Training with intent. What does this mean for Latosa Concepts, FMA? FMA terminology!
I hope ya’ll are doing well.
To start with we’ll have a quick update for the Danish FMA and Self-Defense Group in Copenhagen. Training during the last 2 weeks of July have been without training instruction from myself. The men have been making their own plans for training during these two weeks.
For anybody who has has kept an eye on the FB page for the Danish FMA and Self-Defense Group, they will have seen my remarks about intent! What do we mean when we use this term?
Let’s get back to basics and the concepts that GM Rene Latosa teaches. There is balance, focus, power speed-distance-timing, and there is transition. Intent is when we hit with the desire to strike or counter strike with the idea of damaging. In short we mean it! If we look at my past and point karate tournaments, we can say that there was a time when I did not train with intent! The distance was wrong because we tried to be as far away from our opponent when punching. We also used a lot of energy on the draw back phase of the punch. If we train our selves to punch ( a given example ) out of range to have a real effect and we know what we are doing then there is no intent.
We can look at the number of training partners we have, and quickly come to the conclusion that we would run out of partners, if we follow through with strikes to the head (a given example ). We want to keep our training partners around because they are friends and are also needed to continuing getting better at what we do. How do we train intent then? The answer is we intend to hit the person, when we start the attack! Then we stop the power at a given range using power mechanisms ( a term I coined to better explain how we generate and control power.) The use of dropping power helps to improve balance and the ability to keep the energy moving. Helmet training or training with padded sticks is a way to not stop the power short of the head, arm, or what ever target or zone we attack.
We have talked about the trinity of speed , timing and distance. We can look at them when examining our intent. If we choose a target or zone that is a long distance combo of the trinity, then we will have a given possible combination of speed timing and distance, ( this is simplified for this explanation / blog.) Another distance will have another combination. What’s important is that we have intent when performing the attacks / counter strikes.
You might say… what about focus? That’s easy. Are we putting power towards a placement besides the real target? Many people do this. They look great but if we look closely, we’ll see that the strikes is aimed at a spot next to the head ( a given target ). Some of the men have a hard time getting rid of this “nice guy gene.” What we have to remember is that we are training our partner, when we train our selves to aim at the target. Striking towards a spot besides the head again and again trains that pattern into our nervous system and it teaches our partner that there is no real danger! Even worse, if we are striking at a spot in front of the head and our training partner really doesn’t have to do anything. We have to remember that we are training our selves to function under stress and when that stress is not there, it’s all a joke. Someone throwing a strike at us that is in distance, focused, done with balance and power, and the ability to transition to another attack target helps to create that stress and get us ready.
All this might seem like a physical act for the uninitiated. What we are really talking about is a state of mind! We should not be afraid to let a strike go, that is set in motion with the idea of bashing a target in. The fact that we stop ourselves at the last moment should not change this fact. Many people have a hard time with that dark side of themselves. The truth of the matter is we train ourselves to do one thing or another. Are we teaching our selves to hit the air or break an arm when attacked? If you are training to defend yourself against the air, by all means keep thinking about hitting the air in front of your training partner.
I know what I train for:
- 1. Defense of my family.
- 2. Defense of myself.
- 3. The mental and physical aspects of training.
- 4. Spending time with friends, training partners and student.
- 5. Giving back and continuing the transference of the knowledge that I was given by my instructors and mentors so my students can protect themselves and their families.
I could ramble on for along time about intent and the concepts GM Latosa teaches with his style of FMA, but it’s still my vacation. I hope your summer has been a great one. Remember that the first month of training is free for a while. you can read more here at DK FMA. It all start ups again on Monday the 3rd of August at 17:00. Wrestling room above the bowling centre at Grøndals Center in Copenhagen.
Stay proactive and remember your intent when living life and training.