I feel that the dead drills are for 2 different things: working as reference materials, and conditioning.
1. reference materials: these help build the conceptual framework you need to "play". Fighting is a complicated game; one of those roleplaying ones that needs reference books and stuff. Drills are the reference books of movement, anatomy, structure etc, and a good player should know them well.
2. conditioning: I don't mean this in the way a lot of martial artists do (ie banging forearms together, cardio etc). I mean conditioning the body and mind to do a certain thing in response to a certain thing. For example, you could learn to block and counter a forehand, and block and counter a backhand, if you only did sparring, but IMHO you'd be better off if you started by having someone throw them, over and over again, in drilling, so that your body develops the responses you're looking for.
I think of drills the same way I think of scales, finger exercises, and practice pieces for instruments. They help build a solid foundation for the 99.99% of us who aren't prodigies.
If, however, all you ever do is play scales or practice chord shapes you will never be able to jam. You must try to play songs, no matter how much you suck.
The guys that piss me off are the ones who have no level between pattern drilling and full out sparring. Let's try a little call and answer before you decide to shred like Malmsteen.
Elastiko - Partners are weapons length away and take a stance. The feet are planted and the partners trade strikes 1 for 1. The point is more to manipulate your body to change the angle of your strikes as well as blocking or avoiding. So you can strike lunging forward, avoid by lunging back, strike at the legs by lowering your body, so on and so forth.
Like others, not the most realistic drill, but it does get some good muscle memory in for changing your stances to attack and defend. It helps me open up my game when we spar.
Do you guys **** around with your partner when you do drills?
My instructor...encourages and applauds it. And if your partner fucks with you and you can't keep up then get hit then it's your fault. I thought it was weird at first but it makes it a little less monotonous.
Only when they've reached a level where they can adapt to it and we're not so focused on working on an individual skill.
Originally Posted by Twobits
Otherwise, you're just being a douche.
I don't consider it "fucking with the other guy" I consider it the logical extension of the drill, it is just a different level on the cooperativeness (is that a word?) scale.
Originally Posted by Twobits
Drills are neither dead nor alive, they are just drills. How they are used governs their level of "deadness" or "aliveness".
When I see beginners working out the kinks of any drill as they develop the balance, timing, and technique necessary to advance to the higher stages, I realize that if the technique was to be evaluated, at that moment as evidence of the style's efficiency, it would not fare well.
Rather than rank a drill by what that method, you should, perhaps, use another way. See how completely it develops the ability to do what it says.
For instance. Are the attacks and defences reasonable and do they have a hope in hell of succeeding? Is there any footwork that increases the efficiency and body position relative to the opponent? How well does it dove tail with other drills in the system? Can it be deconstructed and used partially? Is there sparring and does it ever look like the drills?
This is not a complete list but one that might allow someone to evaluate any method, critically.
As mentioned, this is the next level of the drill.
Originally Posted by Twobits
We try to follow a progression.
Learn Drill A
Work Drill A to alternative moves and takedowns
Play around and see if we can find the techniques of Drill A in free play
Learn Drill B
Work Drill B to alternative moves and takedowns
Work moving between drill B and A
Play around and see if we can find the techniques of Drill B in free play
Repeat with Drill C or D or whatever
By this time we are moving between drills, out of the drills into random hitting/cutting, and back into the drills.
My problem with the "fucking around" is when guys use it as an excuse to "win" instead learning the curriculum.
We like to continually escalate our drills depending on what someone nees to work on. This can make a drill quite live, even if at its most rudimentary level, it is very much dead. Example, our serrada drill (close range, no relation to Cabales' system):
1. Beginning. Fairly static stance, one person feeds a simple hit with predictable timing. Hit does not have follow through. Receiver works on checking, angling in footwork, proper block, lean, etc., then works a flurry counter. Re-set, start over.
2. Same as above, but there is inconsistent timing and ranging. After first defense, feeder says stop, then throws secondary attack, often while defender is an awkward position. More power to feeder's hits to check validity of block/check. Much more movement in general.
3. Same as above, but attacker follows through with their strikes (full power), and may throw secondary strikes. No saying of "stop" or designated re-starts. More continuous, and it is defenders job to detect secondary attacks. Range adjustments are more drastic. (This may be a lightly padded session.)
4. Still designated feeder/receiver, but restricted sparring with serrada as defense. Start at range. Feeder attacks (may use fakes/baits, etc.), defender looks for entry from largo to serrada, working flurry defenses once they get there. Feeder may counter, or try to bail back out to largo. Defender should work pursuit/smothering along with clean entry/exits. (Sparring gear for this.)
We a lot of this type of slow escalation. It really helps ease the transition to sparring so that people can actually use the skills that they've been working, and it's not such a tremendous leap.
This came up during Kali class just the other night. We were doing the basic PK thrust and parry drill. I was working with a guy who's been with us a month. 2 other guys who've been around about 6 months were working together. Those two guys were just trying **** each other up as quickly as possible, while I was working the nub on using proper footwork, thrusting technique, and parrying. After half an hour or so, they were both watching me and the nub. One of them said:
"That looks a lot smoother than what we're doing."
Holy Crap! a "Teachable Moment!"
"That's because we're training instead of trying win."
I think at least one of the other guys understood the difference.