Anyways, I wanted to post a few things floating around in my head recently. There are several great posts, two of which I really liked, at Prevail Training:
Sport Isn't Fighting
Kit N Slick
What I thought was really interesting about the first post I linked is the idea of partner drills. I think it is very easy, at least in my experience, to forget how serious you need to treat drills. Just because you know the technique and you can apply it, it doesn't mean you should treat it lightly. You are doing yourself a disservice, not to mention your partner, your art, your teacher and the lineage of people who have sweat and bled to bring it to you. I should note that it is very tough to ever truly know a technique unless you have years or decades of experience, so just because you think you know it, doesn't mean you do!
To pull a quote from the post, I thought this was the most important aspect. When working these sorts of drills (kakie comes to mind for my own art (a sort of partner based grappling drill to work various joint locks and takedowns)), there is (or should be!) an escalation of practice:
1) Consensual, cooperative drillingThis sort of escalation helps build the skills and then the detail work needed to apply a technique.
2) Resistive, cooperative drilling
3) Resistive, non-cooperative drilling.
Food for thought and I think this applies as much to sparring as it does to individual technique work. Choose a technique or three that you have been working from a kata, and then see if you can apply it in a (careful and) serious manner - I will need to try more of this myself in the future.
The second article just reaffirms, in my mind, the validity of ancient martial arts, and is a good read.