No matter how hard you train, if you don’t work on “martial intent”, you’re better of trying out line-dancing or playing darts. Most practitioners recognize this and start incorporating it at a certain stage in their training. Once you do, your effectiveness jumps to the next level and a whole lot of stuff in your style suddenly makes more sense. Many forms are dead until you add “intent” to them, the same goes for drills.
Sure, there’s a time when you shouldn’t add it: when you learn something new or when you’re troubleshooting and tweaking technical aspects. But intent is still a key factor in your performance under live conditions. Like the boyscout say, be prepared. Because unless you train it regularly, you probably won’t have the proper intent when you suddenly have to fight.
The question I get most from students is what it is exactly. How do you define it? There are different kinds of intent and it can become hard to explain it correctly. So I often refer to these Haka clips here:
In this one, the intent is more drawn in.
Here it’s more violent, barely controlled.
Here it feels more nervous, jittery.
If you’re not all that impressed by this video, you probably never played rugby before. Let alone play it against one of the world’s best teams. Just take a look a the faces of the players near the end of the Haka and imagine how effective your reverse punch or double leg takedown would be right at that time…
There are only a few choices here: either you cut and run or your intent needs to at the very least match theirs. The real question is: do you practice this every time in your training or not?
You know the truth.