Basic Fighter Principles – Distance

Sensei Post in Training notes

The following is the forth in a series of training notes and methods. Please bare in mind these are only notes and should be used as guidelines to increase your understanding of hand-to-hand combat techniques and issues. As we progress from unskilled to seasoned fighter this information becomes intuitive and second nature. This series covers 6 basic principles.
Distance – Distance is the relative distance between the positions of opponents. A fighter positions himself where distance is to his advantage. To maintain the advantage a fughter must position himself so that his vitals are difficult to reach yet those of his opponent are exposed and within striking distance. The hand-to-hand fighter must adjust his distance by changing position and developing attacks or counterattacks. While moving and changing position the fighter must constantly evaluate his vulnerabilities and his targets. Distance must be closed to attack and typically increased when defending (though closing the distance first can aid some defensive moves). It is important to remember that if we have to reach to attack our opponent so does he to attack us. Reaching opens vulnerabilities. We are better served to maintain a good stance and move our bodies in for an attack to lessen the amount we need to reach to accomplish an attack. Similarly we want to withdraw so our opponent will have to reach and expose himself to make his attack. The distance between two opponents also dictates how quickly we will need to respond to our opponents actions.

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