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Re: Principles

Subject: Re: Principles
by jgaunttWA on 2009/10/21 3:35:46

I think you've got some quite valid points about principles as they apply to teaching body mechanics in the dojo.

There are other levels of principles that apply as well.

Peter King's essay simply titled, "Fighting" takes many of the movement principles you've spoken about and applies them to actual combat, something in which he's well experienced. Just a short excerpt:

"Fighting is dangerous, don’t fight unless you have to. If you do have to, then win. If you can’t win then survive. However, don’t think of winning or losing. This is like the godan test. You should not hold on to expectations of the outcome. Luck should never be underestimated. If you win you should acknowledge to yourself that you were fortunate. If your opponent has luck on his side, then you must be able to turn your mistakes into advantages.

Be bold, but not reckless. When possible take the initiative and hit the opponent before he has completed his attack. Alternatively, draw the opponent and attack him when he is most vulnerable. Create your strategy according to your comparative strengths and weaknesses, rather than being limited by them. Although martial arts training provides the basic model of physical and non-physical attributes relating to fighting, you must make them your own. They are conceptual models, not dogma. Do not expect a fight today to be copy of a fight 500 years ago.

However understand the principles and mechanics of human movement potential will remain constant and this is where the value of a martial arts education lies. Understand other martial arts – their dynamics, how they use distance, their strategies and their rhythm. Always be open to an unexpected tactic and don’t be surprised. Be adaptable and let your response be dictated by your opponent’s action. Anything that is fixed is either dead or liable to be broken. Movement and fluidity are the natural order of life. In nature, those that cannot adapt become extinct."
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