All too often partner or solo practice techniques ends up in moves being done rhythmically one after another where repetitions are carried out at the same speed, with constant frequency and unvarying power. For those familiar with basic exercises: A Lap Sau drill it becomes I lap, you lap, I lap, you lap…or with Dan Chi Sau the motion becomes up then down and up then down…
Regular motion sets you up for a false sense of security. You begin to think that this is the way a technique can be carried out in a fight. However, in real life fights there is no rhythm, you don’t get second chances and timing depends on how fast you can respond to an attack.
Another drawback of rhythm is that it does not help when it comes to trying to improve the way you do a technique. The regular motion does not give time to think tactically, strategically and more fundamentally how you get the most out of a move. Self correction, check positioning, are you in control, footwork, releasing optimum strike force. Just important: Is your partner being tested?
Yet another negative is becoming so accustomed to a move that you end up predicting what comes next, so automatically your arm will come up to counter you opponent’s counter. Try this next time when partnering up: Roll out the techniques with rhythm then when one of you stops suddenly, you should find the other will continue. Real fights are not predictable.
You should practice techniques without rhythm, at different speeds with pauses and quickness, use footwork to change angles and distance, each move should make your opponent learn to respond accordingly – after all this is partnership training. Think about what you are doing and most important of all make it a habit to correct yourself.