Over on the Fighting Arts Alliance Forum, Steve Morris has been posting a lot on a thread called Basic Training. For someone coming from a Karate background the basics I’m used to are way more basic than the methods he’s been explaining, to say the least.
Having trained at Primal quite a bit, I’m fortunate enough to have been exposed to quite a lot of what he’s talking about, although this particular thread has been a bit of an epiphany in many ways. He starts off with some clips giving an impression of a typical training environment in Thailand. These set the scene for the fantastic padwork clips that follow, far more sophisticated than those I’ve witnessed in Karate basic training.
One of the problems I have had outside of Primal is getting the idea behind the padwork over to people; the padwork exchange has to be representative of the fight, with the role of the padman being critical.
So I tend to break drilling right down to minuscule elements of a fight. One drill we do is to get the pad man to move around back, forth and laterally holding a shield while the kicker has to land thigh kicks, sounds easy, try it. Mixing distancing, timing and footwork with the technical skill of a round kick to the thigh ramps up the difficulty no end. Add in the padman coming back at you, and you’re onto something. But my efforts to get this over have never been to my satisfaction.
This also helps ensure that the striker is always switched on or loaded, it’s so very easy to hit the pad and …… stop, which is of no use to anyone. SM wants us to bring the fight to the training, without being switched on this is not possible. So to try to get this over we have been doing some basic, drills emphasising being switched on while performing minuscule elements of a fight, with some success.
In one post, on the basic training thread SM says firstly that
padwork comes in at three levels, basically: technical, where you’re learning the mechanics and how to apply the power in a particular way; conditioning where you’re repeating the skill in an anaerobic, hard-contact manner; and tactical, where you’re actually engaged in a fight with the pad man
In order to fulfill this (achieve real padwork), 1) you have to be technically sound and be a fighter, and 2) the pad man has to be the same
I did know this, it’s not new as such, but it hadn’t occurred to me that padwork can run from technical through conditioning to tactical, and a single round within a session of padwork could contain all of these elements. I feel a bit daft, again, for not realising this, but that happens when you’re learning.
Over the last two nights I have tried to get the concepts of always being switched on and bringing the fight to the pad work across, emphasising the importance of the padman. I think we really made some headway. The lesson plan went along the following lines
- switched on explanation and drills
- movement drills
- put elements of both these into the three levels of padwork and pad holding