Discussion in 'Disabled Martial Artists' started by DarkestShadow, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. DarkestShadow

    DarkestShadow New Member

    I have a form of autism, that may or may not (probably does) contribute to my lack of coordination. I spar with a younger brother who takes an obscure branch of Chinese karate. He's very proficient for just a teenager! I practice quite a lot, but my speed/coordination never seems to improve very much.

    Are there any suggestions on how to compensate for my setbacks?
  2. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    first, don't get discouraged; it takes most people a very long time to become aware of their own progress, particularly if they are measuring themself against someone else - who is also getting better with time.

    are you just sparring, or doing other drills as well? there are a lot of good drills and methods for improving speed out there. pad work, in particular.

    the only solution to poor coordination is heaps and heaps of practice, but approaching things from another angle often helps make things click. once you gain an intuitive understanding of how a given technique works, coordination will take care of itself.
  3. ameline

    ameline New Member

    I will second pauli's advice about not measuring yourself by others.

    I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is also on the autism spectrum and has made balance a very difficult thing for me. To combat this I practice a lot, but I've also come to realize that balance will never be as easy for me as it is for other students.

    My brother and I trained in songahm taekwondo for two years together. We were always of the same rank but his technique was always more fluid. He always holds the advantage when we spar, because of his better coordination, and ability to allow the techniques to flow together.

    Through the years, I have managed to improve my sparing . I do manage to use combinations (rather then solitary strikes), and these are occasionally effective.
    I have found that I have to teach myself combinations that flow. I lack the intuitive sense of what move should follow another. Over time I've taught myself different sets of combinations that I can use when the opportunity arises. This has also improved my speed. By repeating these combinations to the point that my body knows them I can react without having to think. Muscle memory is a powerful force. The only way to build it is repetition, repetition, and repetition, but I find its very worth it.

    Don't give up. Working on coordination is difficult, but the results are worth it. I'm finding that the balance and coordination work I did is Taekwondo and that I do in Shorin-Ryu Karate has helped me a lot in day to day life. I'm less apt to knock into things or trip over myself then when I began studying the martial arts. With time an training the speed and coordination will come. Try and find a goal for yourself that doesn't involve comparing yourself to an opponent. A couple that I've used is to kick at a certain height and return to my stance without falling off balance, using a combination of a certain number of techniques in a combination (min 3 I haven't scripted beyond 5).

    I hope that this ramble has made some sense to you, and that you find something that works well for you.
  4. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Practice, Practice, Practice

    Well said Ameline. Repetition of proper movement can bring many benefits. I love using the story of the Shaolin monk slapping water everyday for five years to illustrate that point and the value of patience in practice. I would also recommend Qi Gong exercises. These will provide even more focus and more pronounced over all improvement. Ask your teacher about them. Do not start QIGong training on your own. Doing it incorrectly can cause injury

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