"To Step or Not to Step"
There have been many discussions on this subject and just as many disagreements. So, let’s break it down with the understanding that you must decide for yourself.
There are many ways to enter or exit a combat zone. There is "straight on", angular, slipping the punch, parrying, "dropping and stepping back" to name a few, but it must be done safely.
If you block prior to stepping, 100% of his target will remain in the same place as it was when he decided to attack you. If he fakes first and then strikes or kicks as a follow up it may cause you to miss your block, now what? If he missed, now you have to move but it may be too late and you're hit again...or he's moved away and is gone!
Let’s break it down a little further: Suppose he throws a flurry of punches…. can you block four powerful punches that are thrown?
The psychology of fighting is not to respond to his moves but to make him have to respond to yours. In the police training video “Surviving Edged Weapons”, they proved that a person with a knife could travel a distance of 21 feet and stab or cut a policeman before he could get off a shot, even if his gun was drawn. He may fire but it is so fast that he will possibly miss. Unless he hits the brain or spine the bad guy would still cut him.
They needed to develop a method for an officer facing an attacker with a knife. They came up with a brilliant conclusion. In the first scenario the policeman followed the lead of the attacker which allowed him to control the course of action. Their idea was to teach the officer to move away from the subject in a zig zag pattern as he fires into the attacker, being careful not to fall. This causes the attacker to follow rather than lead in the confrontation. That causes him to think about how to counter this tactic and tends to confuse the subject. If done properly this bad guy will end up with many bullet holes and the officer will go home to his family that day.
Keeping this knowledge in mind, it will be useful in your fights too. Don’t let the opponent control what you do, use your “element of surprise” to control what he tries to do. If we are going to dance, I choose to lead. Remember to move and that your motion relative to your opponent is confusing to him.
There are many ways of using your “element”. Many think it is all about a "sucker punch" but that is only a tiny part of it.
Grandmaster Woo would always tell us he would win because he had the fight experience. There are many theories out there but until you get the experience for yourself those theories should not be depended on. I recently read something that was really meaningful to me. It went something like this, “You get real experience moments after you could have used it”.
Here's another issue: What if your opponent is a boxer and he throws many jabs, or a quick jab followed by a right cross. A real jab is thrown so fast that it is almost impossible to block with windmills (you may re-direct it with a parry). Then, of course, since you haven't moved you must try to block the right cross but the opponent is so good he throws a left hook! I think you may now see what my view is, I would tell you to move.
I will close with a saying that I heard Grandmaster Woo say many times, "If you don't want to get hit, don't be there".
February 21, 2013