This is probably going to be one of the shorter blog posts. Then again, it could go on for longer than I expect. But nevertheless, I felt the need to write. When I first started the practice of keeping a journal of my training, I wrote at least twice a day. Once in the morning before training, and once in the evening after my training. At this stage of my life I don’t think doing that is practical with college and work. But I do want this online blog to be sort of like my old journals.
That being said, I wasn’t planning on writing another post until tomorrow, which will be Thursday, but today during training I realized something very important to my progress in this stage of my training. And that is: I still have to train myself.
Let me explain. Today I was doing my acrobatic martial practice. I was working on my flexibility, back-bends, the Macaco flip, and the side flip. And what I’ve been doing for the past week or two has been watching YouTube videos on how-to perform the specific moves I want to incorporate into my martial arts style. The various You-Tubers I found are very entertaining, informative, and they have solid progressions that work up to the full moves. But it’s never as easy or as simplistic as they make it seem for me. And as I trained the hand full of moves I’ve been learning, I realized that the reason they are so difficult is because I am lacking in a certain area.
The area that I am lacking in that is affecting my progress at this stage of my training is: aerial balance. My vestibular and proprioception systems, (which are the systems in the inner ear and brain that control a mammals sense of balance, orientation, and spatial awareness), are not used to operating in the dynamic motions I am throwing them into. So I can’t just watch how-to videos and follow along performing the motions. First, I need to train my sense of balance and aerial motion.
I’ve decided to take at least two weeks to work on my sense of balance on the ground, in the air, and moving linearly. Starting today, and each day after, I have come up with jumping drills that force me to twist in the air, time my aerial motion, and get me used to moving in a far more dynamic way than I have my entire life.
The first drill I started today was jumping diagonally side to side, about a meter and a half’s length back and forth across a distance. Second, I drilled jumping straight up and twisting 360 degrees and landing in the same position. This second drill proved to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. But that is why I am working my orientation systems after all. The third drill I did is more of an exercise than a drill, but it was walking my hands down a wall from a standing position to end up in a back-bend bridge. By doing this third exercise I was able to get more comfortable with bending backwards and develop a better sense of balance.
After a couple of weeks drilling these and other exercises I will be comfortable enough to slide naturally into the types of acrobatic feats I want to add to my martial arts. And I truly feel that once my sense of balance is strong the transition into more dynamic movement will be natural. The drills that I have planned will make flipping an easy thing for me to do. And after I am able to perform the tricks I want to do, the real fun begins. Which is incorporating these movements into combat combos.