As you can imagine, this fundamental principle gives us huge scope to cover some great ideas and concepts, no matter what grade we have attending. The martial arts that people study; and at what level, is defined by this concept. Is their style aggressive and confrontational, passive and deflective, quick and manipulative, or ones designed around a competitive strategy or a fitness target? (And we haven’t even mentioned the martial arts that use weapons as part of their combat strategy!) Also as the students expertise develops they can deploy multiple strategies.
All their training will be about placing their legs (stance), in positions relative to the body of the aggressor, in such a way as to achieve their desired outcomes. Be that a block and punch, or a kick, maybe a lock, a sweep, a throw etc. or even – to just run away!!
Sometimes our body position can change with the objectives we might need to achieve, based upon things such as; controlling the target with distance, avoidance and deflection or even multiple opponents. Or maybe even to move in close for striking, manipulation or disarming.
But the important idea to keep in the forefront of your mind is that your body position is an active choice; it is not a ‘dodge’ away, or an instinctive lunge, it’s a ‘choice’ based upon your training and not just your instinct. It is something that is often referred to in the Japanese martial arts as: ‘Tai-Sabaki’.
So, you can see there is plenty of exciting and useful material for us to work on this Sunday!
Sensei Richard Trafford.
See you in the dojo 🙂