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Last night in class I covered the basic plucking defences against chokes. We must be wary of the law of familiarity where we start to take the basics for granted as we progress and learn more advanced techniques to add to our arsenal. Fundamentals need to be practiced daily particularly in Krav Maga where many techniques are built around several instinctive principles.
This week I was watching episode ten of the ultimate fighter season twelve where Freddie Roach made a guest appearance. This is a man whose stable consists of four world champions and who has trained twenty seven world champions in his career. Freddie said that if he can make someone a better fighter he would; this is what he was born to do. Watching him train the Ultimate Fighter contenders he was simply working on basics, one two combos, advising one fighter not to bring the head forward as he jabs, footwork and staying loose until the moment of impact.
This is a man who in his career teaches fundamentals to people who are debatably the best in the world at what they do. This is so true for many coaches and instructors. Look at someone like John Wooden or in the martial arts world Geoff Thompson; a man who is one of the top authorities in contemporary martial arts. Although not a Krav Maga instructor Geoff Thompson has some useful concepts that that can be applied to any system; I particularly admire his fence, three second fighter and animal day methods. He would practice one punch over and over again tens of thousands of times to create the main payload technique he discusses in his three second fighter method.
People often come up to me wanting me to teach them something new and often I do, but repetition is the mother of skill and I emphasise the simple things and the fundamentals which need to be practiced daily. Krav Maga essentially consists of simple moves; however it is also the technology for optimum performance in reality combat. When the push comes to shove it is the fundamentals which act as the crux. In the past my Taekwondo master told me that to be a champion tournament fighter you don’t need anything special, all you need to know are round house, axe kick, back kick and push kick; the rest is footwork and strategy.
The absolute key in making the grade however is what the experience makes you as a person. It’s who you become on reaching your goal. Inside the training hall I feel indifferent to the outside world, politics or the economy. What makes the training seem almost magical is the focus on the basics and in doing so becoming someone who can react to an attack or threat instinctively. In my life this focus has helped me move away from the negative things and move towards beauty and tranquillity. The change which comes about is almost organic but as the grandmaster said Krav Maga is about creating harmony by bringing together hearts and ending violence by establishing a sense of self worth and the ability to defend and attack with maximum speed and efficiency.