Practice to make the most of your training situation
Our preferred practice methods may not always be available to us as conditions change: partners become unavailable, facilities downsize, our own schedule alters—any number of reasons may signal changing the focus of our practice may be more useful to our growth.
Here’s today’s video on practicing the teep or foot jab solo on a heavy bag.
I don’t go into it exhaustively, but I focus on things I don’t do in partner training (which I get rather little of these days):
- Multiple kicks, maximum speed
- Different heights
- Different Ranges, applying power from awkward ranges
- Different entries/retreats — hop in, hop back, jump
These are all difficult to work even with a skilled pad holder, and it’s quite tedious to hold for even if you can. So I use my heavy bag time.
When I’m work out with more martial arty people, I don’t bemoan the fact that they can’t blitz on the Thai Pads; we work on skills and techniques they are good at. Similarly I don’t show up to kickboxing wanting to do chi sao or sensitivity drills. Advanced practitioners can do both, but it’s just easier to play to their strengths.
In the big picture of all my training opportunities, I alter what I work on to take best advantage of what I can get out of them. Work skill with the skillful, work hard with the drill seargent, and so on. With no definite goal, there’s no attribute I must prioritize, so I prioritize the biggest steps forward.
The idea that, “kung fu is in everything” doesn’t have to be the parody below depicts, but one aspect of that truth is to get our training where we can (and apply our discipline where we can)