I wanted to discuss efficiency in our martial arts training. By this I am not referring to economy of motion which is efficiency of movement. Think of this as “Efficiency of Training“. Economy of Motion is a very important topic and one that deserves it’s own independent discussion.

Efficiency in training challenges us to constantly refine and revisit all aspects of our training methodology. We must look at curriculum, the strategies of our instruction and training, and its approach to combat. It challenges us to streamline our approach and thinking. We must exclude any technique that does not have the realistic potential to accomplish the intended objective. If you asked my students they would reply with “Well we aren’t training for a dance recital.”

We are not afforded the luxury of half efforts, dualistic mindedness, or room for error. Therefore we have no choice but to look at our training in the light of combat. The same thought process must be applied for self defense applications or in the ring.

I have to really optimize my training time. It is not uncommon for me to head out to the gym at 11pm for my evening workout. Working all day, helping the kids with homework, followed by teaching classes and personal training, working on the business, and of course training. I know I am not alone in this as many of us are really busy. That is why we must focus on eliminating anything that is less-than-optimal in our training. Could this be one of the meaning behind “Hack Away the Unessentials“?

Think of it this way.. Every minute we devote to a technique or training method that does not ultimately offer the outcome we require is time wasted that could have been spent on a more valuable tool. Practicing less-than-optimal techniques creates neurological connections and ultimately a reflex action that must be unlearned. It takes only 500 reps to begin to form a habit but 2000 to break it and begin to form a new one.

When you practice ineffectiveness you create the illusion of making progress, despite the fact you may be moving off the path. Use your fundamental principles as your map and know where you are headed. We may be getting better at something and we are, however is that something moving us any closer to our final goal?

The last point I’d like to make that any technique, footwork, etc. that does not defeat your opponent, not necessarily harming, affords that opponent more time to act instead of react. This should be an obvious statement; with more time your opponent has more opportunity to succeed. Therefore, every technique should in and of itself hold the potential to end a confrontation instantly and without effort.

For those of you that may ask the question “What about Attack by Combination?” I’ll answer it this way, each part should hold the potential to end the confrontation. You may not do so on the first part of the combo, however they should posses the framework to do so.

This is one of the many topics that came up during Sifu Mike Rutter’s visit and provided the inspiration for this post. We are all constantly refining and that is also part of the process.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Harvey is a Master Trainer with over 15 years of Fitness Consulting and 20+ years of experience in the Martial Arts. He currently works with students and clients on general fitness, sports performance enhancement, MMA conditioning, MMA Striking and footwork, and Jeet Kune Do instruction.

Please visit: www.TomHarveyTraining.com