Jul. 8th, 2008 @ 11:21 am
Two very vague questions...
Thing 1: I am very new (2.5 weeks in) to martial arts. Something that really surprised me is how uncoordinated I am and how difficult I am finding it to execute even the most elementary techniques. The first day I couldn't even punch with the correct hand! I am told that this is learnable, that after awhile one feels less like a total goober. The question is, how long did it take you to achieve some semblance of coordination and control?
Thing 2: How does one deliberately learn control?
I think the time it takes is somewhat dependent on the art, the age of the practitioner (kids learn quickly, but sometimes lack the focus and discipline to train), and the number of times per week/month one practices.
I took karate as a kid and, as a beginner, the gross motor skills were fairly easy to learn through frequent repetition. I found Aikido very difficult to learn as the tolerance for error of movement is very small - being a small measure out of place makes a big difference in the success or failure of a technique. I am currently taking Kendo/Iaido and both are very exacting arts.
As to deliberately learning control, I'd suggest frequent repetition and close supervision early on. Practice each movement slowly, isolating specific items (i.e. arm angle, hand rotation, stance, etc) until you can satisfy your instructor.
Increased physical co-ordination is one of the things your martial art training should help you with, whatever art you're studying, so feeling you don't have much to begin with shouldn't be a problem. Plus, you're probably getting information overload at this point, and trying to do a whole lot of things at once that you've never done, so give it time. How long it takes is how long it takes, and would be different for everybody. The important thing, from my point of view at least, is to keep at it and be a bit better than you were six months ago, and six months before that..
It's hard to say how long it took me to improve in any given area - it happens over time (still is, i hope) and you don't notice it as you're too busy concentrating on the next skill or ability that you're having difficulties with to notice that something else isn't so difficult any more. All i'd say is give it time and practise, practise, practise.
What specifically do mean by 'control', by the way?
"What specifically do mean by 'control', by the way?"
Example: If I practice a combination that ends with a strike to the head and I'm with a buddy, I want to not actually hit them in the head. So control means being able to control where my body is going, where my hands and feet are going, etc.
Ah. Again, practice is the key. If you want to be able to pull your strikes short and have them finish where you want, one way is to do them slowly, over and over and over, aiming at something vaguely person-shaped and making sure not to hit it (i use a lamp post or tree when practising my one-step sparring routines). As you get used to it, you can go a little faster and eventually closer. But at 2-3 weeks in, don't expect to be able to do it fast to within a hair of a person. In our classes we generally say to begin with that it's better to miss by a foot than to contact by an inch when working with a partner.
Age can also play a part. If you're in your teens, you might find your body is still growing and changing proportion, so it can take time to re-learn how long your arms and legs are. If you're an adult, it's a bit easier as you just have to learn it once. :)
This is off the topic, but...
Judo is a beautiful sport to watch. In judo, are self-defense applications taught?
Oh, I see! My understanding of judo comes from Olympic footage on youtube.
Speaking of Olympic style judo, it seems like the match is over as soon as it gets to the ground, whereas the judo team that works out at my dojo before my class begins is always on the ground (working like dogs!). What's the deal? Is the judo of the Olympics different from traditional judo?
That's sort of the situation with taekwondo, I understand. The Olympic rules force players to emphasize different techniques and strategies, and so you end up with a style increasingly divergent from non-Olympic styles.
|Date:||July 9th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)|| |
Thing 1: This sort of thing is very person dependent, I wouldn't be too worried. Something that may help you. People learn in different ways. The majority of people learn martial arts best by seeing the technique demonstrated, however some people (myself included) learn best by hearing a technique described. So if someone was to demonstrate a punch and say "do that", I'd be confused, but if someone was to say "throw a left punch", I'd get it a lot faster. Maybe you just learn in a different way. That being said, there's no reason you should expect to get everything right away :)
Thing 2: If you're looking to learn control, practice techniques for accuracy and try doing them slowly. Wild swinging of arms and legs is not control. Being able to stop a technique an inch from your target, now that's control, and practicing slowly will help you maintain it through the entire technique.
To archive control try to... relax
If you try too hard to gain control you'll be fighting against yourself.
And, of course, as our teacher always says: 'Practice, practice, practice.'