For me, it’s about efficient technique. Perfect doesn’t exist for two reasons.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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1 : The perfect technique is the one that lands, no matter how it “looks”.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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2: Sparring is so variable, you’d have to train the perfect technique for every single possible eventuality based on a multitude of factors like ; distance, timing, spacing etc etc. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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There’s been studies to show that the simple task of hammering a nail for 100 repetitions never once had the exact same repetition. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Based on that premise, I dont think striking a moving target will be much easier 😅 especially when there are so many other variables at play.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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For that reason, I believe technique is important absolutely, but spending all your time on the “perfect technique” is not the best use of time, when coming from the evidence of skill acquisition / motor skill research.

Technique is only the weapon, the real skill is applying it in the correct situation based on problem solving and decision making.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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However, there are many ways to climb a tree as they say. This is just my thoughts on the best route 😉⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

So, how do you apply this to your training?

When we introduce a new technique we always put it in context, give it a name and set up the situation. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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This way, the student always has a mental picture of when the technique will be applied.

As soon as the technique is grasped (not refined, not perfect) we create game like scenarios and increase the degrees of freedom or variations that have to be accounted for. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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This leads to the technique breaking down in the short term, but in the longer term means that the key points of performance are learned at the same time as the when, where, why and against whom/what. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Mistakes are opportunities for learning and problem solving. As performance improves and the technique becomes successful more than 60% of the time we start to introduce higher levels of opposition or challenge until the success rate is between 50-60%. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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We learn best when the level of challenge is high but attainable. Too low and we become bored / complacent, too high and we become dejected / frustrated. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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We continue to layer different scenarios, challenges, psychological training, consequences etc onto the skill, aiming to provide repetition without the feel of repetition.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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We’re pushing to get the skill to the point where it can be performed under competitive pressure at the appropriate time and place through the application of better decision making.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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In this way, our athletes learn the language of sparring through immersion. They don’t study vocabulary and grammar for years then try to move to a new country, they learn enough to start a conversation and see where it takes them, adding further vocabulary and phrases, learning social context and culture, what’s funny and what’s offensive and they do it while enjoying the experience. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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The game is the teacher… start with the game. The game is live opponents trying to hit you as you try to hit them.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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