An idea I've been mentally kicking around, but not yet fully formed, is an expansion on the the idea of a "technique tool box". How. why and what do we include in our own personal tool box?
I'm starting to think of technique more in terms of what's on my "tool belt", what's in my "tool box", in my "tool van" and left back in the "tool shed".
If a builder, electrician, pumber, carpet fitter, etc comes to do a job at our house they will invariably have some sort of tool belt (or multiple pockets), a tool box, a work van parked outside and probably some other bits of kit back at their house/lockup/office/shed.
And different tools will make it into those storage locations based on how useful and vital they are to that person's job.
Anything they use on every job, and is handy and portable enough to be carried habitually, will generally make it to the tool belt. It will probably even have a well used specific location on the belt (or behind the ear!) so that person can access that tool easily. These are that person's most tried and trusted tools that they cannot do their job without or tools they need to use often.
Obviously what will make it on to a person's tool belt will depend on the job they are doing and their end goal. But even across different jobs there will be common tools almost everyone finds useful. A tape measure, a pencil, a phillips screw driver perhaps.
In terms of martial techniques what's on my tool belt is a very select small group of techniques I find useful in a wide range of circumstances and techniques I come back to time and again. The old reliables. Although my tool belt changes as the context changes (I have a "sport sparring tool belt" that is different to my "self protection tool belt" for example) there are even techniques that end up on multiple tool belts. A rear hand cross/rear straight ends up on many tool belts from one for pre-emption, self protection, sport sparring to just the enjoyment of training tool belt.
Next in line are tools in my technique "tool box". This is one step down from my tool belt techniques. Tools that are often vital to the job at hand but don't quite make it to the "indispensble" tool belt category. Some of this stuff might even make it onto the tool belt eventually. This stuff needs to be easy to access and readily available so ends up in the box.
I then have techniques in my "tool van". Stuff I might need from time to time, stuff I'm still learning how to use, stuff that is useful in very specific situations, more specialist tools, etc.
And finally I have tools back at the depot or in my tool shed. Tools I bought for one job but haven't used since. Very specialist tools. Old unloved tools I might rediscover and get into the van again. New tools I've yet to use.
In terms of technique this is how I'm starting to organise techniques. What actually on my "tool belt"? What's in my tool box?
I think often people training martial arts think they are expected to cram every technique on the syllabus onto their tool belt. Whereas I think it should be more about using all the tools but then refining what ones make it onto your personal tool belt.