Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Basis Of Martial Systems

One of the problems of traditional martial systems is that they generally don't start from scratch. That is, they start by teaching the proper movements of their tradition rather than presenting any kind of view of what natural human combative instincts involve. The first two common scenarios I'm referring to are mugging and "regular guy" types of confrontations. In "regular guy" confrontations, some of the most consistent things that can be observed are:
- No sense of distance or range; rather you see the hands-down chest bumping I'm-not-ascared-of-you distance, or two guys trash-talking from a mile away because they clearly do not really want to fight.
- Wide looping strikes; because our arms are on the outside of an axis, natural punches are curved swings.
- Stems (reaching out) in offense (grabbing) and defense (straight-arming and blocking).
- Separation of offensive and defensive actions.
- Telegraphing; huge obvious preparation of strikes.
So really, what we want to do first is ask "What are common human combative instincts?," followed by the question "What are the least labor-intensive potentially effective offensive and defensive actions we would want to functionalize?"

More about this in the next post...

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