The 5 Essential Elements of Martial Arts

There are no techniques that will satisfy every situation, no one magic technique is guaranteed to work. That is why the foundation and fundamentals of the system  have to be well thought out so that regardless of any situation that presents it self, you can apply the basics effectively. Learn them well and you will enhance the quality of your martial arts and life.

1. Awareness (Zanshin)
Being present, focused and able to see situations happening around you. Being aware of your outer space, the space of other people and most importantly your inner space, all working effectively at all times.

2.Break balance. (kuzushi)
In order to gain the advantage the moment you touch balance must be broken, whilst maintaining your own balance. Balance is broken 3 ways:
a. verbally: yelling, screaming, talking.
b. passively : pushing or pulling
c. Aggresively : Actually striking your opponent.

Note. Learning to breaking balance should be the main system learned from white belt to black belt. Before any holds, locks, or submissions can be determined, balance must be broken. Most peoples balance will be well and truly broken after being screamed at and punched in the nose.

3. Distance (Miai)
Maintaining and controling the distance between you and others. If you cannot learn how to control this space, you have no hope of defending yourself effectively. You may over react, hurting some one unnecessarily or under react putting yourself and others in trouble.

4. Breath (prana)
Breathing is vital for life. Taking a breath when under stress and times critical for clear thinking, provides a small gap to become present, control stress, fear and panic where apon responding to the situation as it occurs.

5. Eyes (Metsuke)
Eyes are essential for sight and clear vision. Seeing things for what they are enables you to effectively respond with clarity. Eyes can be strong, confident focused, or they can be downcast and afraid. By having your eyes up, your shoulders are back, you walk with purpose.

Apply these to your martial arts, apply them to your life..

Andy
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andyThe 5 Essential Elements of Martial Arts

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