Nov 2008 - Training Day at the Basement

A typical training session at the basement consists of pad work followed the application of the pad work into a live situation were anything can happen. Usually in one night we stick to one thing either attack or defend, that way we get plenty of time to help ingrain the stuff in our neural system.
So let me explain how this goes, attacking say in one night would possibly consist of using the lead hand and the lead foot, but I also like to break it down and train both separately. Starting with the lead from two positions, the ready from the position of observation and the on guard, we would be attempting to hit the focus glove while our partner tried to pull it away as fast as possible. This is trained at a distance that we have to use the falling step and the shuffle, if you do this far too close then if your opponent moved first he would hit you first, we want to place our self in a situation where if we don’t move first we still have time to react and cut him down half roads to us. So we have established the start well if anything comes up in between that, other punches or kicks that our partner can feed us and at any point here we can be attacked by hand, feet or even grabbed. This is all done with focus gloves and our training partner wearing a body protector, groin guard and shin guards. This way we can throw anything in between the pad work and take advantage of other hits before our training partners feed us other possible lines to punch or kick. I can only tell you when you get folk who can feed this properly, this is just like fighting just as rough and tough and possibly even harder in terms of force because we hit the gloves full speed and power. If the opportunity arises we hit the body protector with anything hands or feet that come up, absolutely no fixed pattern apart from the initial lead punch. The kick is trained the same way, you stand before him he wears the same stuff reacts the same way only difference is you try to close with the kick to whatever is the closest, usually the knee this is done with no tell tale signs of attacking again if you hit or miss you will try to hit something else that comes up or what you see as you close to eliminate the challenge that stands before you.
Once we have done the hand and foot separately we put it together into fighting drills and situations that will make it work for real on the street. The class put on protective gear and line up facing a training partner, one side goes only with his lead, anything else that happens you just react to it and your opponent can react anyway he wishes, he can punch you grab you or kick you. I strongly advise my students to attack like a street fighter, not this jab jab thing, they must react like a normal human being. Then we do the same process on the move, so once the attacking from ready has been done for a certain amount of rounds we do it from on guard moving, it’s slightly different from structure or position of observation, your partner can be right or left but he should not resemble a jkd person, in short you should be crisp or clean and him unclean or uncrisp. This is where it gets exciting because now they’re not hitting pads, they’re hitting each other. The size of the gloves can vary, sometimes I like the defenders to wear big gloves to hit harder and the attackers smaller gloves to give them the chance of being as neat as possible and to have allot of freedom to immobilize if the situation arises.
We do static attack and attack from motion, one thing per night, allot of reps, working between two lines and using the same thing spread out on the move. This usually takes roughly over one hour to complete. At the start we don’t do footwork but we do quick acceleration exercises that get the students warm and training the ability to move in any direction. We have about 4 drills that we do for this its a competition between you and he to see who can get it right and leave the other standing or going the wrong way. Also the same drills are done with the switch where sometimes I call the command to sprint and then change the direction. The sprint must be very small distance wise no more than say 6 feet short but very fast just like the footwork that you use to close in to attack or get away to recover ground. I try to make these drills as competitive as possible; it makes them faster and more focused.
So in all this is a typical training session, moving fast changing direction, attacking with non telegraphic punches and kicks, static or on the move, in the midst of this being able to switch as fast as possible to defense then back to offence as fast as possible. Everything should resemble what you did on the pads and then this should be applied to the drills with full gear on, gloves, head guards, body protector, groin guards and shin guards. Amazing stuff it certainly gets the blood pumping and the adrenaline rushing, till next time.