“Don’t do it until you get it right, do it until you can’t get it wrong”
I love to cross train, and I’ve had some truly special opportunities over the years to train with great coaches. I try to train with Erik Paulson at least once a year, often twice. Training with Erik Paulson, you don’t just get great technique, you get inspiration from his many experiences.
The most recent time we trained with Sensei Paulson, he discussed his training in Shooto in Japan. Specifically he mentioned how two techniques were practiced HUNDREDS OF TIMES in isolation; switch step (left) round kick and right cross. Yes, HUNDREDS OF TIMES. Yes, single techniques in isolation. If you are familiar with Shooto’s founder, Satoru Sayama, you might have already heard this.
Sensei Sayama’s approach is not all that different than how Muay Thai is practiced in Thailand. The “secret” is that there is no secret. Foreigners traveling to Thailand to train often expect to learn something special, they learn that there is just hard work, sweat, some blood and a LOT of repetition.
Even the clinch, in some respects the most advanced and technical aspect of Muay Thai, is a matter of repetition. Practice every day, for hours, not just until you get it right, but until it is so ingrained you can’t get it wrong.
In the martial arts, everyone wants secrets, but there are no secrets. The secret is hard work, sorry to report…..