These thoughts were encouraged by a superb post that I read this morning from Seattle Combatives - Learning From Animals
Read the whole thing, but this is what struck me:
WHAT IS IT THAT WE CAN LEARN AND UTILIZE FROM THE IN WHICH ANIMALS FIGHT? Consider the following:
1. Animals have only a very limited number of “natural weapons”, and only a very simple “technique” for utilizing them.
One or two natural “built in” weapons is it. And one or two certainly do seem to be quite adequate, when you observe the efficiency with which they use them!
Would you rather face a black belt in some martial art who had learned many hundreds or thousands of techniques, or a charging tiger who had “only” two claws and one mouth?
The leopard is a ferocious and formidable jungle cat. Like all of the jngle cats the peopard attacks with all of his bodyweight and with 100% focus of his power in his TEETH and his CLAWS — the two weapons Nature gave him. Although a man cannot "fight with the physical actions of a leopard" he certainly can employ the leopard's priciples of using only a couple of simple weapons, and attacking ferociously!
2. Animals attack — they do not block or “defend”.
Yes, yes, yes, we know all about the mongoose and how it evades the cobra’s thrust. However, the mongoose, just like the American Combato student, evades a thrust or other attack solely to be able to attack the attacker. He is not being “defensive”. The mongoose ATTACKS (just as the cobra does).
By the way, the mongoose and the cobra was the School emblem of one of our original NYC Instructors — our beloved Charlie Nelson. Charlie correctly believed that the mongoose’s strategy was excellent — because it enable him to ATTACK.
Get some basic techniques down and drill them until you can do them well. That is all there is to it. Time is short. Life goes fast. Find something simple and get good at it. In the combatives world it might be drilling simple combinations - palm heel, elbow, knee for example. Over and over until it flows.
You like kettlebells? Swing, swing, swing.....press, press, press.
Calisthenics? push-ups, squats, chins
Coming back to you
I keep gravitating to a handful of things. I come back again and again to pushups, sprints, kettlebell swings, goblet squats, jumps.
It is like Bryce Lane says
I'm always stunned at how little things you've collected tend to come back over and over. It's like having kind of a template...like the Dragan workout. Even through the worst of this I was always able to do some of that.
I've changed it around a bit now to include B-circuit 2r(right now...), and a 2 dumbell clean and press 25#/35r. Jumped on top of a 25" barrel for 12 reps also, on a couple of good days (shhhhh...)
I think the most valuable things you can collect are a couple of absolute basic templates you can create something to fit from depending on your situation. Everyone thinks about lines of attack but having a line of "fighting retreat" is even more valuable when the occasion arises.
(by the way the Dragan thing is air squats and the vertical lift he does them for thousands of reps as below)