One thing most newer students don’t often understand right away is why it is often better to slow down when learning techniques. I decided it was time to fix that egregious error in this article.
Let me ask you this, is it better to practice a technique a thousand times incorrectly, but fast, building muscle memory of improper form, or a thousand times slowly, being sure everything is structurally sound first? End of the article, good night ladies and gents….
Just kidding, but that unto itself should explain why the primary reason for performing techniques slowly, is necessary. Get the technique proper, keeping everything in alignment and within the proper form, before building up any sort of speed with it. If you have trouble, lose your balance, or otherwise stumble while doing the technique as slow as humanly possible, you’re not ready to move any faster with it.
A well-trained technique, that is powerful, fast and as devastating as it should be, begins as slow as a turtle. I don’t care if someone throws ten-thousand improper kicks, all I care about is one proper one and to build from there!
Doing a technique wrong for the sake of throwing it out there with speed and force, is not only teaching poor muscle memory but is also dangerous. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of people tearing ligaments, dislocating joints, and otherwise hurting themselves, throwing a technique improperly for speed. Even if your full power and speed kick hit the intended target, are you balanced enough to recover? Did you feel the full brunt of the force from it in your body, force throw is force received you know?
Slowing down also has benefits aside from proper form, such as further developing the muscles needed during the technique. As anyone who has lifted weights will tell you, taking your time, isolating the muscles, and pumping slow, will yield the greatest results and the same can be said about slowing down with techniques. When those specific muscles are further developed from proper form, slowness, and tension, when you actually throw the kick with force, you’ll find a noticeable increase in speed and strength with it.
it is important to throw every technique, not just kicks slowly, strikes, blocks, kicks, turns, stance switching et cetera… all slow!
Trust me, in the end, your quest for martial perfection will thank me and you’ll have great form, more power, and speed and suffer fewer injuries in the long run. Literally, this is one of the secrets to martial success and development, which many schools leave out due to time restraints in class.
Slow down…. you’re not in a race after all….