FHS and Aggressive Defense

Don’t you love a Karate class when the light goes on?

Last night a bunch of us were training and Sensei Lee was relating karate to street violence as he often does. He was talking about the fact that real confrontations are Fast, Hard and Strong, and then he talked about something called aggressive defense: using your own body not simply to block attacks, but to make the attacker wish he hadn’t delivered them.

After all, if the aggressor punches the point of your elbow, or lands a kick on the strongest part of your knee, He is the one who gets the worst of it. In essence, you can strategically handle your attacker by doing very little. He inflicts damage on himself by hitting parts of you that he isn’t going to hurt – all you have to do is position your limbs correctly – and aggressively.

In thinking about this strategy of aggressive defense I started looking at Kata, and as I did I could see that right there in front of us (the light went on!) are a ton of techniques that not only look good in the Dojo, but are effective anywhere, against any opponent. Interestingly, I found that many of these fighting strategies are found in the transition moves in the Kata:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10After all, thinking real confrontations are won with an out-of-the-box classical technique is a bit unrealistic. The fighting system that is our Kata, though, has everything we need if we look closely enough…but we have to be open-minded and look very very closely.

God, Shotokan is good!