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shotokanman70's picture
Exiting from a Looping Flow Drill to Eliminate Training Scars

This video is an extension of a looping flow drill previously posted. Flow drills have pros and cons. One obvious flaw is that by the very nature of such drills, your attempts to throw/strike/lock must fail for the sake of the drill. This is an example of a TRAINING SCAR which we must avoid. A training scar is a dangerous habit engrained by repetitive practice that can cause the practitioner harm. In this case, the scar is ALLOWING the uke to reverse our techniques, a habit we do not want to develop. This video offers an opportunity to break/exit from the flow at the discretion of the tori.

The exit techniques demonstrated in this video are a version of Funakoshi’s byobu daoshi (to topple a folding screen) and a shoulder lock and wrist lock a juji uke (shown as a figure 4).


Andy Allen

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Brilliant! Totally agree. As I always say, “As soon as we make the drill, we must break the drill”.

A HUGE issue in modern martial arts is the fact the drill becomes the objective; as opposed to being a tool to achieve the objective. Way too many people do flow drills to get good at flow drills. And while there is no doubt they can look impressive and are fun to do, we need to avoid isolating the drill from the wider “tool kit” and making it an objective in itself.  

The training matrix is also key because all drills are flawed (only real is real). As you say, we need to identify the failings of every drill and correct that with complementary drills.

Love this Andy!

All the best,



shotokanman70's picture

Thanks, Iain. I make it a habit to explicitly teach the strengths and flaws of everything I teach. I will often ask my students to identify the training scars in the drills we do in the dojo and they are usually quick to come up with an answer. I'm slugging away at writing a paper on training scars that you may like. I'll send it yuor way when I'm done. My sources of inspirartion for the article were your training matrix video and the use of the term 'training scar' by Oliver Martinez at the Texas seminar. Cheers.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

I like that description Training Scars, very good clip, I'm waiting for that article Andy

Kind regards


Marc's picture

A very good point, and an excellent extension to the drill you posted earlier.

Thanks and take care


shotokanman70's picture

Thank you, Marc.

shotokanman70's picture

Thanks, Les. Been too busy to commit time to that article. It's on the back burner for now. I'll get back to it soon.