The basic movements and their "illusive" purpose's

June 2005

Volume 8 Issue 6

Aibudo Kanji
Picture of Shihan

way and may or may not explain the reasons why, at least at the time.  If the individual leading you down the path is a true martial arts instructor and not just a robot, then trust their judgment in training as the best for you at the time.  A movement that you may be performing in the beginning may be modified later in your training as your body and mind become better adapted to the arts.  It's not that the movement first learned was wrong, but that it is a stepping stone towards what is to become.  The body has to adapt in stages and in many cases cannot be changed over night.  There are techniques that may be demonstrated, but not taught for several years, until the mind and body are able to function as one, without conscious thought.  As it's been stated many times before, conscious thought is slow and takes time.  Besides that, while you are "thinking", the subconscious is retarded in it's function.  Don't ever attempt an "advanced" movement in the life and death defense of your life, or it may be the end of it!  Use what works at the time and trust it.  As a final note, if you trust your instructor, then trust the "steps" along the way, as what has to be at the time.  If you don't trust your instructor, then move on to someplace else.  Without trust, either in the instructor(s) and/or the techniques learned, you will never master them to the point that they work without thought.  As it has been said in here numerous times, if you have to think consciously about how to defend yourself, in any situation, after the situation has started, you are always going to be behind.  Your movement will be behind your opponent, both mentally and physically, with nothing left but "desperation strategies" to save you and they are no more than "Oh Crap", and hope for the best.

Changing 1, 2, 3 to 1

     It has been repeated time after time, but here it is again.  In the beginning of learning anything new, there are "steps" involved.  First you do this, then this and then that.  But just as soon as you can muster it, put all of the steps together into one movement, with no steps at all.  The sooner that you are able to eliminate the steps, the faster you will be at "mastering" the technique as it should be.  If you are continually thinking about the steps, you will never master the movement as it should be, even after many years.  Now how do you convert the steps to one "flow"?  Practice, practice, practice.  Not just in the dojo, but in your own personal time.  There is no way that you will become proficient as you need be, without working the movements until you are bored to death with them.  The dojo or training hall is a place to learn the initial steps and your home is where you bore yourself to "flow".  It's just like learning to drive a car.  You may take drivers ed or learn from someone else, but you "learn to drive" on your own time.  The instructor, friend or parent were only there to get you started.  They didn't fine tune the experience that you acquire by the way of your own practice.  Throughout your martial arts training, you continue to work the same techniques over and over, but it should only be a test of the "flow" and not the "steps".  The instructor(s) should then be fine-tuning the "flow" and not assisting with "steps".  It is said that to learn a technique properly and completely should take a couple of thousand times of practice.  In the dojo, you may work something a half dozen times at most per session.  That is a bit short of a thousand or two.  Even with repeat sessions, there just isn't enough time.

     If you're in the martial arts for any time at all, you begin to wonder about why you are continually working the same things over and over again.  Not only that, but most of the movements don't seem to have much of a purpose.  At least, not for what you thought you were going to be doing in a martial arts class.

     Most of the beginning movements, have several important purposes, that are utilized consistently throughout your martial arts career.  They finally become so automatic that you don't realize you're doing them.  After a time, you don't even relate them to your very beginnings of training.  The "Correct Walk" has so many things going on with it, you could spend an hour just on examples.  The easiest thing to do, is just to accept it, in the beginning, and perform it to the best of your ability.  The "Front Stance" is extremely important in maintaining "earth" after closing with an opponent.  The "Cat Stance" and "Back Stance", modified, end up being your most comfortable and defensive posture that you will have on the street.  The "Forefist", has to be developed properly, to prevent damage to your hand or wrist during your strikes.  Proper kick development, is not just for the purpose of kicking, but for maintaining balance, when caught off guard and only have one leg to hold you up, while you're being turned or moved.  The list can go on and on, but the importance of each, can not be over emphasized.  You have to learn when to step short and when to step long.  When to shift, rather than step at all.  When to perceive rather than see.  When to control, rather than strike and strike rather than control.  A seasoned instructor will lead you through the right steps along the