Less Distance, More Options

The Basic Stage is the second of four stages which together make up the Apprentice Level of the FWTS Training Programme.

The purpose of the Basic Stage is to introduce options which require greater skill, and involve working with pressure more closely.

You’re no longer a beginner. Because you can already move effectively and recognise opportunities arising from the movements of an opponent, it’s time to get a bit closer in. Now let’s explore how to control space, manipulate and penetrate the defences of your opponent, if you so choose.

FWTS | The Basic Stage
Basic Stage of the FWTS Training Programme, comprising Student Grades 4-6.

Having options is great, but choosing between them takes valuable time and slows your reactions. Because this all happens when in closer proximity to your opponent, things move faster, and there is a greater degree of stress involved. Working through the training programme develops your ability to react correctly under pressure.

Contact and pressure is only to be expected during a physical encounter, but there are degrees of pressure, as in all things. Once you learn to accept and be informed by incoming pressure (instead of just tensing up and resisting it) you can learn to move around it, past it, or through it at will.

Work Through Grades 4-6

The material within the Basic Stage is delivered across the fourth, fifth and sixth Student Grades, which provide the short-term goals to be achieved. New material is introduced in the fourth grade, expanded and developed in the fifth, and then varied in the sixth. This connects with all previous material to provide a stand-alone set of skills and knowledge.

Student Grade 4 4SG Syllabus
4SG Training Programme
4SG Assessment
4SG introduces the Secondary Strategies and the Bridging Attacks, and explores their use across Striking Zones 1 and 2.
Student Grade 5 5SG Syllabus
5SG Training Programme
5SG Assessment
5SG expands & develops the use of Secondary Strategies and Bridging Attacks across all Striking Zones.
Student Grade 6 6SG Syllabus
6SG Training Programme
6SG Assessment
6SG starts to combine all Primary & Secondary Strategies, and all Basic & Bridging Attacks. This leads to new Situations, and rounds off the Basic Stage material.

Focus On Making Choices

The focus of the entire Basic Stage is to start developing the Strategic Element of the martial art system.

Although aspects of all the Five Martial Elements are introduced, students within the Basic Stage should concentrate on making decisions. You’re already able to defend yourself using simple methods, now begin to analyse your opponents movements more deeply, make tactical choices, act decisively, and plan that little bit further ahead.

You’ll have several ways to achieve the same goal, and multiple techniques which would be appropriate. So choose, choose wisely, and don’t take all day about it. 🙂

As a comparison, children studying mathematics soon discover many ways to solve any given problem: If the answer is 10, the question could be 5+5, or 15-5, or 5×2, and so on. Simple is usually best, but it depends on the circumstances. Likewise the Kung-Fu student starts to understand that although Option A may be easier, Option B might be more likely to succeed, and Option C would leave you in a better position if things go wrong.

As Neo succinctly states in The Matrix – “Choice. The problem is choice.”

Where Next?

Level Contents
3 Apprentice Level
4 Foundation Stage Basic Stage (you are here) Intermediate Stage Advanced Stage
5 1st Student Grade
2nd Student Grade
3rd Student Grade
4th Student Grade
5th Student Grade
6th Student Grade
7th Student Grade
8th Student Grade
9th Student Grade
10th Student Grade
11th Student Grade
12th Student Grade