The difference between a good fighter and a novice is the ability to manage panic, adrenaline and instinct; while the beginner remains prey of natural human reactions, the experienced practitioner manages their flow through preparation, concentration and discipline (to the best of his ability).
In 6DKF the first step in learning to effectively fight is to recognize our shortcomings and remedy them; in this regard we want to analyze a list of some of the most common mistakes to avoid.
With more articles we will go gradually to describe the gravest and basic errors until arriving to those that even experts have difficulty correcting. As regards the solutions we will see them separately so as to have time to think personally.
We start from the most trivial errors:
- Keep our guard too uncovered, allowing our opponents to reach easily our most vulnerable points (first and foremost, head, genitals and hips)
- Underestimating opponents, assuming that those in front of us are inferior (eg. because we did martial arts, because they are thin, etc.)
- Losing control, such as when we get hit hard, adrenaline and instinct give us a “special” energy which urges us to ignore our defense and to attack to the bitter end in an irrational way; this (sometimes) works with common people but it does mean certain defeat against a true fighter
- To attack “blindly”, using improperly (in defense / attack) things like strength, grabbing, run aggressions, too wide / predictable movements, no guard, no vision, no strategy, no thinking about what might happen next and, above all, without having even an idea about martial preparation of our opponents
- Pay no attention to energy savings during struggle, especially if we are no longer that trained, as soon as we can imagine we will find ourselves defenseless
- Letting the others bring us or directly go to the ground and stay there without even groped to stand or stay up (we’ve already talked about this in previous articles)
- Fix what should be the natural flow of the fight, setting our focus on a single target or even worse on a single technique that we want to apply at all costs
- Experiment new techniques during a real fight, nothing is more wrong to test something that we are not certain that our body has understood (physically and mentally) in a situation of real danger and intense stress (in sparring instead it is a good thing)
- Ignore the use of the limbs that we can handle (eg. use only the right arm) and at the same time to think that we can use the limbs that we have not adequately trained technically and physically (eg. the legs)
- Giving in to fear and despair before the exhaustion and then commit serious errors such as freezing, collapsing, close our eyes, let our guard down (etc.)
If we do not have someone who can criticize the way we fight consistently and honestly what we can do is to film ourselves with a camera during sparring and then comment with our training partners our strengths and weaknesses (with obvious and reciprocal respect and humility).
In the individual training we can use instead the mirror to have an, albeit minimal, idea of what we are doing.
Those that we have listed (in a non-exhaustive way) are some of the typical novice’s generic mistakes and are not contextual to specific scenarios (eg. the ring, on the street, etc.), in future we will go deep in detailed situations.
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.