IntroFocus has two meanings in the martial arts: paying attention and precise control
Paying attentionWhen students are sparring in class, the instructor watches them and instructs them to help their hands up, move laterally, use combinations, watch their control, and to focus. What is meant by focus in this situation?
The focus the instructor is talking about is paying attention to the task at hand and not getting distracted, so you can control the situation and not let it control you. To understand focus better, it may be broken down in specific actions as defined by the individual letters of the word F-O-C-U-S:
F is for forget. It means to forget everything negative that has occurred. Forget the bad judge's call, the pain from a hard kick, the cheering from another ring, the heat, fatigue, everything that isn’t beneficial to winning.
O is for organization. Recognize the immediate circumstances in the match and organize your thoughts on that moment. To organize for the moment, you must know the score, the time left in the match, what techniques your opponent is scoring with, what techniques have scored for you, what techniques the judges are calling, and your energy level. Organize your thoughts, plan your attack, and then take action.
C is for concentrate. Concentrate on the action that must be taken to win at that precise moment. Do not think about later, only concentrate on the now.
U is for unwind. During a break in the action, unwind and relax. Your brain and body have been operating at full-power during a clash. They are revved up, adrenaline is flowing, breathing is heavy, and sometimes everything seems to be racing out of control. Take a deep calming breath, assess the situation, and take control of the moment.
S is for step. After you have forgotten, organized, concentrated, and unwound, take the next step or action that will assure your victory.So, when your instructor yells FOCUS!, it means to pull yourself together, forget everything negative, organize your thoughts, concentrate, calm down, and take precise action.
Precise controlPrecise control is when you can terminate an attack at a specific point in space. This point may be just short of the target, on the surface of the target, or at a point inside the target. This gives you precise control of the damage that may be caused by the attack. The attack may stop short of the target as a warning or for scoring in a no-contact tournament; it may just touch the surface of the target as a warning or for scoring in a light-contact tournament; or the attack may penetrate the target to cause pain or injury as in a full-contact tournament or a self-defense situation.