February 27, 2007

Ballistic Evasion

Did a workout with my sifu Dave last night for the first time in weeks. [you can insert snide comment on slacking here]. Did a kicking set that got a little intense, at least for my out-of-shape self.

So being hampered by a lack of true fighting fitness, I couldn't evade as many kicks as I hoped to. A lot of our doctrine centers around not blocking an attack but using timing and movement to avoid the blow, or using a counterforce to move it past your vital points. Some call this "sticky hands", but we also incorporate it during kicking sets as "sticky feet".

But I couldn't make it happen. Instead, I found myself catching a lot of blows.

This is not good when your opponent outweighs you by 100 pounds.

Gradually I started "going with the flow". I couldn't avoid the impact, but I could ride along with it in the same direction of the force, so that it wouldn't hurt so much. This "ballistic evasion" worked for minimizing damage, but not so great overall.

Problem then became getting back into the tempo of the set. I've mentioned the OODA Loop, or Observe, Orient, Decide, Act cycle as stages in each exchange of blows in previous articles. But if you're spending time riding out the force of a blow, you're not setting up your next attack, and as such you end up being half a beat or a full beat behind your opponent.

In the end, I took a knee in the nerve center on the side of the thigh (similar to the classic Thai boxing move) that put me down for a couple of minutes. I don't really want to think about what a full-power version of that strike would feel like.

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