UFC 197 Press Conference: Conor Mcgregor Trashtalk Highlight & Staredown
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1. Showmanship. Whether as a group or as an individual you have to exhibit a little bit of showmanship. Or to put it like my sensei put it: “You’re a martial artist, remember- look and act like one!”
This means that you must show good focus and intent right from the moment you walk on to the mats in whatever venue you happen to be displaying at. Don’t just casually stroll out on to the floor, walk purposefully and look organized and disciplined as a group.
Never forget that you are out to impress the audience and the audience doesn’t want to see casualness or half-heartedness.
Be aggressive and as realistic as possible with your techniques and if you are break-falling, do so hard, even slightly exaggerate them.
People love to see you flying through the air. It looks good, and that’s a lot of what a good martial arts demo is all about- looking good and representing your art well at the same time.
Pretend your in a martial arts movie, this will put you in the right frame of mind so you give the audience what they expect and the audience expects to be entertained as much as educated on the ways of the martial arts.
In previous demos that we have done my sensei has used a sword to cut a melon in half on the bare belly of a volunteer (not from the audience!), held stones in one hand and broke them in half with the other (after passing the stones around the audience to check they were real).
Be inventive and keep the audience entertained.
2. Show-stopping techniques. It’s okay to start a demo of with some simple techniques that represent what you normally do in the dojo.
In the demo that I did we started of with rolls and break-falls before showing some block and blow routines and some body conditioning. This sort of thing gives the audience a true idea of what the martial arts are all about.
At some point though, usually sooner rather than later, you have to put in some show stopping techniques that are going to make the audience sit up and take notice.
I always find Aikido to be very well suited to this sort of thing because the techniques are very showy, with guys being flung around all over the place seemingly with no effort from the person throwing them.
Techniques like flying arm bars, big throws, flying kicks and the like all work well in a demo. And the harder and faster you perform them the better they will be.
3. Self Defense Techniques. The average person, who knows little about martial arts, has only one question on their minds when they go to see a demo: can these guys kick ass?
You have to show them that you can.
Most people see self defense as a major part of martial arts and a watching audience will want you to demonstrate this aspect for them.
So come up with some common self defense scenarios and show the effectiveness of your art in dealing with them. This can be as simple as being attacked by one person or many people at once.
I think it is a good idea if your sensei takes centre stage at this point and expertly fends of multiple attackers with some cool and effective looking techniques. The audience will appreciate this as they generally want to view sensei as “The Man”, the martial arts master who is not to be messed with.
And obviously, the more realistic looking you make the whole thing, the better.
A nice way to round things of is for all the attackers to stay down after their last attack, feigning unconsciousness so that sensei is left in the middle of the floor surrounded by felled attackers.
Then he really is The Man!
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