Basic Fighter Principles – Momentum

Sensei Post in Training notes

The following is the fifth 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.
Momentum – Momentum is the tendency of a body in motion to continue in the direction of motion unless acted on by another force. Body mass in motion develops momentum. The greater the body mass or speed of movement, the greater the momentum. Therefore, a fighter must understand the effects of this principle and apply it to his advantage.

  • The fighter can use his opponent’s momentum to his advantage—that is, he can place the opponent in a vulnerable position by using his momentum against him.
    • The opponent’s balance can be taken away by using his own momentum.
    • The opponent can be forced to extend farther than he expected, causing him to stop and change his direction of motion to continue his attack.
    • An opponent’s momentum can be used to add power to a fighter’s own attack or counterattack by combining body masses in motion.

  • The fighter must be aware that the enemy can also take advantage of the principle of momentum. Therefore, the fighter must avoid placing himself in an awkward or vulnerable position, and he must not allow himself to extend too far.
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