Flow Drills


Brian Johns here
Time for another Tuesday talk. Today’s topic is flow drills.
I love teaching flow drills in my Modern Arnis classes and I prefer
flow drills over static techniques or one-step sparring. Now let me say right
off the bat, I am not putting down static techniques or a one-step
sparring. Static techniques and one step sparring is very common to many
martial arts schools. Unfortunately, in this day and age, too many
martial artists look down on static techniques or one-step sparring. I
think there is a place for those for that kind of training method. As a matter
of fact, I use them for my beginner students. I take the position that there
is a place for one-step sparring and static technique. You’ve got to keep in
mind it’s a developmental drill and is not combat. With that in mind, one
step sparring can teach some valuable fundamental skills. Among those skills are
range. When you’re working with a partner who’s throwing a one-step punch at you,
you learn the basics of attack range. You learn how to get off the line whether it
is within getting into the inside line or the outside line. Next, you learn how
to work with a partner as opposed to doing a kata by yourself.
Another good aspect of one-step sparring is learning how to use applications
from kata against being a live partner in a controlled setting. But, at some point in time,
you need to get beyond the one-step sparring and static techniques and graduate,
at least in my school and my program, to flow drills. Now, flow drills are a bit
more alive. They keep both partners busy without
having to reset as you would do in a one-step sparring training environment.
Flow drills is a great introduction to teaching students to learn how to go
with the flow. Keeping that in mind, this is prearranged flow. Is this
learning how to flow in a chaotic situation? No, it’s an introduction to
learning how to go with the flow. Flow drills is like an alphabet. You
learn the letters. You learn to form words and sentences to paragraphs and
chapters. So, it consists of building blocks upon which you learn basic fundamental moves
and self-defense techniques. Now once the student has good structure, posture and
footwork, we would start to inject different variations, movements, and
techniques in order to throw the student off. Of course, we will do this in a
steady, smooth, slow pace so the student can learn how to go with the
flow of unpredictable movement. In other words,
to learn how to go with the flow of chaos. Yes, that’s the key here.
Unpredictability in chaos is what we’re teaching the student to deal with. And self-defense situations are, by its nature, highly fluid and chaotic. The objective is to teach the student to truly go with the flow physically and in everyday life. I have found many people do not know how to go with the flow in real life. Many many folks do a poor job of learning how to go with the flow. It’s my hope is that the students can apply the lessons from the flow drills to everyday life. And learn how to go with the flow instead of banging their heads on the wall. It’s a really good way of teaching folks how to go with the flow, from the physical part to the mental and emotional aspect of their lives. So what do you think of this? I would like to hear your comments. Please comment below. And please like, share and subscribe to this channel. Have a great day and I’ll see you next week! Have a good one!

One Reply to “Flow Drills”

  1. I like the flow drills too. They are a great intermediate step between the static/one-step techniques and more advanced work. This is the kind of thing that keeps students engaged: it builds up skills and provides touchstones for success and further development. Love it!

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