Friday, March 3, 2017

Smooth, Fast, Slow, What's the difference?

My friend Oddball has a post about the recent brouhaha of people not liking the idea "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast."

Oddball brings an interesting perspective to the discussion. 

While I’m not an IDPA grandmaster, ever even been in an IPSC match, or some high speed low drag firearms instructor, I am a martial arts instructor.  As such, I’ve used the term, and I’ve heard many other instructor state similar.

The real message behind the that mantra is to focus on technique.  When we try to go as fast as we possibly can, our technique tends to go out the window.  I’ve seen folks jump straight into trying kicks or hand techniques at full speed, and their technique was generously described as “flailing.”  Lots of movement that doesn’t do anything but waste energy and throws them off balance, no force actually landing on target, and, while their limbs my be going at high speed, the entire action is slow.

The solution to this is to slow down and focus on what you’re actually doing.  If you’re doing something in the middle of your action that doesn’t directly help that action, why?  There might be a good reason (like keeping your hands up), at which point, keep doing that.  If there’s not, maybe you shouldn’t.  Slowing down allows you and your instructor to make sure you’re not only moving efficiently, but that the maximum amount of the energy you’re expending ends up on target.  Once a student’s technique is good, then we move to actually speeding things up.

Now, I’ve only taken a few classes on firearms but it does seem that most of the critique of “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” that is the jab “slow is smooth, and smooth is still slow”...

Well they ignore the importance of smooth.
Being fast isn’t worth diddly if your stance is all buggered and you have a lousy grip, no sight picture and, most importantly, you drop rounds into the dirt. Heck, as a matter of training and learning… which makes seems like the better way to improve?

Getting the technique down first, making sure your motions are good and resulting in hits, and then trimming down the time to go faster.

Or focusing on doing whatever it takes to be as quick on the buzzer as possible, and then trying to reduce “flailing”, all /without/ slowing down. ( Because if you have to slow down to get your technique sharpened before you go back to being faster… congrats that’s Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast).

And yes, it is correct that starting slow *can* impart bad habits that will be a detriment later on. But so can starting fast and building habits when one doesn’t have the fundamentals down. Heck one should make sure that one can shoot a tight group, stationary, standing, at like 5-7 yards with a pistol, with careful fire as a bottom basement requirement. Then start worrying about adding drawstrokes, speed, and motion.

No comments: