There is no first attack in Karate ...

This is a response to Nat's post Impressions, impressions ... on the TDA Training Blog.

In a deadly environment where ruthlessness was the norm, it would be the wise instructor to promote peace and harmony whilst equipping the student with the tools to defend or de-escalate the situation if it got out of hand. Funakoshi, father of modern karate, called for 'no first attack' in Karate. Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, focused on defensiveness and spiritual oneness, rather than on the lethality of his techniques.

In Nat's post, impressions are enough for you to judge the fighting prowess of the people around you. Yet there is still a lot of dumbness that get people into road rage, bar fights, and other brawls ... especially when the evening wears on. Dare I say these guys should be at the dojo practicing?

One of the core things in our system is that we shouldn't engage the opponent in any way. The posture we sometimes favour is called 'please don't hurt me' ... head hung a little lower, hands up with palms outward, and standing straight ahead. We take some of our drills in this manner, and we dish out some strikes from this starting point. This is in fact where Traditional Martial Arts excels beyond the MMA philosophy ... which is all about the bell and getting into the zone. Traditional martial arts contains a literal plethora of techniques fired from positions which make it difficult for the opponent to recognise what exactly you are doing. Meaning you are doing things very different from the haymaker punch -- which requires you to reach out with one hand, draw the other hand back and shoulder rotate this fist toward the opponent.

Strikes to the body are legit. Strikes to the nuts are legit. Hip rotation gives you a one up on the opponent. Small conservative moves makes it seem like you are using less power and can afford you more subversive advantage.

I'm rambling on, but the key Traditional Taekwondo lesson is that you should not give away what you are doing. Doesn't matter if you're in a fight or if it hasn't even started. You can misguide, deceive, and confuse. The martial art student needs to study the psyche of the opponent. Read the situation, read the opponent, then read his techniques.

Nat from TDA Training Asked if I am Causing Conflict


Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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Ikigai said…
Nice post Colin. Often times i'll spar from completely natural stances that I might adopt when out and about in 'the real world' for the exact same reason as you described - traditional training lends itself to realism.
Thanks for the link Colin. I'm drafting a response at TDA Training, and will let you know when it's up. This was VERY thought-provoking.

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