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#403433 - 07/30/08 01:24 AM Aliveness and self perfection drills?
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
This may be an old subject but what the hay, I'm gonna ask again. What is aliveness? please describe it, and can it be used to practice self perfection drills?

I ask this question viewing a Matt Thornton video on youtube. He is real big on aliveness, like almost all big names in JDK, however he discards self perfection drills, claiming they will not help you learn to fight, only become an expert doing an exercise.

Matt Thornton says Aliveness has 3 componenets: Energy, Timing, Motion.
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da

#403434 - 07/30/08 08:58 AM Re: Aliveness and self perfection drills? [Re: TeK9]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Aliveness is really quite simple. But the message and the way its often delivered have created quite an uproar at times (however, that is still a good thing in many ways).

Many folks will say that aliveness is merely resistance, but that doesn't completely cover the issue. You can have resistance with very little movement and unnatural timing as well. Resistance without those things isn't really alive (which is why I still use the term aliveness instead of going with resistance). It more accurately conveys the message once the message is understood.

Aliveness is simply combining the qualities of timing, motion and (progressive) resistance. Take the jab for example; if you're training the jab, you want to not just stand there flat-footed. No one fights like that. So you move around with proper footwork.

Then you add in timing. You don't want you partner to begin "predicting" the jab, so you change the timing up (this doesn't necessarily mean "speed" here; speed and timing are similar but not the same thing). You might use shoulder movement and faking to test the developing technique.

Finally you add in resistance or "energy" as it is often stated. In this case, the energy or resistance has to be real, even if it isn't fast or powerful. In this example, the real energy is pushing straight in on your opponent's face and not stopping in front of him (how many people actually train). I've seen people with good movement and timing stop short of actually hitting their partner with the jab in training. In other words, if the partner did NOTHING to defend the jab, the punch still would not have landed. While some folks say they are just being "nice" in training, no one is benefiting from this approach. It isn't completely alive.

So again, aliveness is pretty simple, but absolutely important. Also, the message wasn't meant for those already training that way. It was more to wake the dead.

Timing, motion and (real) energy. Just remember that energy/resistance and can and should be progressive.


#403435 - 07/30/08 11:45 AM Re: Aliveness and self perfection drills? [Re: JKogas]
IExcalibui2 Offline

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
I think perfection drills are good. They teach you how to move and become familiar with the mechanics of a certain technique/combo. After practicing it over n over again, it becomes almost second nature. However, after a certain point the drills need to change (change positioning, areas that your attacking, etc). Also after the drill you need to move on to the next stage and apply these techniques in a more alive scenario (if you aren't already). So drills are good, but it can't be the only thing you do.
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

#403436 - 07/30/08 11:55 AM Re: Aliveness and self perfection drills? [Re: IExcalibui2]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I agree. You always have to take that step forward and spar. Any drilling we do is actually isolated segments taken FROM sparring. Thus any drilling we do makes the sparring better.

And I feel like I can't say it enough; most of the sparring we do is less than full power. We get around to doing that occasionally but too much of that leads to injury and burn-out (just to mention once again).

#403437 - 08/05/08 07:12 PM Re: Aliveness and self perfection drills? [Re: JKogas]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
To me aliveness is resistance from an experienced and skilled opponent. One who will do what they can to keep you from doing what you want in an effort to better your strategy and technique.
This could and should be used in any aspect of training, from the initial learning of the technique, to drilling, to sparring.
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu


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