What do you do when you can’t reach?

Technically correct targets are not immutable. Our curriculum is made up of techniques with prescribed movements and targets. Many students ask me the dreaded “what if” question. However, this time it is a relevant and necessary question.

“What if the opponent is much taller or smaller than you? Or you can’t reach the target I was taught?”

If the technique’s target is out of range for your attack, in other words, you can’t reach it, then pick another target. For instance, in Kempo H the first strike is to the temple area. An alternate target is the jaw joint, which are a few inches lower. You can continue moving down to find a new target is the attacker is big such as striking the neck or upper ribs.

The key to this concept is we don’t adjust to reach a target, rather we adjust the strike to hit something vital. It is important to remain balanced and in your position. Don’t sacrifice balance, angle and distance to get a “trophy” shot off. Add a few more strikes to cause the opponent’s body to adjust itself to accommodate the target of your attacks. (Kick the knees out so the head lowers.)

Every body shape is different just like every situation is different. Kempo flows with the course of action so let that flow redirect you to better targets. The techniques are not “laws” they are “principles” of combat.

Tell me about alternate targets that work better for your techniques.

Leave a Reply