Positional and Situational Training

“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
~ Albert Einstein

I have come more and more to the conclusion when designing and structuring training that defining the purpose for which the exercise is taking place is of paramount importance. It requires our sincere inspection and through detailed review. Not just a matter of “Hey I need to work on striking so let’s hit shit” but what exactly are the motor skills I need to work on and under what circumstances for what

Let’s take a grappling example. If I am to say perhaps I need to work on my escapes from bottom I may be looking at breaking free from a number of different pins. If I narrow that view and say well really it’s my escapes from being mounted now I have a better idea. But, let’s say we go deeper. Under what circumstances I might ask. Now we see immediately a divergence of techniques once we define that as maybe escapes in GI (wearing the kimono) vs NO GI, or if there are strikes or weapons in play. What we
have done now is define the position, and the “rule set” for lack of a better term, under which that position is being used.

Going deeper into the situation say we put an accelerated time frame on that escape. The context may be we have 1 min left in the round at a tournament and are down on points, or perhaps we are pinned and have but moments to affect an escape before the second assailant comes in. Perhaps the context is we are up on points and only need to survive the next 30 seconds on defense to win the match. Defining the situation accurately and fully will dramatically change the techniques we select to apply.

All of this will determine the parameters under which we structure our training.

Positional training may mean for BJJ something like guard retention drills, while situational training may be being in guard trying to get to my feet while being advanced on by a man with a baseball bat.

Positional training in shooting may be me wanting to work on my accuracy after some poor shots in force on force training and so start with bullseye practice, learning where my sights hit, extended ranges and partial/small targets, and build up to timed fire exercises while situational training to address those
topics once accuracy demands are met may mean moving targets, swingers, no shoots, and simunitions with live targets devoid of the decision making process in full spectrum live evolutions.

We are always seeking efficiency in our technique, in our movements, in our timing, and in our training.

Shawn Lupka

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