If you had to choose between being basic or advanced, how many would opt for advance even if they didn’t know what I was referring to in my original inquiry. My point, many wouldn’t know advanced from basic in the first place.
The Basics of Advanced
If I had to put my finger on being advanced it would be simple. Mastery of the fundamentals. Then execute them faster than the bad guy. That’s it. Doing things faster is one thing, but with more precision at the higher speeds is the idea. In training, full speed is about as good as the average person can hope to achieve. At full speed you are moving as fast as you can accurately execute the technique. The operative words there are “accurately execute.” This is what separates basic from advance, where intermediate is the inability to be consistently advanced.
The Key to Standards
When we talk speed, the biggest challenge is consistency. When defining standards we talk about how they must be observable, measurable and the big one…repeatable. If you can repeat on command full speed performance with minimum accuracy standards then you are definitely dialed in and good to go. If you are all over the place, the biggest mistake you could make is thinking you are advanced. You might have achieved advanced speed, but you are not advanced. You don’t get to make that claim until you cannot do it wrong at full speed. In other words, the fastest you can go and still be accurate.
Luck Has Nothing to do with it
Early on in our classes I ask students to only shoot as fast as they can accurately hit the target zone. Many mistake my statement for go fast and hope you are lucky enough to hit the target. That couldn’t be further from the truth, luck is not a strategy. Instead, you need to have your technique so dialed in you cannot miss at the slower speeds then as your ramp up you accept a reasonable hit ration percentage such as 75-80%. The light bulb goes on when the student recognizes their speed is only a by product of making minimal mistakes and using minimal movement. That right there is the secret.
It’s Not that Hard
When your technique is dialed in your mistakes become fewer and fewer. This brings about a higher level of confidence in your ability for command performance. Meaning, when called upon regardless of circumstances you can perform. It is the epitome of unplanned events. You don’t’ know where or when, but you know you are ready and able. Then there is minimal movement. I tell the story of a famous sculpture being asked by a student how he creates his masterpiece. The artist’s reply; it is simple, I chip away the rock until the sculpture remains. For us, that means getting rid of unnecessary or redundant movement so you are left with the minimal amount of movement necessary to accomplish the task. The byproduct is faster movement over time.
Being advanced is a matter of doing everything, all the essential skills to a minimum level of performance. Then going as fast as you can, letting it all out when it counts; which is all the time.