Three words… Time on Distance
The formula for speed but also a very very important principal for the lessons I've been doing about positioning. Last weeks class we looked at blocking techniques and the one thing that my teacher hated about the word blocking is that its misleading.
Blocking techniques should be movements that cover a line of attack as the attack comes at you, then once a point of contact is made you move around the point of contact to do two things; get out of the way so as not to take the brunt of the force, and get yourself into a better position for a counter attack.
The other form of block is what I call a striking block where you attack the limb, in which case you should still move off line in order to take the advantage (same as above) or you attack through the centre-line and use your attack as a way of covering your centre while taking advantage. But come to think of it you really should move off line the same way.
However, if we are to consider the time factor, that is where the rules change. I took up fencing a few years back and they have a unique term called 'fencing-time'. This is the time it takes to do a single movement. Now, at best you can only complete one beat or movement before getting a response. Therefore when counter attacking you must make sure that you make the most of the time you have as your opponent has used up his time to attack.
Man I hope everyone can follow this.
So, to attack first is harder in some respects assuming that the person you are attacking understands distancing, because in 'fencing-time' the movement to get in range can be countered with a simple step back. This is what I call 'first rhythm'. Its not impossible, though it just takes focus and an understanding of where their focus is. Finding the holes in someones guard doesn't have to be a physical hole, it can be just a slip in concentration.
'Second rhythm' is to strike the strike. Although to be honest its more about mirroring the timing, move as they move brings you into range and the timing becomes dance like. There is always an opening when someone attacks striking as their strike will give you that opening if you understand the timing and know their attack. Though if you're not careful or if you have sparred someone for years you will end up just hitting each other at the same time.
'Third rhythm' is to block and counter. Although some evasion techniques can replace blocking, as I said it is all about positioning. The key is in the timing, its not enough to just block or evade, use the time that you have in blocking to move into a better position for a counter attack. In some styles the block and attack are simultaneous.
Well its taken me two weeks to get that out of my head.
Train hard, Jory