Martial Arts Philosophy
February 24, 2009 2:48am CST
Movements should be smooth and natural, flowing seemlesly together. This conserves energy and increases speed. Attack and defense should be simultaneous to be most effective. This not only makes your movements smoother and more seemless, it also makes it more difficult for the opponent to respond as it virtually eliminates telegraphing or showing signs of your intentions. Deflection is preferrable to blocking whenever possible; in deflection, you are moving naturally with the flow of combat, whereas when blocking you are trying to artifically halt the flow of combat. Deflection also allows you to use more momentum and leverage to guide the opponent's attack further from center while a block relies on raw strength to meet force with force. Balanced stances and good technique lay the foundation for speed in movements and strength in striking. The better your balance and technique, the faster and more powerful your strikes will be because you are aware of your center of gravity and using your entire body in harmony to strike your target without compromising your balance or leaving yourself open for attack. Good balance also provides better leverage, which can enable you to easily manipulate and off-center even a larger or physically stronger opponent. Timing and distance go hand-in-hand. If one is perfect but the other is not, then the effort is wasted and your attack will only strike at the air, not your opponent. You must be able to judge distance well enough to avoid an incoming attack yet remain within range to deliver one of your own almost instantly, and understand timing well enough to do so in the fraction of a second that your opponent leaves themselves vulnerable to your attack. Missing means providing an opportunity for your opponent to take advantage of, if he's a good fighter. A martial artist who is well-rounded and understands these fundamentals well enough can defeat even a more technically skilled fighter. This is because the more technical fighter, even if they understand these fundamentals, is often overconfident in their technique and array of skills, forgetting that the simplest and easiest moves are often the most effective and devestating. Also, technical fighters tend to formulate a fighting method that works well under certain circumstances, but once they are brought out of their comfort zone they tend to abandon their plan, which often coincides with a loss of technical ability. A good martial artist should do everything in their power to avoid a fight whenvever possible, but when it becomes necessary to fight they should do everything in their power to end the confrontation in the fastest, most efficient manner possible. This implies that a good martial artist must cultivate not only self-confidence, but also the situational awareness to avoid the potential dangers of a physical confrontation and the self-control to use only the amount of force necessary to deter or discourage the opponent from continuing to fight.