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How to Look More Like You; Tips from Tim Larkin

How to Look More Like You

 A common question we get from clients is: “How can I learn to move like you?”

 The answer is: “You can’t.”

 Now, this isn’t a haughty, ego-driven response.  It’s the truth — the only person you’re truly going to move like is you.

 And that’s the key to owning violence — figuring out how you, with your idiosyncrasies, can best get the job done.

 I realize that’s all very nice to say, but what can you do to get there?

 Hew to base principles.

Every act of violence is unique — that is, no two start the same, progress the same, or finish the same.  This fact makes violence look like a big knot of chaos.  But inside that knot are the common threads that make up every possible snarl:  intent, penetration, rotation, injury, cause and effect.  Know them. Study them in order to turn them from abstract concepts into concrete choices and physical action.  When you look behind the curtain, this is really all we are ever doing.  Make sure you get them down cold and can give a physical, “real-world” example of each one.

 Look at what has to be done, not how it’s done.

This is the main reason techniques blow.  When people see a technique, they immediately concentrate on the method, losing the results somewhere along the way.  But a technique, really, is just a single solution to a single problem posited by a single person.  It’s not universal, only the principles underlying it are.

 Try thinking about it this way: use your mind to unlock a problem in violence and use your body as the key.  This is terribly subjective, and gets us back to the idea that violent acts are like snowflakes (while no two are alike they’re all made from the same stuff).  If no two violent acts are alike, then you’re on your own.  You’re going to have to rely on yourself to solve every violent act you’re ever going to be involved in. I’ve never experienced exactly what you’re about to go through, which means none of my personal favorite solutions will make any difference for you at all. 

 Keep an eye firmly on the results you want and then plow a path from where you are now to where you want to be.  This makes it yours.  Our results are universal — injury — and so the finish line looks the same every time.  But how you get there will be all about you.  You’ll start in a unique place, and you’ll get across that line of final injury in your own inimitable way.  You’ll derive the perfect solution on the fly.

 Make it work for you.

This is about how you train.  When you’re getting floor time with a reaction partner, look at what you want and then make it happen.  If you think, “I want to throw him down on the ground from here,” then you need to figure out a way to make it so.  Perhaps you can stomp on his knee.  Or step in and strike him to the side of the neck and then hip throw him.  Or strike the neck while you buckle his leg to drop him.  The idea is not to get stuck on doing a specific, huge hip throw, but rather to injure by way of throwing.

 This makes your training generic and takes the focus off of  “doing techniques” and puts it rightly and squarely on problem solving.

 This is really the gist of this entire rant:

In order to look more like you, practice solving problems instead of “doing techniques.”

 Being good at the skill of violence doesn’t mean emulating anyone. When you’re good at violence it means your mind is good at applying the tool of your body against the problem of violence.