What should we ask ourselves before starting a drill? This raises a good point. So many martial arts school will have drills. How many of the students blindly just do what the master, Sensei, Sifu tell them to do without actually thinking.... what should I be getting out of this drill. Actually a lot. How many of these instructors take a moment to explain what the student should be seeking out of this drill? Again... not a lot. Many students take the drill as a Technique.
IE. Someone punches with their lead hand.....I block and counter this way. And what happens if the person throws their rear hand.... well then I block another way... and counter.. Ahhh. But what if someone throws a strike I am not familiar with... Ahhhh. Problem. I guess I get hit??? Oh... maybe I should aquire more and more techniques for every problem.?? ok. I have a 1000 techniques.... but I HOPE my brain picks the right one for what was presented.
So this partially brings up another point. Which is best left to a different blog. Technique collecting vs. simple effective tools.
Drills. What do they do for us.? They should have a purpose. Not just a set of movements for passing a belt test. Each drill should serve a purpose. Maybe they teach you a simple tool. IE. A Jab, vs Cross, hook, tight hook, shovel hook, backfist, or uppercut etc.. But ask yourself what else should you get out of drills. Here is some of the few attributes that some drills are trying to achieve or at least should be. Proper body mechanics, balance, cordination, speed, power, timing, reaction skills, hand eye cordination, rhythm, energy feel, sensitivty, ability to adapt, etc. So when someone does a drill the student should think, "What am I trying to get here? Is this drill to develop power? Or good bedy mechanics? Is it accuracy? etc." Without knowing the goal... you are aimlessly repeating motions in hopes to end up at some end result. You efforts and time spent are hugely rewarded with results if you know your goal. Yes... we can say..."Isn't the goal to defend ourselves." Of course. But we are looking to better the specific attribute to better defend ourselves. Some goals are conflicting and unlikely to be in the same drill. Take energy sensitivity drills. If you try to muscle and add power to them then you will unlikely feel your opponents energy. Another example is speed and proper body mechanics. If you are learning a round house kick or as called in Jeet Kune do a hook kick. If you are trying to do it super fast then you will never learn the proper body mechanics to develop a good hook kick.
If you are not aware of what you should be seeking... ASK. A good instructor should be able to explain what goals he wants you to obtain from the drill.