Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Energies, Angles, Intentions—Part II

Breakthrough time!

What I wrote last time was sufficient enough to confuse people who are still learning and adequate enough for the old-timers to understand—or at least they wouldn't admit that the didn't understand it. Sorry for that.

This posting will break it down and correlate it in a more simple manner.

Have you ever seen a dog get an offensive mentality? Or any wild animal? In most cases you notice that they show there teeth, hunch their backs and they will likely bark and snap at you (if we're still talking about a dog). It is very clear that they don't want you messing with them. Part of this is a bluff, a warning, but part of it is an offensive mentality. It comes about, usually as a result of a defensive feeling the dog gets but turns offensive. They don't care if you have a stick, knife, gun, or their's six of you, they are going to do whatever is necessary to protect themselves if you keep messing with them.

THAT is an offensive mentality. It doesn't mean that I have to be the first to attack—though that may be appropriate. It doesn't mean that I have to talk smack or yell or throw a fuss picking stuff up and smashing it—though, again, that may be enough of a warning to end the situation.

However, there are some other things we can take from this example. Once a dog is in this state, there is no separation between the offensive mentality they have and how they move, or the energy they give. It is all connected. It is all focused. I guarantee that if you try to kick that dog it's going to try and bite your leg and it's going to bite it as hard as possible. The dog is not going to give you a warning bite at that point.


All will correlate in this dog'se response to the attack. They may still use a defensive movement with an offensive intent but they will do so with the intent to be able to counter effectively while sustaining the least amount of damage.

Let's break it down some:
•If the energy is weak, then the bite will not do it's damage.
•If the energy is weak, it's possible that the dog will receive more damage than it will be able to withstand to ward off further attacks.
•If the angle is weak, then the bite will not do the amount of damage it could have, potentially no damage at all.
•If the intent of the dog is weak, it may not even see the kick coming with enough surety to act. Or it may be intimidated by the attacker and tuck it's tail instead of defending itself.

So how do WE get there?

Understanding that they all work together is a central ingredient. In addition, you glean one other aspect from this situation. The dogs posture is representative of it's intent. Since intent and mentality correlate, it stands to reason that the dogs posture would reflect it's intention as well.

Some simple things you can consider doing to help—assuming your mentality is in the right place.

Tuck your chin. This posture change will normally cause a weight change that brings you more onto the balls of your feet and will compress your posture some by slightly rounding your back forward. It's also going to give you a bit more of a feeling of safety so you will be inclined to be a little more offensive.

Understand your set points. These are the points at which, your system of silat, your body type, and movement style converge. At these points you will be most prepared for anything and will be able to respond with no need for the minor adjustments I see many people do before they move. This includes counter-attacks.

Slow down. Have clarity of movement first. Then speed up. Don't rush the process but don't be afraid to stress test things either. Confidence yields greater confidence, which in turn allows for greater focus on intent, movement, and an angle that further solidifies confidence and angle. It's all connected.

There are likely many other seemingly minor things that could make a difference here. It's up to us as teachers to understand how all these things work together and not give up on watching our students to find their particular need. It's there and it's up to us to find it, to point to it, and guide our students.

Teaching masses makes this difficult, if not impossible, but to turn out a quality student you must invest in personal training and personal adaptation of training to give the most benefit to a student.

Keep training!

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