Chris and I were training last weekend with our Filipino martial arts instructor friend, Jesse Blue, as part of our development through cross-training. We were working on some punching response drills in which we would flow into various counter-strikes, locks and takedowns. At one point, Jesse reminded us of the importance of changing the rhythm of our attack when we are feeding punches to our partner. I quickly nodded in agreement, and made a mental note to write about it in more detail. So here we go.
Your rhythm within a combat situation should never be like a pulse. A steady beat is easier to track, predict and adapt to. As such, if you always feed your attack with the exact same rhythm when training, with the exact same length of pause between individual punches or between sets of attacks, your defending training partner starts to anticipate that rhythm, making it easier to perform their responses. Of course, we know that attackers all have different rhythms and won’t necessarily maintain that same rhythm throughout a fight so we do our partner a disservice to always use the same one.