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I have spent a large part of my life (50 years) understanding the inner workings of success in knockdown fighting and how to replicate it. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but certain principles remain constant. In this article, I will share with you the formula that is the basis of my unique approach to Knockdown Karate (full-contact) to amplify potential and minimize interference and distractions.

In our quest to be excellent in our practice and our fights, we often overlook the importance of our state of mind. To achieve excellence, we must first understand what it takes to add potential and less interference. This is the formula that is the backbone of my approach.

By amplifying our potential and minimizing the distractions that stand in our way, we can achieve anything we want. By adding potential, we are able to identify and focus on our strengths. This brings us closer to our goals.

Excellence in combat or training is equal to your potential which we can separate into 4 P's:

  1. Physical,

  2. Practical,

  3. Physiological

  4. Psycho-logical

When these four elements are synchronized, excellence follows and can create a clear path to success.

This is the formula that is the backbone of my approach to achieving excellence in our practice and in sparring. Let's study this formula for excellence.

E = P (x 4P) — I

E= Excellence (the state of optimal performance).

P = Potential. In brackets: multiplied by each of the P's: our physical condition, our technical level, our physiology, and our psychological state.

Minus (- ). i Capital letter, I, which means Interferences.

Excellence in combat or training is equal to your potential (physical, practical, physiological and psycho-logical) minus the interferences.

Imagine that you want to run a marathon. You can only run as fast as your body allows you to (Potential). Interference is like carrying a backpack full of bricks and having small rocks in your shoes. The more bricks and pebbles you have, the slower you run. Or, it's like trying to solve a complex mathematical equation. You have to take into account all the variables (physical, practical, physiological, and psychological) and find a way to eliminate or minimize the interference (or distractions).

Now, you can "amplify" your potential by increasing the quality of your physical condition, by raising your technical, tactical, and strategic level, strengthening your physiology (nutrition, hydration, breathing, recovery, etc.), by being effortlessly motivated, by using the right mindset and by following your strategic plan.

Some have tremendous potential in technique and practice. They are in good shape. They eat well and are well-hydrated. They are fast, powerful, and efficient in the dojo. But in a tournament, they are inefficient. They don't perform well, they forget their plans and even much of their technical ability. Why do they do this? Because of interference.


Life often gets in the way of our potential with work, family and others pulling us in different directions. That's where interference comes in. Interference can also be fears, beliefs, past memories, performance anxiety, a strong internal critic, lack of focus, uncontrolled emotions, lack of confidence, emotional blockage, etc.

Interference is anything that prevents us from accessing or expressing our potential. The quest for excellence is something we all strive for, but sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle. There will always be interference and distractions that try to get in the way, but if you remember our formula for excellence, you can find the right resources to overcome it all.


Let's take as an example the classic and universal case of the practitioner who fights very well in the dojo, but who is "blocked" in a competition context. His Potential is 70 out of 100, but the Interference takes away 50 out of 100.

Excellence = (P) = 70 - (I) 50 = 20.

In a tournament setting, he is only functioning at 20% of his ability. He really can't be in the zone.

If we increase his potential to 90, he will be able to use 40% of his potential. If we decrease the interference to 20%, in addition, it will operate at 70% of its potential. In other words, adding up your potential and subtracting any interference will give you your excellence score.

As a coach, the first intervention I make with a case of this type is to find the interferences that prevent him from using his Potential as he does in the dojo. Then, I will use the necessary tools to eliminate these interferences. If we only try to increase the potential and do not take into account the interferences, we will reach a glass ceiling that will be impossible to cross.

This formula takes into account all the factors that can interfere with success in combat or training and provides a way to measure and optimize performance. By taking into account all potential sources of interference, this formula allows for a more precise and individualized approach to combat or training excellence. In other words, if you can identify and eliminate the factors that interfere with your ability to perform at your best, you will be able to achieve great things.


  1. Helps you understand your potential and what is holding you back.

  2. Gives you a roadmap to excellence.

  3. Helps you train smarter, not just harder.

  4. Improves your performance in combat or training.

  5. Helps you identify areas where you need to improve in order to excel in combat or training.

  6. Gives you a clear and concise way to approach improving your skills in any area.

  7. It is also a tool to evaluate and measure the potential and interference present in you or another practitioner.

In conclusion, my mathematical formula is an accurate description of my unique 4PX MAP approach that I use for a Karate Knockdown fighter.

Remember that excellence in sparring or training is equal to your potential (physical, practical, physiological and psychological) minus interference. By following this formula, you can be sure to achieve excellence in your field. The 4PX MAP provides a solid framework for anyone seeking to improve their performance in any area. By understanding and managing the four key areas of physical, practical, physiological and psychological potential, it will be possible for you to achieve excellence not only in your practice or in sparring, but in all areas of your life where you use this formula.

Gaëtan Sauvé

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