Put your hand up if you feel you are a natural athlete.
Given a room full of people, very few would say they have natural skill.
So if most of us consider ourselves non-athletes – we find athletic pursuits difficult – that means having a system of performance is crucial. Having a system keeps us sane as we progress and inevitably compare ourself to others.
Part one is from Tim Ferriss of “Four Hour Everything” fame. Tim learns languages in a fraction of the time, masters complex dances that normally takes years in a matter of weeks, and shows us how to cook without the mistakes.
According to Tim, instead of learning everything that you see, learn the two or three things that matter most. In a nutshell, bypass the non-necessary.
In terms of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, learn two or three things from any given position. Then when an opponent moves, learn a transition to put you into another position where you only know two or three finishes. You constantly juggle between these two or three moves and a transition.
The power in this is in juggling between the moves and transitions. An attempt at move number one is thwarted. You attempt move number two and then go back to move number one. Like a game.
If you are a Thaiboxer, the same applies. From a distance, master two or three moves that you can land at will. Your trademark if you wish. As the distance or position changes, have another 2 or 3 moves ... and the pattern continues.
OK, now here is some proof. Watch the video below. There are only four chords used to sing over 50 songs in a six minute performance. This is a fun way for me to illustrate that you can adapt the known to suit a variety of situations. Remember, it's your knowledge of what you know that is important.
Those 2 or 3 moves are different for each opponent. That means you must master hundreds of moves and that leaves us with a lot of training to do
But it finally gives us what we are chasing ...
M A S T E R Y ... The ability to perform the perfect reaction in any situation.
A side note for instructors:
I asked my doctor many years ago how he got through medical school.
"Selective studying" was his answer. He realised that there was no way he could read and absorb all of the content in any particular area. He estimated what the content of an exam would be and studied just that.
I'm not saying that missing important areas of medical science is a good idea for your family doctor, and it may not fill you with confidence in his diagnostic ability. But we are talking about selectively studying or remembering techniques to be executed under pressure. Remember, as danger increases we naturally discard choices that involve a high degree of risk. So as an instructor we teach "sure things" for each student.
The bottom line is that there is no short cut. But, the despondency a student often experiences as he or she progresses can be offset by the success of a known trademark shot.
It saves self esteem.
And we all need that.