Take Away Everything That's Not An Elephant
Have you heard how to make a statue of an elephant? It’s actually pretty simple. You start with a block of marble and carve away everything that’s not an elephant. Couldn’t be easier. In fact I carved two elephants myself just this morning in fact. It’s an old joke based on quotes attributed to everyone from Michelangelo (the sculptor, not the ninja turtle) to Picasso, and I’m sure Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln have been credited as well. Regardless of how it came about, the sentiment is eminently useful. Creating something isn’t always about adding to it; often times removal is more important. Technique is often the same way. Developing a good straight punch, or round kick, or head butt, usually involves as much subtraction as addition. Let’s take the straight punch: The component parts are driving off the ground with your back foot, pivoting the hip, and sending your fist straight forward. But there’s all this extra stuff that can creep in: Flaring the elbows, swinging the arms wildly, leaning forwards…all extra marble that needs to be chipped away. In Krav we’re always trying to find more: More power, more intensity, more aggression. We’re always looking for a bigger, stronger strike. But we only want more of the good stuff. And if you’re struggling with a technique, it might not be an element you need to add, but one you need to take away.