Distance and Reach

I see issues of distance and reach featuring often for beginners in my Traditional Taekwondo class who are inexperienced with combat. You're practising a technique against an attack, and the demo requires you to shift a little to one side and counter attack. This allows you to draw in the attacker and use the attacker's own forward momentum to augment your counter attack. However, beginners responding to the attack most often take a step backward or a huge step to the side in order to get away from the attacker. The attacker is then able to easily repeat the attack with his own forward momentum, and the poor beginner is on the same disadvantage or even on a worse-off footing.

In basic training, we oftentimes train at a specific distance against an opponent. This is not just a way to inculcate muscle memory for the student. The distance is essential for proper counter attack to occur; and of course proper application of power generation. Too far away from the attacker and there will be no power and no penetrative force. This type of basic training, too often poo poo-d by intermediate and senior students helps you condition yourself to the critical success factors that will place you in an advantageous position and to succeed in your counter attack.

This is related to advice I give in self defence classes - you must replicate the exact conditions which are present in your training - especially considering distance and reach. This is why it is tough for women participants to go home and practise on their brother or their bf ... these guys are not going to be pressing the attack as hard as an opponent trying to intimidate you and who is intruding on your personal space. Your brother or boyfriend will not be replicating the same conditions for you to use the distance and reach we will be training you for self defence!

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