All is cool I am on the same page now.
Before I respond to the great questions I want to refer to the Kata/combat discussion.
Kata: Is the library of our style in that it gives us all the body mechanics, movement, tools and (most important) the generation of lines of force.
But I agree entirely with Jim that it cannot teach you combat. Kata gives you the tools for combat. The generation of lines of force is only as effective as the applications of the lines of force.
To formulate how to apply the lines of force you need to have principles of self protection. From there you go into the study of weakness in the other parties because this helps you know how to apply the lines of force.
For this you need partner work.
“Rick, what do you do about timing and rythm in your applications? As you know, it's an important aspect of application knowing "when" to actually do something. Dan Kumite doesn't cut it because there is no randomness to it (although it's ok for beginners),”
I don’t do Dan Kumite anymore so I will leave any comments on that for those who do and want to provide feedback.
I work on drills that always follow a progression from some prearrangement to none. These are drills set up to focus on a specific line of force either coming at you or being used by you. It is important to note we do not do these until they are memorized. I believe in learning to read and apply principles rather than any attempt at specific responses for specific attacks. (Please note that training specific responses for specific attacks is also supposed to break through that barrier and allow you to simply apply principles. I just take a very different approach to the same goal.)
1. The drills start with a predetermined action either you are attacked or you are being attacked. The response is individualized with any alterations needed for the people to make them work. If one person is a male over 200 pounds and another a female just over a hundred pounds then often the responses need to be adjusted to fit them.
2. This is repeated and then there is usually follow ups that are generated from your initial response. This is guided for newer students but the more experienced students are supposed to explore different flows.
3. The attacks generally start to speed up.
4. The lines of force are kept similar but then the specific attacks shift.
5. We shift to different lines of force.
6. We move to impromptu attacks.
This is very general.
We work a great deal on responding and timing.
We work on all this from different distances. For instance a person shooting from a distance is different to read than a person in clinch distance shooting.
We work on different a style of drills that begin slowly and are totally impromptu but then the speed picks up.
Reading an attack is something that takes either innate skill or training to do.
You must read an attack to apply timing and rhythm.
I should note that the progressive drills progress in the span of a class. Clearly the level of the student dictates what is required of them but everyone has to move through the drills.
There are a number of threads on some of the drills we do and you will find in all of them this progressive approach.
Sorry Tony this is a really poor response.