How to train less and improve more

We have all seen those people at the gym wandering around between weights doing a set or two and moving to the next exercise. They never seem to improve or consistently show up. That mentality is also very common at the range, aimlessly shooting at a target without any thought behind what they are doing.  

Knowing what you are doing is key; practicing for the sake of practice without guidance can form bad habits, create injuries, and hinder any type of improvement. So first and foremost seek professional training, learn good form, and safety (especially with firearms!).

In order to start the process we must first choose what we want to improve on. Once that topic is chosen we must perform focused and consistent practice on that topic. For example, I have decided to improve my speed on the concealed draw from appendix carry, so over the past two weeks all I had been doing is dry drawing each day (about 10 minutes) about 100 times. Take that over two weeks and that is 1,400 repetitions on one single movement!  One of the lead shooting instructors mentions this in the video.

This deliberate practice helps us improve quicker without spending countless hours trying to improve 10 different things. For example, take a look at the Krav Maga classes I teach. Each class has only one subject that will be practiced during that hour.  In that one hour the class will focus only on a punch instead of trying to combine a choke defense, a kick, and a pistol disarm into one session. This concentrated practice allows my students to perform hundreds of repetitions during that hour and internalize and improve on one technique. However, just because they are learning one subject does not mean that they are not practicing others. They are still practicing their fighting skills, their fitness, and their tactics but focusing on only one technique.

So how do we train less and improve more:

  1. Receive professional training on the topic in order to know how to perform the movement/subject correctly and safely.

  2. Practice that topic perfectly, deliberately, and with many repetitions.

  3. Build on known knowledge and work to the unknown.

 

Thank you for reading, 

Ron Grobman

Tactical Fitness 

Owner | Chief Instructor

 

Your Body Knows

How many times have you messed up a technique even when you knew it perfectly?  

As almost all of Krav Maga’s self-defense techniques rely on reflexes, there is typically no need to recognize the coming attack as the body will react for us. (This does not mean that we do not preempt!) So why do we botch our defense? Simple-- thinking instead of acting.

In a real-life self-defense situation, there is almost no way to predict what will be the attack and from which direction the attacker will try to engage us. Therefore, we rely on our reflexes, our natural defense mechanisms. Here’s the physiological definition:

noting or pertaining to an involuntary response to a stimulus, the nerve impulse from a receptor being transmitted inward to a nerve center that in turn transmits it outward to an effector.
— http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reflex?s=t

How do we translate this to our training? Instead of trying to anticipate an attack, look straight ahead and try clearing your brain of thoughts. If trained right, your body's reflexes will take over and the defense will be performed better than when trying to think about them.

The main concept is to take your mind off the incoming attack. Here are a few drill ideas, assuming that you are already moderately comfortable with the technique:

Distraction/diversion drill:

  • Defender performs a very short set of exercises (2 push ups, 1 push up, 1 sit up, etc.)

  • The attacker attacks as the defender finishes the exercise

  • Result: the defender does not have time to look for the attack or anticipate

Constant rotation (ping pong):

  • The students constantly switch between being attacks and defenders

  • The idea here is for the defender to become the attacker as soon as they complete the defense

  • In essence, not giving the attacker time to think

Multiple attackers:

  • The defender is constantly attacked without giving him/her time to completely finish the technique

  • This drill will exhaust the defender to the extent that he or she will neither have time nor mental capacity (from lack of oxygen) to think

*Note that the above drills can be performed defending one type of attack or different types. Additionally, they can be combined into simple or complex drills.

Oftentimes we get so focused in our training that we forget the bigger picture. We are training for the unforeseeable.  Even the most complex defense in Krav Maga is part of a whole system. 

Let your body work for you!

Thank you for reading,

Ron G.

Owner | Instructor

Tactical Fitness Austin

Krav Maga | Fitness | Firearms