Common Strategy

I don't see fight strategy being discussed in books or magazines much. With martial arts, discussions always seem to dwell on the most powerful kick or how good Bruce Lee was. So I decided to highlight long standing fight strategy, and state them in plain English. 

Respond to Attack
You avoid the attack by blocking or moving out of the way and then countering by launching an attack.
(You kick me, I deflect and knock you out with a punch to the face.)

Simultaneous Counter
You see the attack being initiated and you launch your attack to land at the same time. 
(You kick my face, I lean back slightly and kick you in the groin. Ouchy.)

Pre-emptive Attack
You launch an attack on the opponent to block any future attacks or ability to defend.
(I know you're going to kick me. So I gap close, trap your lead hand and punch you in the face.)


-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25 years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.


L said…
Well said. Good examples of tactics.
inu_teata said…
I've seen these fight strategies named as "Go no sen" "Sen no Sen" and "Sen Sen no Sen" in Karate terminology.

What about the fight strategy of Tai Sabaki?

Controlling the opponent - You move/twist your body out of the way of the attack, and place yourself in a position of superiority where you have full control over your opponent. ( Also referred to as "taming the horse")

Tai Sabaki is central in many kata movements. ie: putting your body off the line of attack.
supergroup7 said…
Ah.. children.. don't you just love them!? Colin, I left a comment under my daughter's account Inuteata.. sigh. It's me.. Mireille.. Supergroup7.. that made that comment. I just didn't realize that my daughter had not signed out like she was supposed to.. I don't know who to blame. Her or me for not noticing...
SooShimKwan said…
As you said, "in plain English." Thank you. I like your practical examples!
Colin Wee said…
What about the fight strategy of Tai Sabaki?

Thanks for your response inu_teata ...

It may be strategic in the long run not to be hit by evading strikes and counters.

However, when I talk about a 'strategy' it's more a framework to choose between several related options.

In this case for instance, you can choose to hold back and fire off an attack after your opponent has done something. Or you can time it simulataneous to his move. Or you can launch something just before he attempts something.

It is not to say that taisabaki is any less pertinent, or that it can't be used in supplement to this type of thinking.

Excellent response!


Colin Wee said…
Ah.. children.. don't you just love them!? Colin, I left a comment under my daughter's account Inuteata

Ah ... and you can blame school holidays for me just trying to shoot off a quick reply without reading further on! :-)

Cheers Mireille!

supergroup7 said…
Ha ha ha.. we were both caught by my daughter, then.. and it wasn't April Fools day, either.

I still think that choosing to let an attack go past you as you flow/move around it could be considered a strategy. The fact that the opponent commits weight and force to that strike only to suddenly find air will unbalance them, and you strategically use that momentum against them. No? Or am I not on the same page as you?

Colin Wee said…
And here I thought there was another informed reader that was going to participate and bring some more value to this blow. :-)

It is just the use of the word 'strategy' ... you are right to say that it is strategic to be able to move out of the way. But when I use the term 'strategy', I'm trying to indicate that there is a methodical system of coming up with an option for you to use in a given situation.


Anonymous said…
"So let me ask you, why don’t you just punch the opponent in the face, or finger him in the eye and be done with it? The arms are a whole lot more accurate, and certainly the ability to land the strike is a whole lot higher."

I am a student of WTF Taekwondo, and we use out hands more than legs in our lessons, however from the above quote, in a tournament we do not punch someone in the face as it just gets in to a messy fight and poking someone in the eye is just dirty fighting for those who have no skill

However, all of the hand techniques such as various ways to hit people in the face/throat etc are all practiced on a regular basis

I know ITF taekwondo is a little different but this is the way do it in the WTF
Colin Wee said…
This is not an argument about arms versus legs. It is an approach to dealing with a non-compliant opponent who fights back. You can of course choose to punch the opponent in the face - but *when* to do that is the question. Sometimes you cop a blow then punch back. Sometimes you block and punch at the same time. Sometimes you anticipate, trap to prevent retaliation and then punch. Does being a student of WTF not pit you against thinking opponents?


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