Warmups: Knee Strike Drills

The exercise is to do a knee strike, left on one and right on two. The counting is hard and fast, alternating and keeping the student guessing. Today I stopped the drill halfway. After a little while most of the students would do the knee strike, and then put the knee down to prepare for the next knee strike. However, this meant that their baseline or 'ready' combat stance was different from when they were at the start line. The combat stance there was a truncated front stance with COG in the middle or slightly forward and therefore more of the weight was on the front leg. However with the kicking drill, preparing to kick again, the lazy way is to make sure the weight is shifted to the back leg so that the front leg can be swung up easier. But what does this tell the opponent? This tells the opponent you're not striking with the hands - you're striking with the legs. Specifically you're striking with the front leg. This is not what you want. You don't want to telegraph what you're doing, so you need to return to the 'prescribed' baseline combat stance before you have to do anymore shifting of your COG to cater towards the various techniques. This means you keep the opponent guessing as to whether you're punching with the hands or kicking with the feet. :-) Too easy.

Bruce Lee's Speed Training - Interesting last section on non-telegraphing of the punch (not that I totally agree with the brevity of how he has treated this subject)
Leg Sweeps


supergroup7 said…
It's easy to fall into a rhythm during an exercise by anticipating the next move instead of reacting to it. Sometimes this kind of automatic learning is beneficial, and helps create neural pathways, but other times it is best to keep ourselves guessing as to what our next move will be and learn to set our bodies up for that.

I checked out the speed drills article, and was happy to see the Candle drill listed. This is a drill that my daughter and I enjoy doing.

My children and I have also done "paper" breaking. Paper isn't as frightening as a block of wood (Neither is it as expensive) However, to make a piece of paper rip in half from a punch takes a certain amount of speed.

The slapping game is alot of fun, and enjoyment. It truly does help increase speed, focus, and reaction time.
Colin Wee said…
Sometimes this kind of automatic learning is beneficial

I think this kind of learning is only good for beginners -- coloured belts who are figuring out their techniques and movements. At a later stage it's much more beneficial for students to wait for each count before doing whatever it is they're asked to do. This will lead to slightly slower timing, but will be much more useful.

This is one of the reasons why I insisted to include a group warm up session when we worked out in the states together. This was so that you can see how varied timing and counting kept everyone guessing as to what was required. It's a simple and neat trick.


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