Last night we spent a lot of time on defending against front kick from either leg. We started off using a simple retreating strategy. Either using a drag step to move your whole body back out of distance. In jun fan you’d call that retreating your horse stance then we did retreating the lead leg and riposting or replying either with a hand or leg counter attack. Obviously, just retreating in a straight line doesn’t work all the time. Otherwise your opponent just attacks deeper and deeper until they get you. We addressed this firstly for the attackers by adding a small step at the beginning of the kick or hopping to extend the distance of the kick.
On the other side we added stop hitting for the defender. This counters those who want to attack really deeply. Often they no longer attack where you are, but where they think you’re going to end up. Most people on the street do this if really trying to hit you. That’s why you need to have the courage and understanding to stand your ground and ‘stop hit’. The great japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi said, if surprised, he’d step forwards. So it should definitely be part of your game.
Played together this retreat and stop hit approach gives you a simple but profound ‘attack by drawing’ scenario. On retreat you have to retreat so their kick just misses. Important here is that you judge the distance so its just enough. Too far, and you’ve created work for yourself on the counter attack. Often, as It’s a near miss your opponent has another go. Surely he’ll be more successful a second time! Normally you’d retreat again, then when he goes to attack the third time; stand your ground or move forwards and take him out with a simple hand attack. In this situation you’d normally kick him as he retreats. Thus the circle goes. Empathy and reading of your opponent is really important in all of this. It’s not a fixed formula. Intuition and experience help immensely. This was just some of the stuff we covered. Here we’ve only covered the forwards and back axis. We also covered moving left and right and ‘tai sabaki’ body evasion. I’ll cover this in a further blog. Good training.2010