The way I understand it, if you can't make any single technique work in any variable, you have not mastered it.
any single technique with it's opposites and reverses works inside, outside, up and down
as well, a good teacher showed me reversing mace is all you need. You realize the system is built around this one idea, it's opposites and reverses.
category completion is good, but one thousand variables for a single attack can not be processed in the moment of crisis. Better learn one or two really well and all it's ins and outs. Start with delayed sword. You will find it to be nothing more than an opposite to reversing mace on the inside of the arm. which makes it reversing mace... No? try it. circle your arm down instead of up. what have you found? An opposite? Sword of Destruction? Reverse your motion, you'll get the same results.
we work in figure 8's. We work in circles. a figure 8 is just a circle with an opposite rotation in action. I wonder why the universal pattern is a circle? Could have been a square, or a diamond. But it's not. The universal patterns are contained in the circle for a reason. And if you work in circles, you work in the realm of reversing mace and it's opposites and reverses, no matter the rotation. Better put, you work in the realm of the circle, it's opposites and reverses, and applications such as double factors and it's many benefits, etc...
I'd rely more on the patterns of motion, than how many techniques I can pick out for one attack. The goal is to simplify to be effective.
Also, when I read such things as five swords for this, or circles of protection for that, I start to wonder if one really understands the difference between defense and offense, or defense and follow up. I was asked once...where does the self defense end, and the follow up begin? Once the answer is realized, you see there are really only about four defensive movements we use combined with monitored positioning and footwork. If you ask me, we have four self defense techniques with hundreds of variables of follow up. It is a life study if internalizing the system is your goal. But it can also be really simplified, and if you understand patterns of movement, sequential flow, target placement, reaction, etc, the system becomes really easy to use, and you start to really fall into the CATEGORY of formulation and spontaneous usage of the principles and concepts, rather than think you've got it made, cause your five swords looks really good, or you can pick out ten techniques for one attack. IMO, it's those practitioners that are gonna fall when the **** hits the fan cause they thought they were on some street knight level with it cause they move well and know a lot of techniques, but in real situation, couldn't respond, and fell back on primal instinct and basic kickboxing, possibly coming out victorious... possibly. Luckily.
I can make this statement, as I used to be that. Pick yourself up after being knocked out a couple times in the cage...you'll start to see what's really important in the information that's being delivered in the system. Footwork, hard fast driving basics, the ability to see the difference in major and minor movements and how to apply that, how to create a reaction you can capitalize on, rather than circle with a guy trying to defend the unknown. Realize the E/F, and the U/P. Don't get caught up in the mess of the curriculum designed for student retention and business purpose. The system isn't really that big, and you'll see regurgitated ideas, over and over and over and over and over and over.....