By Tom Flynn
Technique doesn’t get tired.
Like Marc often apologies for using football metaphors, I too must apologise for my perpetual references in recent memory to recreational violence. But this time I think it’s not just gratuitous violence references, there is definitely a lesson in here somewhere.
My first MMA coach and dear friend, Pearse Stokes (I owe that man a lot.) used to shout something at me when I’d start to get tired and inevitably sloppy while sparing;
Trust the technique Tom, technique doesn’t get tired.
It’s a hell of a line, and it’s a fucking powerful one when you’re in those deep waters trying not to drown. Especially so when delivered ala sweep the leg, by a man with a handle bar moustache and a cat tattooed on his chest. It’s enough to get you to stop thrashing around and start threading water.
Stokes was right. Technique does not and never will get tired. It’s irrelevant whether it’s the first, fifth or fiftieth round, if you do it right, it works, every time.
It doesn’t always seem that easy though. There’s a man in front of you trying to stop you doing your technique with one of his own. Often times his technique is some variant of punching you in the face. Throw in sweat, fatigue and the discombobulation that generally follows multiple blows to the head and you’ll find that remembering the technique, let alone trusting it becomes nigh on impossible. The key is to move past the panic, to accept you’re in deep shit and do what needs to be done to get out of it. Clam down and trust the technique, you might be tired but the technique isn’t.
Strangely that same phrase popped into my head while scamping this week with Holly and Patxi, and now I think I know why. Even with the best partners in the past, there’d come a time when we’d get stuck. It’s a horrible sensation, I can’t think of anything, I’m a shit creative, I’m never gonna be any good. Fuck, shit, cunt, fuck, shit, bollox, fuck.
But for these past two briefs, I’ve been using the scamping techniques we’ve been talking about. Headphones in, no filter, just scamp, like crazy. I don’t think about what I’m drawing, it comes out of my head and onto the tip of the sharpie, it just flows.
First of all working like that is so much fucking fun. I came back to the studio yesterday and was incapable of sitting down for an hour because I was bouncing around like a playful child. But more importantly the results, for me at least, are fucking incredible. The amount of ideas, and their quality have improved exponentially (learned what that word actually meant this week, thanks Rus.) I’m not even close to hitting my stride, but I’m feeling confident that striding is something I will someday be capable of.
That happened because I trusted the technique and let myself get into that space of mind no mind. I think that’s pretty fucking banging.
To make it all circular I reminds me of an old violence quote from a man called Saulo Riberero,
If you think, you are late. If you are late, you use strength. If you use strength you get tired. And if you get tired, you die!
I’m not too scared of crashing and burning before dying a fiery death on a brief anymore, because now I have technique, and technique doesn’t get tired.