Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kenpo Karate: Do Nothing Which is of No Use

I like to think of this passage like idle hands... but really what Miyamoto was talking about was all the extra movements a martial artist might do that does not lead to a victory.

I will admit I love watching talented martial artists show their stuff with complicated manuevers and flips and spins when performing a kata or weapon demonstration, and frankly that is ok. Miyamoto was strictly speaking about one on one fighting. The battle shouldn't last too long and the martial artist should be interested only in movements that dispatch his/her opponent quickly. Though it may take skill to coregraph a flip or two into a fight, there are too many things that could go wrong with it.

If you are up against a skill martial artists and you use such acrobatics, it will be easy for your opponent to trip you up. Your focus should be on your opponent, not on foot and hand placement for some acrobatic technique.

Let me be clear, you do want to focus on your foot and hand placement, but only on the points they will be striking on the body of your opponent (so many prepositions...)

Acrobatics are fun and can really add flair to your art. I am not saying that they are bad to practice, but when you are in a real fight, they can become more of a liability. There are, however, ways to make your acrobatics combat ready. Turning back flips into kicks to the chin is an obvious maneuver. However without proper practice and training, your flip kicks will not be effective. And once again, against a martial artist opponent, it will be difficult to pull off.

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