The Long, Short, Close and Far Of Self-Defense

March 2004

Volume 6 Issue 3

Aibudo Kanji

fighters are more cautious and therefore would rather be farther away and utilize long levers.  The long levers are very easy for the well-trained individuals to control and maneuver around.  If you still believe that you are using short levers, but are being turned over and/or "flanked" by your opponents, then your supposed short levers are turning long when you attack or are being attacked.  Generally, more training time in the arts or being coached by a professional instructor will cure the problem.

Close and Far

     Once again, as in the previous dissertation, the same entity's apply.  If you find your self utilizing your kicks as far out as possible, you are extremely vulnerable to the more experienced.  Some individuals feel that they are more effective in their kicking at longer distances.  If you are more effective farther out, then you're working with amateurs in front of you.  It would behoove you to find more experienced individuals than you or find a professional instructor to guide you. The more experienced fighters will close in, to effective hand depth, to execute their kicks.  At this depth the kicks can be controlled and no matter what happens at, during or after the kick, their hands are there to finish what they started.  The confident and experienced fighters will always be "right in your face", whether kicking or "punching".  The long lever kickers will most generally find themselves being run outside the ring or training area.  Long lever kickers are also the one's who are leaning backwards with each kick, with their hands and arms flailing all over the place.

Short and Long in time

     The more experienced you become, the less time you will find yourself doing nothing.  The longer you stand in front of an opponent, the more time they have in developing a plan to destroy you.  If you haven't as yet made contact with your opponent, then you should being doing something physical, mental or both in maintaining the opponent's mind in thought.  As long as your opponent is able to think, you are not a true threat.  If you were, they would be so concerned with what you are up to that they wouldn't have the time to think and build a plan against you.  A second is too long a time of doing nothing.  For those of you who don't think in terms of seconds, but in "steps" of time, then a full "step" is too long without doing something mentally or physically effective.  Also your movements shouldn't be done in even seconds or "steps" as it makes it too easy for the opponent to time you.  Repetitious movements of more than two in a row, will set you up for a counter.  It's ok to execute two like techniques but follow them with something different and aggressive.  The timing rhythm between the second and third should be broken and never within the same timing.  Looking at seconds in time as an example, the first two techniques could be a half-second each followed by the third in three-quarter's of a second.  This "pause" program's your opponent's brain to falsely assume that your action against them has terminated.  This broken rhythm is a true sign of an experienced fighter and/or professional martial arts instructor of whom are very effective in their actions.

Picture of Shihan

     Before we start with this month's Hoodoo, I have two questions for you.  If you are an experienced martial artist, then the answers are easy and if not, then this will be a "shot in the arm" for you. For the experienced and effective martial artist, the answers will be the same and for the inexperienced, you will answer totally different.

Question #1:  In most cases, should you use short or long levers?

Question #2:  In most cases, should you work in close or farther out?

Long and Short Levers Revisited

If you are inexperienced, we will briefly explain what levers are.  If you work with your arms bent, you are working short levers, but if you work with your arms extended, you are working long levers.  Some would say that their arms are always bent.  Well, for many, they may start bent, but what happens when you attempt to close with your opponent?  If you are in the group that would rather strike with your arms extended, then you are a long lever fighter.  If you strike with your arms bent and they basically stay that way, then you are a short lever fighter.  Do you strike with your shoulders forward of your hips, over your hips or behind your hips?  If your shoulders are anything but forward of your hips, you are using long levers.  Long levers over the long-haul are ineffective and place you in vulnerable positions.  Short levers on the other-hand in most cases, place you in easier to defend and finish postures and/or positions.  Generally the more confident individuals utilize short levers and the apprehensive