'm sure I was drawn to learning from Sonny because I probably outweighed him by about 40lbs ... I think he was slightly taller than me ... though it's actually hard to tell. He looks like he is in the videos of us flowing, and he certainly did from my point of view standing in front of him, but I have also seen him out of his environment, in strange surroundings, and I swear he could shrink up to 4 or 5 inches ... Anyway ... he was not a big man, let's leave it at that, and I reckoned, whatever works for him, should work for me.
So how did he win despite his size?
Was it because he was just better, and faster? Well, partly .... His speed and power were exponentially increased because of how set up his opponent, his accuracy at targeting certainly helped, but his ability to create OPPORTUNITIES was what really upped his odds. He put his opponent exactly where he wanted them, making it safer for him, and easy for him to hit them.
Many martial arts talk about this, of 'using your opponent's movement', momentum and angle, to your own advantage, but many lack a way of practicing HOW to set this up.
The grappling arts seem pretty good at it, as are a few striking arts, at least at the higher levels, but how about weapons?
Often these set ups are taught as a step by step program - Do this, then when they do that, change, and hit them. But this method is hard to find in real time sparring because your opponent is often uncooperative, and the fleeting moments when the technique is possible, pass before you can take advantage of it. So most folks end up relying on power, speed and technique, because they can't make their set ups work ... and to some extent end up leaving it all to luck.
The piece that is missing, at least in my opinion, is that individuals fight differently. Each has a personality and a way of fighting that requires a particular approach. Which approach will work, is often only found by trial and error, by testing and prodding at their personality and at their movement. This is hard to notice in a real time adversarial duel, but you can train it when you are flowing/playing until you can do it full speed.
There is a method, a way to look, and reactions and 'tells' that will give you insight into who is in front of you. But to practice you have to make brain space for paying attention to these things and learn how to throw out temping hooks and false threats. In a way you have to be a good actor, throwing out lines for your partner to improv, and seeing what they say, but not be attached to any particular outcome. This means there is danger and you must have good defenses and an ability to 'surf' the action, and also a way to understand why things might not work so you make smart decisions.