What makes the difference between two athletes (martial artists or trickers) at the same technical and physical level? How can we influence a judge to prefer us rather than someone else when the abilities are the same?
I guess it’s S for… Sharing tips time!
Finding your own style can make you unique and for this reason you could be able to catch someone’s eye more than someone else.
I’ve been asked several times while teaching what I meant with ‘STYLE’.
What is style and how do we build it?
A lot of small details gathered together can take you from being an average or good athlete to being an outstanding performer. Keeping in mind that a solid technique and fitness are the base of it all, let’s focus on what else you need to consider to create a recognizable image and movement that people would immediately reconnect to your name.
This is what Style means to me, the translation of our personality into our movement. I used to describe one of my favourite trickers who has an unmistakeable style saying if I could only see his shadow during a combo I
would certainly recognize him. Style to the nth degree.
Pic. by Jack Wade
And here below, how to work on it.
- KNOW YOUR STRENGHTS: Having a good perception of the body, control of movements and being aware of what our best qualities are, is a great starting point to work on developing our own Style. The factors that could represent us could be creativity, cleanness, sharp techniques, power, precision, elegance and so on. Finding this out will give us a hint on which direction to take when building a form or throwing combos.
Find a signature move and spam it, people will get used to it and connect it to your name.
- THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX: Actually, I would say Live outside the box. To be outstanding, we need to do something that can put us ‘out there’. Don’t be scared of breaking clichés or experimenting new stuff. Creativity is progress, progress is forwards and forward is always the right way to go.
- THE STORY OF MY LIFE: What certainly no one else has got to put in the game is your very own story. Your experience, your scars, your successes and your losses, everything that you have collected along the way needs to be put into your performance. Your attitude, on and off the mats, also builds your overall image so watch out!
- DRESS TO IMPRESS: Even though it could sound trivial, the way we present ourselves to people has a big impact on their judgement. It is actually the first thing they would notice as they will probably see before hearing, feeling and knowing you. We can’t all look like models (I wish I did), but we can focus on having a look that best represents our character. Also, certain gi, trousers, leggings etc. can help making movements look cleaner, or make us look fresh and precise or more grunge if that’s what we are aiming for.
Pic. by Jack Wade
As per all the best things, also finding your own style will take time. Ask yourself who you wanna be as a tricker or as an athlete, how you want to be seen and what your focus should be. Then, work until what you have seen in your mind, is what people describe in your Instagram
Till the next one guys!