Some say that the only way to learn how to fight; is to fight. This is nonsense. Imagine that you had a virtual reality machine that you could use to get into fights without any nasty physical or legal consequences. You certainly could teach yourself how to fight that way; however, only after spending a long time getting your virtual ass kicked. In fact, if you wanted to improve quickly, you would soon find yourself programming a virtual gym with virtual training partners, drills and exercises.
If you know what different exercises are designed to teach, you can learn faster still:
AIR – PADS – PARTNER – SHIELD
When you practise fundamentals in the air, it is an opportunity to think about the way that your body moves. For example you don’t want to throw a punch with just your arm; you want to throw it with your whole body. Focus pads allow you to hit something and practise dynamic energy, rhythmic patterns, speed and accuracy. Drills that centre on your partner don’t allow such power; however, working with real targets on real people is invaluable. Strike shields, by contrast, allow you to let off steam and hit as hard as you possibly can.
Similarly, whilst sparring develops speed and quick reactions; slow fighting allows you to practise combative techniques that otherwise have to be curtailed. So next time you are training, make the most of your experience.