One Thing At a Time

I recently got this question from Ward:  "I often wonder if I should do set-ins thinking about only one thing, say footwork 5x, then hips 5x, then hands 5x. Ultimately you have to put them all together, but I think you have to develop the muscle memory one step at a time. What do you think?"

Well, tying back to my post on multitasking, I would say that this is a great idea, though I would bump up the number of reps.  If you've come to my class more than twice, you've probably heard me say "You can [mess] everything else up, just get your feet right!"  I think Sensei Goltz's drills from his clinic have it right, too:  the first habits to build are footwork and body positioning.  I also like that he stresses that you shouldn't grip - in doing this, he avoids a pitfall of this approach:  namely, if you are focusing on building a good habit in one area, you may simultaneously be building bad habits in other areas that aren't receiving your focus.  So he just takes those out of the mix. 

So if you are having trouble with a drill, try focusing on the components, and see if that helps.  Heck, even if you are feeling pretty good about a drill, you should, from time to time, be mindful of how you are performing the different components.




kodokanjudo said...

Good advice for all students.