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  1. #1
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    Default Are you intentionally training to build proprioception?

    The martial arts school I'm a part of spends time working Tai Chi type exercises, not for its fighting techniques but rather movement development and muscle control. As it's explained to me it's to build or increase our proprioception. I've seen the improvements so I'm not really a sceptic of this approach I'm just wondering if anyone else is doing exercises that specifically are focused on this.

    Thanks.
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  2. #2
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    PISTOL KATA

    Do NOT call me an armorer
    Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum
    Now I am become Death, the destroyer of all worlds
    People have asked me if I consider myself a good or bad person. The truth of it is, I don't know or care. I have been called both. I like to think I have saved more lives than I have ended. Either way, I can still sleep at night.
    SEMPER FI

  3. #3
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    I've read that some pro football teams do it. Years ago there was a team which also practiced ballet for that same reason.

    One of the simplest exercises in the Chinese 'internal' arts is to simply stand still (not rigid). About eighteen years ago I did this for several months. I learned a great deal about bodily awareness and release from previously unknown muscular tension.

  4. #4
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    Western students are typified by impatience and excessive skepticism. It is as if everyone since birth has been trying to fool them about something and if they do not get some sort of instant gratification, they dismiss anything that was said. The attitude seems to be a constant search for short cuts and anyone not validating that point of perspective is seem as a liar or charlatan. But few things in life can be attained via shortcuts and few things offer long term gratification without any effort.

    At the tribal social I was approached by several students commenting on how smoothly Brent and I moved through the drills. I humbly thanked them on both our behalf for the compliment, and pointed out that both of us have been training martial disciplines since childhood. None of this happened overnight by sheer will and hope. It is that "time spent" - the "work done" where the magic begins.

    There are all manner of new coined words and ideas that are merely the restating of age old concepts used to train fighters and killers since the Viking Age. When you execute your draw 500 times a day for 100 days, you are developing and reinforcing neural and muscular pathways to facilitate that movement, and developing muscle memory as well as the ability to perform that action without direct mental involvement. The guys that want to argue that muscles do not have a memory can leave now as we have more important things to do than to argue terminologies in the same sense as clips-and-magazines.

    Physical methods must be learned, practiced, and preserved in a physical medium. Think of the difference between me showing you a video of a draw and you watching it 500 times while sitting on your couch compared to me showing you how to draw and you physically memorizing it and executing it the right way 500 times.

    Physical memorization of the correct execution leads to the ability to instantly perform that action with the need for direct thought. This is the mindlessness (or Mushin) that I have written about so much. It doesn't happen automatically, it is the direct result of contextual training and repetition work.

    And this is where I will tell you that not all training is good training. Nor are all techniques equally good. That again is a western student mentality because they like to hop around training schools like a nympho cheerleader in a football team locker room. Unless a technique takes into consideration the realities of the street, the factors of surprise and adrenaline, and the state of unreadiness at the start of the fight, that technique or method should not be taken seriously. A technique or method that is born in and wonderful on the sporting field, may have no value in combat and actually be detrimental to your success, not to mention your survival. And developing muscle memory for a flawed method is just as bad as not having trained anything at all.

    Training properly, specifically training movement disciplines such as Taichi, karate, jujitsu, and even gymnastics and ballet, will give you a sense of your own body and its position. This isn't something that can be taught, but you will know when you have that sense. Like the sense of balance...how do you teach that? Regardless, you know it when you have it.

    And none of this has anything really to do with making holes on a piece of cardboard does it...but it has a great deal to do with making holes in another man's chest while disallowing him to do likewise to you.
    Last edited by Gabriel Suarez; 10-16-2018 at 11:13 AM.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  5. #5
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    As a recovering stand and deliver square range postgrad the hardest thing for me to remember is to f***ing move first, and commence the draw as part of the move. All of this was strengst verboten once upon a time, and primacy of learning makes it difficult to rewire.
    Working on it, and it'll be easier when I no longer have to reach to 3:00 and dial the safe combo before I draw.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "Can I move?...I'm better when I move."

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalms23dad View Post
    The martial arts school I'm a part of spends time working Tai Chi type exercises, not for its fighting techniques but rather movement development and muscle control. As it's explained to me it's to build or increase our proprioception. I've seen the improvements so I'm not really a sceptic of this approach I'm just wondering if anyone else is doing exercises that specifically are focused on this.
    Yes, this kind of training is very useful.

    Good Tai Chi teaches excellent fighting skills...the problem is that good Tai Chi is hard to find. But even the hippie tai chi in the park kind of stuff is useful for body movement (especially for older bodies where high impact is verbotten). Hippy tai chi isn't fighting but useful for building body awareness and movement.

    Exercises that look like tai chi have always been found in other fighting systems.

    Regarding proprioception, YES. This is huge. It's a key element of REAL H2H fighting systems.

    One of the principles I teach is that "Feeling is faster than seeing". Several of you who participated in Pistol Ground Fighting will remember how central it was to essentially everything we were doing. This principle will be one of the key learning points in the 0-5 class this weekend.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

  7. #7
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    Lots of good info. Thanks all.
    Just curious, do you have any particular exercises that you like?
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  8. #8
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    Me? I do approximately 15 karate kata from the Naha, Shuri and Tomari parent systems several time per week...and of course our own Suarez Kata as well...I try to move gracefully through every action I take.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  9. #9
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    Some the kata are different but I follow the same pattern as Gabe. There are a couple jo and sword kata that I practice semi-regularly.

    We practice a lot of exercises that are not kata, I will share later.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

  10. #10
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    Looking forward to it.
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

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