Let’s talk principles versus technique.
Often people that begin their martial arts journey or self defense class, they are mainly looking for techniques, which is great. They want to find out the technique for disarming somebody with a knife, the technique to get out of a ‘bear hug’ or the technique to get out of a head lock. It is awesome that our beginners or people completely new to martial arts are curious about the different techniques, but it is more important that you understand, in order to execute the technique effectively, you need to understand the principles first.
This includes understanding how the techniques work, why they work, because once you understand these elements, it will a lot easier for your to learn the technique because there is now context. Once the student becomes intermediate or advanced, then they can start to create their own techniques. They can start to improvise. But only once they know and understand the principles.
An example is, just yesterday at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one of the black belts was telling me that as soon as you’re on top, you want to apply a lot of pressure. Now, he could tell me a technique for getting someone in an arm lock when you’re on top, or maybe choking someone from the top, but he chose to tell me about the principle. Staying heavy and applying pressure when on top. That is great because the techniques, submissions, the locks, they’re not going to work unless I apply that principle, of staying heavy on top.
To be continued…