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#185114 - 09/10/05 11:59 PM Learning not to telegraph
PierrePressure Offline

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 173
Hi all!
Well, once again, I'm asking a question I'm sure has been asked a million times before (again, I'm sorry, and if you want, just direct me to the old thread, and I can read what was posted there). My question is this: What do you do to help eliminate your telegraphic movements?
My main problem is this. As I've said before (in my post "Being short is the pits"), I'm pretty short (5'3-5'4) and I'm having difficulty getting close to my taller opponents to hit them, and I noticed last sparring night that my whole body moves when I'm moving, so my movements are probably obvious to my opponent. It's very, very slight, but still puts me at a disadvantage. So, any ideas/tips on how to move without being obvious? Like drills or certain ways to move the feet?
Again, if everyone is sick of answering this question, just direct me to the old thread!
"If life gives you lemons, you blow those lemons to bits with your laser cannon!" - Brak

#185115 - 09/11/05 06:33 AM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
Foundation Offline

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 343
There's a good drill for that:
1. Jog (you can walk or drive too but when you jog you get cardio as well :P) to your local supermarket and buy a large mirror (one where you can see yourself completely in)

2. Perform whatever you want to improve in front of the mirror and analyse what you're telegraphing.

3. Now you know what exactly you're doing wrong, you can practice the correct movement, and practice some more, untill you're satisfied with it.

#185116 - 09/11/05 12:13 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: Foundation]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Foundation is correct. Mirror training is a very good way to check your technique and reduce telegraphing.

Sparring practice will also eventually get you there, but mirrors don't hit back!

Work on making your movements as "tight" as possible ie; no wasted motion. This will improve your speed, making it harder for the opponent to defend.

Here is a copy of a post I did a while back that you may find relevant as well:

Obscure zones

One of the more subtle and misunderstood principles of American kenpo. Very effective when properly utilized.
Obscure zones are areas where your opponent can not see or has extreme difficulty seeing where attacks are coming from.

Some examples:

1. Attacking from behind the opponent is the simplest way to "obscure" your techniques. Nobody has eyes in the back of their head, so it makes it much easier to sneak a technique in.

2. Mechanical disruption of opponent's vision. This can be done many ways :

The dreaded eye-poke/rake/claw, etc. I don't particularly recommend that unless you truly feel your life is in danger.

Covering the opponent's eye's. This can be done with your hand, clothing, paper napkin, opponent's own hand/clothing, etc.

3. Distracting the opponent. A finger snap ( or tap on the shoulder, light slap to the face, etc.) to the left side, while throwing a hard KO technique to the right side.

4. Starting techniques past the opponent's peripheral vision. This involves throwing strikes that travel up or down and behind the opponent's upper arm or shoulder, limiting the amount of reaction time they will have.

5. "Tracking" strikes across the opponent's body. Related to #4, use the curves of the opponent's body to hide strikes until it is too late to stop them. Example:

The opponent has a hand out towards you, you shoot a punch to the ribs that tracks directly under the opponent's outstretched arm. From the opponent's point of view, his/her own arm will hide your shot until it is most of the way there.

Many boxers throw hook punches in a similar way by hooking the punch very tightly around the opponent's shoulder, outside of peripheral vision.

Excellent concept that can be applied to any martial art, very effectively. Enjoy.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#185117 - 09/11/05 01:54 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
Gula Offline

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 78

I noticed last sparring night that my whole body moves when I'm moving, so my movements are probably obvious to my opponent.

Im sorry but I dint get the point. Your whole body moves when you move?
No Brain, No Pain!

#185118 - 09/11/05 02:29 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: Gula]
PierrePressure Offline

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 173
Uhhh....meaning, like, my shoulders "bounce", maybe my fists move up a little before I initiate a movement, that sort of thing. Those movements really don't need to be there. So, what I meant was, I have "extra movements", hence, "My whole body moves when I'm moving". Sorry. That DID sound a little weird . I hope that cleared it up....

That was a really interesting post, Matt. I've never heard of any of those things before. Maybe I need to do a little venture into kenop/kempo (sp?) . I'll try and see how I can incorporate that next sparring night (I wish we had it more than once a week!)......
"If life gives you lemons, you blow those lemons to bits with your laser cannon!" - Brak

#185119 - 09/11/05 03:18 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
Gula Offline

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 78
Oh I see. Then I definetly agree with MattJ and Foundation shadowboxing in front of a mirror. Or with 1kg weights train slowly with the tracks of the punch in front of the mirror and as MattJ said try to keep the package "tight"(note that tight dosent mean tense).

From sparring in general: Dont worry about the shuolders. Shoulders expressly should be lose.
In fact being loose is one of the most important things when sparring.
No Brain, No Pain!

#185120 - 09/12/05 01:26 AM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
GojuRyuboy13 Offline

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 538
Loc: U.S. of A.
Telegraphing, is just something that takes time to train out of. I still have problems telegraphing what I am doing. I used to bounce my hands about three times before doing a technique. I don't anymore, because my Sensei caught on to it and helped me out. No wasted movement is the key just stand there relaxed and ready, as still as can be, when you punch, kick, ect that's exactly what you do and then your arms and legs return to base and hold position, ready again.

practice practice practice.
May the force be with you.

#185121 - 09/12/05 07:14 AM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: GojuRyuboy13]
MAGr Offline

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 1147
Loc: London, home: Athens
You can use telegraphing to your advantage also.
There are two ways to do this as far as I can see.
1. You telegraph on purpose to bait your opponenet.
eg. You bob your right arm subtly, opponent thinks you are going to throw a punch, and then you follow in with a shin kick, he ll never see it coming.

2. the other way is to make them telegraph, basically suggest to them a move or make them perform an action that they think is reflex but is an action that is predicted by you. Kinda like herding sheep, I m sure they think they got in their pen out of their own accord!
eg. Boxing style footwork employed by both opponents. You bounce around each other, and you make one bounce to the left, as soon as he makes the equivalent bounce to his left so that he will face you again, throw out a right hook with a fairly big curve since it ll be harder to spot coming in, and ideally he should bounce right into it.

#185122 - 09/12/05 09:39 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: GojuRyuboy13]
Shouji Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 272
Loc: VA
Practice, practice, practice. Telegraphing in my eyes, is when you don't perform the move in a smooth, fluid way, and when you are attacking in a slow speed.
The only thing a belt is good for is to hold your pants up

#185123 - 09/13/05 02:57 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
not enough information. first, you need to identify WHAT is your most noticable givaway. you might not see it looking in a mirror.
it could be your facial expression, could be the cocking of your leading hand, or a detectable shift in body weight. you need your sparring partner to tell you. The most common are the ones I mentioned.

once you i.d. the most obvious, be aware of it and figure out ways to trick yourself into un-learning the habit. then look for the next one to work on....basically it involes unlearning a habit and it takes awareness to beat it, someone may have to help you with the awareness part at first - this skill of self-correction thru awareness might be useful in other parts of life as well.

#185124 - 09/14/05 10:56 AM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: Kintama]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
One of the things that might get underlooked here is plyos man. Know of a long flight of steps you can jog up and down? Do it. It doesn't help you telegraph less per se, but it does increase your explosiveness off the block, thus reducing the time from move to strike making contact, thus making the telegraph less noticeable. On the note that this might get called as doubtfull, I admit to not having had the chance to test this in freesparring, but have had the chance to see this work in technique work (prearranged sparring if you will). Good thing I am of a higher rank and was able to control my contact level. The person I was working with didn't even get the parry/block down in time and took a light kick to the stomach.

Oh, and PP, about kenpo/kempo, the only time spelling matters is if you're writing out the full name of the style. In the case of MattJ and myself, it is kenpo.

#185125 - 10/25/05 09:55 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
Dudley32 Offline
master of disaster

Registered: 10/25/05
Posts: 482
Loc: Indiana
Wait...Block...move in with the block and punch the snot out of em
Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect Practice makes perfect.

#185126 - 10/31/05 04:20 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
monkey_style Offline

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 9
dunno if this will help, but in capoeira, we practice feinting kicks and moving into positions from which a variety of kicks can be thrown. if you always throw the same kick from the same position, your opponent will read it pretty quick.

#185127 - 11/02/05 10:39 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
Subedei Offline

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
telegraphing isn't so bad. It's a good way to get someone to respond. If you generally know how they're going to react to your telegraphed techniques you can simply anticipate this reaction and hit them in the counterattack. The less techniques they have, the easier it is to figure out what they're going to do a few moves ahead.

#185128 - 11/16/05 07:40 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
Leapordsknowbest Offline

Registered: 11/24/04
Posts: 100
Loc: Nashville,Tenneessee
In Hung Fai Yi we keep our elbows in front of the body. Its the winding back that telegraphs. Its kinda hard to telegraph a kick in my opionion.

#185129 - 11/17/05 02:10 AM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: PierrePressure]
ButterflyPalm Offline

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia

My main problem is this. As I've said before (in my post "Being short is the pits"), I'm pretty short

I don't mean to sound sarcastic or superior; being short is not your main problem. Your main problem is short on confidence. This will translate into over consciousness of your percieved give-away body movements, which is more obvious to your opponent than your actual body movements.

Everyone moves a little and telegraphs a little, but your self-consciousness just makes it worse, like maybe a quick unconscious glance to that part of your body which is going to do something, just to make sure it is not giving away any tell-tale signs? and by doing so actually 'telegraph' your intention to your opponent?

My advice, be natural, be loose, be confident, be (dare I say it?) like water.

The late great Bruce Li was onced asked about just this problem; his answer (which took me sometime to grasp) imagine an object falling off a table; it just 'falls' and he was not talking about gravity.

Watch the 'hand-sticking-to-hand' fight between him and Bob Wall in Enter the Dragon and hopefully grasp the meaning of those words from the great man.

If I am wrong and all the above is not your problem, then, work on your speed; be so fast that even if your opponent knows whats coming, it happened too fast for him.
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

#185130 - 12/04/05 03:09 PM Re: Learning not to telegraph [Re: ButterflyPalm]
PierrePressure Offline

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 173
I hadn't checked this thread in awhile, and I just wanted to say "thank you" to everyone who responded.

I've sparred quite a few times since making that post, and I'm finally becoming aware of the things I'm doing and learning how to, as some of you said, 1) Use them to my advantage (like for fakes and such), and 2) Eliminate them if I need to. I'm dying to get a mirror, but there's literally no place in my house to put it, so I'm going to have to wait until I find out if I'll be moving (hopefully I can have someplace to put it at the new house).

BP, your answer was very interesting. I know I don't get self-conscious about if I'm telegraphing a technique while I'm sparring, but I also know that I let my "newness" get me apprehensive and therefore self-conscious, so my sparring suffered. I really feel like I'm overcoming that (a lot), but thanks for putting it into words (even if it was indirectly) .
"If life gives you lemons, you blow those lemons to bits with your laser cannon!" - Brak

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