Tips for Practising a Pattern (Tul)
1. Understand the pattern thoroughly. A pattern consists of several smaller patterns. All the smaller patterns should be understood completely.
2. Perform the pattern in your mind. This is known as visualisation or mental imagery. This is an ancient practice of all warriors, who sat silently visualising how they will fight and how they will win. It helped them to win and so, visualisation has over the years become a proven technique for achieving success in real life, not only in martial arts but also in sports. Go on mentally performing the pattern and your practice will certainly improve.
3. Practice each smaller pattern to perfection. Then join all the smaller patterns and practice the full pattern to perfection.
4. Don’t stop between the steps. All the steps have to be done as if it were a single movement. There is no stopping between the steps. As soon as the current step ends, the next step should be executed immediately without any break at all. This increases the speed and the overall agility of the body. This also improves rapid movement in all directions using both right and left limbs. Few advanced patterns need some slowing down of steps; however, as a rule don’t stop between the steps.
5. Practice each and every day. If you are well, you must practice each day. If you are sick, you can practice few steps for few minutes only. If you are so sick that you are bedridden, then you can practice by visualising the steps mentally. As long as you are alive, in whatever condition your body is, you must practice each and every day. This is how you can follow the way of a martial artist.
6. See others doing patterns. Carefully watch your seniors when they perform their patterns and you will learn a lot. Carefully watch your juniors when they perform their patterns and you will spot the mistakes. Carefully watch your peers when they perform their patterns and you will know where you stand.
7. Film yourself. You may take a video in your mobile while you are practising. When you see a video of yourself, you will see many faults. Practice more and try to eliminate those faults. Thereafter, take another video and you will see some other faults. Practice more and try to eliminate those other faults also. Go on repeating this until you achieve a high level of mastery.
8. Give yourself completely. Give your 100% to your practice. Give your heart and soul to it. In every block or attack, give all that you have. Consider each step of a pattern as the only step that you are ever going to perform. Give your full concentration, your full power, and your full effort in each step. Don’t cut corners. Don’t think that you will give it the next time. There is no next time. The only time that you have is now. So give your best now. It is now or never. If not now, then when?
Expert Tips for Practising a Pattern (Tul)
1. Master the fundamental techniques. If the stances, blocks, punches and kicks are not mastered, then practising patterns will be of very little or no use at all. Mastering the fundamental techniques is of utmost importance.
2. Have the correct mindset. When you are practising, your mind should have an unshakeable determination to disarm and/or disable the opponent. To achieve this end, your mind should adapt to any situation that may arise. You can adapt to new situations only if your mind is not stuffed with past situations. Hence, your mind should be empty and free of all situations, thoughts or desires. A determined, unshakeable, empty and an adaptable mind focuses entirely on the present moment. With such a mindset, you must practice your pattern.
3. Breathe correctly. For breathing, use the stomach and not the lungs. Breathe by the nose and not by the mouth. When you breathe in, your stomach should inflate and when you breathe out, your stomach should deflate. Breathe in slowly when you are relaxing the muscles. Breathe out sharply when you are tensing the muscles.
4. Yell forcefully. Yelling provides an auditory shock to the opponent and it also helps you to exhale all the breath at the moment of impact. Yelling or any other sound that you make, should come from the abdomen and not from the throat.
5. Tense muscles only at the moment of impact. The more relaxed the muscles are the more power they can generate. Hence, you must tense them only at the moment of impact while exhaling sharply, with or without a yell.
6. Move the hips and the knee accurately. A pattern has several steps and each step involves some movement of the hip or the knee or both. Correct movement of the hip and/or the knee helps in making the step gain power.
7. Use energy responsibly. The human body is an electro-chemical organism. Electricity and chemicals both function together to give rise to energy. This energy flows constantly in the body. Experts are aware of this flow of energy and they can make the energy flow out of their body, whenever required. In martial arts, the energy should exit the body only at the time of impact and at the point of impact. This is an appropriate usage of energy in martial arts. As soon as the impact has taken place, the energy flow should be stopped immediately. This is using the energy responsibly.
The most important expert tip is:
Always pay attention to your instructor’s teachings. An instructor can easily see the faults in your practice that you cannot. An instructor always aims to better your performance. An instructor is your true friend, philosopher and guide. Hence pay your full attention to whatever the instructor teaches you. Follow the instructor’s teaching sincerely, with full attention, dedication and devotion.
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