Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Test, Watch, Act.

Here is a clip of Kobe Bryant talking about his 'signature moves'. Note he is using exactly the same tactical process as a sword player - Once he has the ball he is the target, and he needs to get by the opposition to prevail, not unlike an adversary with a sword trying to stop you from escaping.

He creates a buffer of time where he can test the defender in front of him, and he has 3 options available to him depending on what his test turns up. His body mechanics are so precise that he is in control regardless of which option becomes the best choice (dictated by his opponent's reaction). He uses 'jab steps', fakes and baits, jukes and stops - it all crosses over.

Added bonus is that he can also articulate what he is doing ..... What he is doing is both in the moment/reactive, and planned ahead. He does not know which option is best .... he has to choose once his opponent commits.

"My opponent moves first. I get there before him" .... A familiar quote to martial artists ... and yes ... BUT ..... It was Bryant that set it up first.

[Thanks to Steve Morris yet again for finding the clip]


Jim said...

I think that one of the signs of real mastery is that not only can they do something -- they can explain it and do it on purpose.

There are incredible athletes on every playing field; they do amazing things, and lots of practice and hard work is certainly part of the credit. But a lot of them never make that last step to really being able to do it consciously and on purpose. There's a level of introspection and moving something that's become unconscious back into consciousness, but with superior consciousness of the act that's seldom reached.

And, no, I'm not claiming to have reached that myself. Too many times when I succeed, it's luck as much as anything else, I think.

Maija said...

Here's another clip with Michael Jordan explaining crossovers.
I love how he talks about 'options', and having more than your opponent.
In this case his options come from the ability to pivot and drop step in any direction. Again body control and footwork give him these options, alongside the set up of course ..

Mac said...

It is the same in policing: reading, posture, positioning - (taking or creating space). The jab step to test - does the subject bunker in, begin the pre-flight sequence (un-weighting and scanning) or 'check touch' giving away his contraband or weapon? (It never fails - I ask, "do you have any drugs on you?" And they look or touch and then turn back to me and say, "no" or my favorite one, "I don't think so -." Then technique.