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Showing posts from October, 2010

Stopping techniques at a pre-determined point

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I have previously discussed how traditional strikes are stopped by the practitioner at a pre-determined point; they do not rely on the target to stop the strike. [For the purposes of this article I shall simply refer to “strike”, but you can take this to refer to any kind of strike, punch or kick.]

I have discussed how this needn’t mean that the traditional strike is “weak” – it may not carry as much force as a “follow through” but it makes up for this at least in part through concepts like “kime” (focus) and hydrostatic shock.

But what is the imperative that causes virtually every traditional Far Eastern traditional martial art to stop strikes at a pre-determined point? Why not simply follow through with each technique until it is stopped by the target?

The answer lies in priority. Unlike, say, combat sports or military disciplines, civilian defence does not prioritize hitting. It prioritizes not being hit. Accordingly, civilian defence strikes are inherently conservative insofar a…

Simultaneous techniques: Part 3 - a case study

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Introduction

Following my previous article about late, simultaneous and pre-emptive initiative, I thought I'd examine a real-life civilian defence encounter caught on video between a person obviously trained in boxing facing multiple attackers.

Given the argument that "late initiative isn't as effective/important as simultaneous or pre-emptive initiative", I thought I'd count the number of times the late, simultaneous and pre-emptive initiative were used and also note the circumstances in which the strategies were employed.

If my theory is right, the initial part of an attack is going to occur in what I have called the melee range. It will initially feature late initiative because the defender will, to some extent, be surprised by, and responding to, the aggression (he won't be initiating the aggression). This will be despite the fact that the defender knows from an early stage that a fight is likely; not being the aggressor means he will not launch the first …

Simultaneous techniques: Part 2 - seizing initiative

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Continued from Part 1

Introduction

In my article "Why blocks DO work" I set out my arguments as to why traditional "blocks (better termed "parries", "interceptions" or "deflections") are indeed very effective.

In that article I also discussed how the failure to understand and apply blocks correctly has led people to dismiss them as ineffective. This in turn has led some traditional martial artists to reinterpret blocks as strikes, locks or holds in order to justify their continued presence in the traditional curriculum.

One of the more sophisticated revisions in modern karate is the reinterpretation of block/counter combinations. According to this theory, there are no such combinations in karate: rather, every block is itself a direct attack. The theory holds that there if you block, then punch, you cede the initiative to your opponent and give him or her the advantage. It is better to respond to every attack with your own attack - what is…