sexta-feira, 10 de abril de 2015

Jogo do Pau (Stick fighting): making sense of technique & tactics

sports' instructor is a teacher of motor skills who, while providing both a positive pedagogical training environment and improved physical health, teaches new coordinative abilities (in the form of martial skills) so as to have trainees successfully performing them in combat / free play. 

In practical training terms, traditionally this leads to a huge focus on conceptualizing each art's techniques and, furthermore, having technical training getting routinely focused around perfecting movement patterns for optimal force production ... which in itself is a wrong approach, since the physical parameter that requires reflection on is kinetic energy, but that is another topic altogether. 

Cutting straight to the chase, the successful application of skills in combat relies, first and foremost, on reading the situation at hand and deciding (in due time) on the most favourable solution (tactical awareness & decision making). 

Biomechanical issues geared towards optimizing kinetic energy constitute the cherry on top of the cake, one that is important to have for maximum performance but, at the same time, one that is irrelevant if the cake is missing (if the application is off). A simple example, it is useless to perform a perfectly (biomechanically) stable parry that takes too long to perform and, thus, fails to intercept the incoming strike in time. 

This means that context is crucial in successfully applying technique in combat, which is why, in sports training, the concept of analysing and discussing technique has long been replaced by the analysis of technical-tactical actions or, in better English if you will, tactically oriented techniquesa symbiotic relationship that can forever be broken down into separate compartments.

Luis Preto - Combat tactics
Simply put, every "technique" was developed so as to fit a very specific context (challenge) that is characterized by how the fighters' measure in terms of reach, speed and dominant hand, countering preferences, management of risk and opportunity. For optimum performance, trainees need this information, otherwise they will for sure feel overwhelmed in free play and, ultimately, feel frustrated with their free play experience as well.

As an instructor who cares, here is my two cent on the matter
Should you give it a chance, I'm sure you will value the investment and come to benefit tremendously from the short cut provided.     


A short cut to straight forward guidelines for improving tactical awareness & decision making - for single handed & double handed weapons

(defensive philosophy, application to weapons with and without hand guard, defence from starting position & after striking, as well as against left and right handers)


Offensive & defensive


a) A structure of combat,from start to finish
b) Choosing between countering options
c) Differences between sport sparring and martial combat

The edge I never found in over 2 decades is now yours ... mission accomplished!

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