Like the Matador

The angry bull charges the lone matador, yet he can not gore him with his horns. With a subtle turn of his hips, the matador avoids the bull by inches. He does this time and time again until the bull collapses from exhaustion or is stabbed to death by the matador’s swords. This gruesome story illustrates a valuable fact of combat – the line of attack.

Nothing is more important than getting off the line of attack. Avoiding the attack is half the element of an effective block or defense strategy. Conserve your defenses for the long fight, not for a few heavy assaults.

By moving off the line, it throws off the opponent’s attack when their target and its defenses move. The opponent must now realign to the new battleground. On the other hand, you have moved into a tactically better position for a counter assault. Attack the opponent as they pass by. This is getting off the line into a position of more advantage.

The first move of every technique is the most important. Unless you can effectively perform the first move, none of the other moves matter. The first move always addresses the assault and often involves getting of the line of attack. It’s like defending the area not under attack. Focus on this element of training and you will discover a principle of the fist that is immutable.