One of the key characteristics that separates good martial arts practitioners from the rest is the ability to execute the intended offensive or defensive technique at the right moment. In order to do this effectively, three key elements need to be taken into consideration in the execution process; timing, speed and accuracy. For example, if you intend to strike the right temporal lobe or the lower ribs, then you must firstly define your distance to the intended target, secondly, how to position yourself to strike the intended target with accuracy. Thirdly, you need to judge your speed, while remaining in control of your technique. There are a number of fundamental exercises that a student can practice to enhance their skills and overcome these three challenges. For example, when practicing any form, make sure that you practice with intent, all the strikes and the blocks should be executed to the best of your abilities every time. Here, the golden rule is “practice makes perfect”. Alternatively, these challenges can be overcome through continuous sparring, self-testing and monitoring. Sparring, with particular emphasis on technique delivery and target acquisition, can, overtime, become a valuable experience, which can significantly add to the skills of the practitioner, in any offensive or defensive situation. Many students concentrate on learning the set moves or techniques from a particular form, and the purposes of those moves and techniques. However, many students fail to consider the difficulty in executing the techniques that they have learnt. Therefore, they neglect to practice on their timing, speed and accuracy. This especially applies to traditional forms and weapons training. Timing, speed and accuracy, are only a few of many skills that need to be mastered, in order to bridge the gap between traditional movements and techniques and their applicability in modern day martial training and sparring.
Lao Shi Aram