Sunday, February 13, 2011

Training in a Small Space

Anyone who visited Sonny's home or has seen the training session videos will know that he held class in his living room. The room was of average size, possibly 15 ft by 15ft ish. There were couches along 2 walls, a big TV console with video recorders etc in one corner, a work table in another corner and a small chest along the other wall. The final wall was taken up by a set of french windows.
The walls themselves were hung with weapons sitting precariously on small nails in the sheet rock, and in the back corner sat a fan on the floor ostensibly for ventilation - Sonny chain-smoked Winston cigarettes - but whose main job it seemed was to give Sonny a big laugh when he backed people up into it and tripped them over.
Anyway, I thought back on this as I read this post on Mick Coup's forum regarding the 'Nature vs Nurture' debate.
The guy posting talks about a book called "Bounce' about a table tennis champion -
"  .... It relates to the greatest British table tennis champion, Desmond Douglas who was known for his lightening reflexes. He would stand leaning across the table while other players had to stand back to give themselves time and space to return the ball. When a group of sports scientists researched the British table tennis squad they found that he actually had the slowest reflexes on the team, even slower then the cadets and the team manager! It turned out he had developed his ability because the club he had practised in most his life was so cramped everyone who played there was forced to stand so close to the table! While his friends had dabbled in the sport he spent all his time at the club learning to play without time and space."
Also -
"How the game Futsul made brazillian football world class by forcing them to learn to play without space and time and at greater intensity ..."

This makes complete sense to me.
Back when I taught class at a Dojo. I found myself sectioning off a corner to play in, as a full room did not work as well. Now we play on a patio with about the same dimensions as the living room. The corners are the only places you are out of range - Just as it should be.

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