Tuesday, July 3, 2012


One of the skills that students should develop is to evaluate the speed of an attack coming at them. Broadly, an attack comes in one of these categories, and of course, they're all relative depending on position, distance, time of day, contents of stomach, etc:

FAST: Meaning, faster than you can use whatever your ideal technique would be. Usually too fast to change position before it arrives- you'd get caught halfway through the movement and it'd be worse than holding your ground. this is where you use what we refer to as "oh shit!" maneuvers.

NORMAL: you can use your ideal technique (assuming you have a realistic ideal). Usually able to take a step backwards, or move off the line.

SLOW: Slow attacks are where the opponent is attacking with a mindset to look for different angles, feinting, generally trying to mess with you. In this case, increasing distance can help as the opponent has to either break off the attack or else accelerate (creating more commitment, easier to deal with). "oh shit!" maneuvers, which generally prioritize which targets they cover, become a liability against these attacks, as you're just displaying a different set of targets for them to choose from.

HESITANT: The attacker is blatantly telegraphing or otherwise unwilling to commit. Great for counter-attacking into, as it's possible to stuff a hesitant attack before it grows any sort of teeth. Or you can just step back and let it fail. Otherwise, using a dedicated defense against this sort of attack is giving the opponent information and confidence for no real gain.

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