Combat Tool Vs. Combat Technique.
Combat tools are the advanced expression of a combat technique! A tool is the understanding of why something works, and when and how to use it.
One beginning Martial Arts should start out with basic applications. Then perform those basics thousands and thousands of times over to obtain and an automatic/internal understanding. After internalization, we then strive to command it improvisation-ally. This learning and developing process is the steps it takes towards achieving a real tool set.
When you begin to make something your own, you begin to see how it functions from within, this is where deeper material awakens. When combative tools can purposefully & intentionally be executed, it's a scary thing...and is considered an advanced expression! This process usually weeds out those who are willing to go the distance to develop real skill, from those just looking for a quick fix or something superficial.
As the old saying goes "Better to master one technique very well, than many techniques not so well". What you do with that one application, and your approach to using it will determine how effective it becomes! Let me say that again, "YOUR APPROACH & UNDERSTANDING will determine how effective it becomes".
Many times a technique or insight is perfectly effective but does not work only because it was in the hands of a lazy practitioner. Remember to surrender your ego and train hard. Repetition is the mother of all techniques.
The process of weaponizing a fighting skill, and furthermore being able to use that weapon in times of great danger is a skill set unto itself. Fist, the foundation needs to be laid which is the discovery of a tools purpose, its application, and then the how and when to use it.
The movement of Shadow Boxing is in essence fluid action. Meaning when you shadow box you perform fighting methods in the air with no object (opponent) obstructing the impact. This open method of boxing remains effective to developing your skillset to this day.
This practice, also known as Forms Training is one of the best self training activities when not around a live partner. To date this is by far the best method to developing GING, which is various manifestations of power that comes from performing combative acts over and over again. Here is a list of some special power expressions "GING" below.
I.E. Spiraling power, Inch Power, Thought Power, Circular Power, Cork Screw Energy, Wave Energy, Absorbing energy, Sinking Power & more.
Movement by its very nature is fluid, it’s alive, it's raw energy, and so it should be adaptable within you. Your movement's should be both responsive, and proactive simultaneously.
A technique is a general motion while Shadow Boxing. When you change your distance, or go from big movements to small movements, the application changes with those adjustments - So by essence it to can and should be adaptable.
A technique can also transcend one category of combat as well if you have good understanding. For example, the circular economy of motion when applied correctly on an opponent can execute a throw, that same motion applied with a different understanding could execute a joint lock, or a strike, and so on. Your understanding of Combat, Range, and Force ultimately determines its effectiveness and how it can be used.
If a technique has many applications then which is the most correct answer? That greatly depends on the situation and how you apply it. Remember a tool is adaptive and should be used as situations arise or when opportunity knocks. Some situations call for a sledge hammer, while others need a chisel.
Here is the golden rule when transforming technique into tool, if it works it works, if it fits it fits, thats your undeniable validation of its intended purpose. The pupil must learn to eliminate doubt, doubt is one of the greatest enemies of the student. Unless specified by a master ahead of time, this is the process of discovery for hidden techniques.
Many times the old teachers were purposefully enigmatic, this was to inspire you to think for yourself, figuring something out for yourself builds self confidence. The old veterans were cautious to say exactly what something was, or put what’s fluid into a box, because in form and power many things lie within. Latent potential needs to be awoken within the individual, this is done through belief in oneself and stripping away all the false layers first which hold you back. The old forms were meant to be adaptable, and they speak to you. The student needs to learn how to listen and water the seed which the masters laid before you.
Over time if you work hard enough you will develop a formula of what works for your height, weight, attitude and personality. Remember that all fighters are unique and when is doubt, "follow your intuition & build from your foundation"...We hope you achieve great success.
Sincerely & Respectfully,
Sifu Jacob A. Brinnand (JAB).
P.S. Attached below is Universal Defensive Principle of "The Quadrant". I left it posted to be enigmatic as its purposefully designed to make you think. A quick overview is that these are defensive positions used against linear or circular attacks.
The understanding of the Quadrants, and how they can be used will lead you to a profound tool.
My understanding of the quadrant alone gave me enough confidence to further seek out opening up my own Gung Fu Gym. this confidence came because this insightful tool allowed me use my fighting style improvisation-ally, it was my first breakthrough that I will share below.