What did I come upstairs for?

Do you ever go upstairs at home get there and forget what you were looking for or do you go to the shops and come home with things but not the thing you went for in the first place? Yes that happens to me too!

As I do different arts both training and teaching, people often ask if I get confused about which art I am doing at one time. The answer is not much as I put them in their boxes; let me explain.

In my head I have my arts that I train in put in little shoe boxes in a little storeroom and whenever I need a certain art I will go along a corridor into my storeroom (like in a old shoe shop) collect the box, open it and use it. When I have finished with it I will return it neatly to its shelf in the storeroom – O.C.D!

Most people are audio or visually minded people, that is, the way they take in information and process it to gain an answer. I like being visual, I put on a little film show above my head to gain the answer – I just have taken this a step further lol. I use the storeroom idea to store information so that I can find it and use it and not lose it or forget where I put it, where are my car keys?

In the British Combat Association we use a fence and a line up to keep a would-be attacker at a safe distance. In my head I have a little man that runs the funeral parlor who comes running out in the aftermath of a gunfight and measures the dead body for the coffin then runs back in! That’s my line up; it may be strange to you but I loved westerns when I was younger and the idea stuck, so if you have to line someone up as if you were going to hit them, as in a pre-emptive strike, it’s their funeral not mine!

I also use strange things to get my point over when learning to strike. I like to use the term, “Women are natural slappers “. Don’t laugh unless you know a girl that has just popped into your head! What I mean by this is women naturally slap things while men punch, sometimes badly, so when I am teaching how to hook I show the movement of a slap (you could use a baseball bat as replacement) so that you learn the best angle for the strike and then close your fist at the end of the movement, unless you have the baseball bat then there would be no need to punch!

When people are doing pad work I try to get them to not hold the pads like Mickey Mouse’s ears so that they do not get hit in the face. Also, when circling the pads for the other person to duck under you don’t blame it on the moonlight (Jackson 5 song: blame it on boogie ) as in the dance routine – when the pad holder has circled the pads outwards they should have blamed it on the sunshinerather than circled the pads inwards towards the puncher; so if you remember the song you remember the pad movement.

I find that the most silly things make the person smile and also teaches them to remember the movement like whenever you give someone a sword they feel like they are in Star wars or Zorro or one of the Musketeers but as long as they don’t make the buzzing noise too loud I don’t mind because they will feel better about the weapon and remember what to do with it (I am your father!) You can use anything that helps the person to do the technique and create a reference point in their mind, they will not forget it if you make it fun!

In Grappling there are so many arts and styles that can be used and interchanged that it can become very confusing so my shoebox theory works great when you do an Ude Gurama (Ninjutsu) technique; it also has the name double wrist in Catch Wrestling or Kimura in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and is sometimes called chicken wing but just use one of these as a reference to remember the technique, just pick the name you remember it by and use that.

In an escape from side position involving weight shifting your opponent, I use the term ‘Saturday afternoon wrestling’- if you remember this you are old like me! When I watched world of sport as a kid – no, the telly was not in black and white but we did only have 4 channels – when a wrestler was pinned to the mat he could always seem to escape at the count of 2 (the slow count 1….and…….2…. and he escaped).  I teach this escape move by reaching both hands under the person pinning you and lifting them over your head in a 1..2 ..3 motion but the best way to remember it is by thinking about how the wrestlers escaped on the telly, you never grow out of some things!

I still can’t remember what I go upstairs for but I do know how to train!

Take it easy….easy (like Big Daddy would say!)
John Atkin

AFC (Part-time Saturday afternoon wrestler)
 To find out more about The Advanced Fighting Centre visit:http://www.advancedfighting.co.uk/ or e-mail John Atkin at johnatkin24@btinternet.com

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