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Define "aliveness"

Discussion in 'The Martial Arts Forum' started by bluemeanie, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. bluemeanie

    bluemeanie Lospeedhidrag

    This training concept I see referred to on a lot of message boards. What does it mean?
  2. Zenhachirou

    Zenhachirou BIG KILLA

    Oct 17, 2002
    In ya!
    Being aware. Being present when you train. That means, not just going through the motions, but seeing, feeling, understanding each repetition, each mistake that is pointed out to you by your instructor, each small victory you get.

    Active participation. Keeping the training fresh, putting your best in every time. Observing and critiquing techniques, methods, strategies, etc. etc.. It's also being able to light a fire under your own ass if you start to slack off.

    (The last one is the toughest one for me... XD)

  3. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    Zenhachirou pretty much got it.

    Incidentally- Rodney King from STWA pretty much owns the ball on the subject of aliveness, and I am thrilled to be a member of his website (along with some other folks known to this group, such as Paul Sharp and Scott Lowther).

    In fact, I've been trying to get Paul to come over here to the MA forum...

    EDIT: I just discovered that Cecil Burch, who is also on Rodney's site, is also a member here at GT. Would be cool to have him over here too.
  4. Cecil Burch

    Cecil Burch

    Sep 28, 2005
    Aliveness is simply having a good portion of your training being against a non-cooperative, resisting partner. This does not mean constant, all out sparring. It means that your partner is giving you unpredictable resistance that you have to deal with while trying to pull off your "techniques". This can be done with sparring, but it can also be done with various drills.

    For example, at my BJJ school, part of EVERY class warmup includes 3-6 rounds of a sweep/pass drill. In this exercise, A starts in B's guard. A's job is to pass, B"s is to sweep. That is it. No submission, no taking the back. If one succeeds, you go back to the start and change places and repeat for the duration. But both are trying all out to succeed while keeping the other from doing so. In a sense, it is isolation sparring.

    Another drill I use a lot is the corner drill. In this one, A stands in a corner. B stands in front and starts striking. A must defend, without moving from that spot or hitting back. You can limit the type of strikes or the intensity.

    Ideally, aliveness training will bring out all the qualities that Zenhachirou indentifies.

    If this isn't clear, just let me know.

    As a sidenote, thanks to Roundeye for pointing this forum out. I found GT because of his posts on the STWA forum, but I spent my time looking at the shooting pages. I didn't even realize this section was here. Thanks for the heads up Roundeyesamurai!
  5. bluemeanie

    bluemeanie Lospeedhidrag

    Thanks for your input, guys. I'm glad to see Cecil and Zenhachirou here as well. I don't see all the aspects of aliveness in my own training. I think I can improve it by better conditioning, as we drill most often toward the end of class, and better focus aka a gut-check. I'm lucky in that the guy I drill against most often is not prone to handing out freebies, if I don't perform, I don't win. Now excuse while I congratulate myself on starting a good thread ;a
  6. bluemeanie

    bluemeanie Lospeedhidrag

    Oh, and just an addendum-without-an-edit:

    While I think Roundeysamurai may be guilty of unecessary roughness on the "tactical training" crowd (I know, that's another forum but I'm scared to go there) I see a lot in his opinions on MA training concepts and who implements them well. If he digs ya, then I hope you post here often.
  7. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    Why thank you, Bluemeanie!

    And hey, "unnecessary roughness" is my middle name! ;)
  8. Sanchin


    Aug 15, 2005
    Which guy? :)

    Don't worry,you'll see plenty of 'alive' training the further we progress.;f
  9. bluemeanie

    bluemeanie Lospeedhidrag

    That'd be Mr. Dugan. If I'm tempted to say "That was a tough workout, I think I'll coast a little now" I don't get to do it against Kev. I think it's a personal failing with me.

    Like Zenhachirou said "Putting in your best every time" like I take it to mean, every repetition. Just gotta "cowboy up" more!
  10. bluemeanie

    bluemeanie Lospeedhidrag

    I think I looked a little more "alive" this morning. We ended class with a ground drill that I'll not attempt to describe fully. Some parts of it I had worked on before, so they could "flow" others I had to slow down and be coached through. It involved the "ride", reversals, joint locks, etc. Since we're new at this drill, we had to be somewhat compliant with each other, but I think we're doing a good job of resisting joint locks, no gimmes. It is time for me to bump up my fitness level and do some extra work on the core, for sure.
  11. Fedaykin


    May 5, 2005
    My experience with the concept of "aliveness" comes through my training JKD and BJJ with Burton Richardson and Matt Thornton (I train with Burt regularly, but I only get to train with Matt rarely because of that pesky Pacific Ocean getting in the way). "Aliveness" means that you should give your partner realistic resistance as you practice your techniques. This doesn’t mean that you should fight your partner with 100% resistance all of the time. Rather, you should use what Burton Richardson calls “progressive resistance.” Matt Thornton teaches according to a three-stage structure that he calls the “3 I’s”:

    (1) Introduction: Here, you are just learning the basics of the technique and your partner is giving you no resistance (though he might be feeding you a particular energy if the technique is dependant on it). For example, if you are learning the rear naked choke (sleeper hold), your partner will at first obligingly let you wrap your arms around his head and neck to learn how to do it properly. As you get better, he will start to be more “alive,” ducking his chin and grabbing your hands to make you work for the choke as you would in a real fight.

    (2) Isolation: Here is where the aliveness really comes in. You practice doing the technique you just learned in a particular position or range against light to moderate resistance so that you can learn how to practically apply the technique against a real opponent. For example, you start on your partner’s back and try to choke him while he tries to escape. If you tap him, restart; if he escapes, restart. This type of training prepares you for...

    (3) Integration: At this stage, you have practiced the technique repeatedly against resistance in isolation drills and you are ready to absorb it into your overall fighting game by practicing it in free-sparring. For example, you will start grappling from a kneeling or standing position and try to get your opponent’s back so that you can choke him (while also trying to work the rest of your game). After you can pull the technique off in grappling-only sparring, you add in the strikes to make the game as realistic as possible. It is only when you can tap a skilled, resisting opponent in sparring that you can consider the technique to be a reliable part of your arsenal.

    Temet nosce,