“The amygdala in the emotional center sees and hears everything that occurs to us instantaneously and is the trigger point for the fight or flight response.”
Gary Lam points out that the difference between the first place winner of a race in the Olympics and the second place “loser,” or Silver Medalist, is often tenths of a second. It is a small fractional difference between winning and losing.
And this is true in fighting.
So in the later phases of our training, when we are pretty good with the basics and more or less have learned the system, we start trying to work through it in our training, trying to hit every aspect of the system once a week or so.
We do the forms and the dummy and the pole and maybe the knives, if you are among the minority who have learned them. We do Heavy Baat Jam Do and Dragon Punching, etc,, etc.
And then we work with our partners and we do Dan Chi Sao, and Double Tan and Taking position, etc. Do some Chi Sao and some Gwoh Sao. Back and forth, more intensity, less intensity.
During this part, we may start playing around with some “tricks” to try and get a little extra.
We try and squeeze out just a little more speed, take position a little more completely, reduce or eliminate our flinch response. Small things which add up.
So here is one I think I may have “rediscovered.” I don’t say discovered because I believe there is probably nothing new under the sun. This is probably part of the curriculum somewhere.
Say you want to do a Jutt Da very fast and with lots of snap and dramatic intensity. This is in Chi Sao; you go from Low Fook toward High Fook and the Fook becomes a cover of the opponent/training partner’s crossed hands. You want to catch their hands together so you can have “two hands controlled by one.”
Then you want to hit through the hole you’ve made in their defense.
Ideally, this happens simultaneously. The cover and the hit are practically one. How do you make this simultaneous? How do you increase the speed and the intensity?
Here is how I did it.
I started finding a trigger in their behavior, in their rolling action. It was a position their hands hit every time. It just preceded the point where I wanted to go from moving toward a high Fook to covering/hitting. This enabled me to take the decision-making out of the action. Their hands hit the position, I covered/hit.
Its like a starting gun. They get to the position and it triggers me to go.
I’ve done this with other drills besides Chi Sao. For instance, you stand there and talk with your training partner and then they suddenly hit you (with a pad). They have another pad up by their face. You Jutt one and hit the other.
We train ourselves to respond reflexively to the action.