Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The closer, the fewer.

At the beginning of class tonight we took a microscope to tegatana, what did we see and that sort of thing. Each student had(has) something different on their turn but tonight my problem was where I was going while doing the kata. I seemed to be moving through a much wider space going through the moves than some of the other people as I was somehow taking longer/further steps. Sensei brought up a point that people have the idea that while doing pushes we have a tendency to step further out because our brain is in "attack mode" but even with a shomen ate all we need to do is take that one average step forward instead of a lunge. Tonight I also realized I have that problem in reverse as well, I'm stepping further out of the way than I should. The same average step applies to that as well, I don't need to back all the way to ma'ai or further just to dodge an attack.

That led to a discussion of attack ranges and ma'ai spacing. At a distance of 15 feet or more an attacker can do almost anything to attack and the defender can basically move anywhere to get away. But as the encounter distance closes into ma'ai the attacker's choices of things to do to you decreases, i.e. no more throwing things or lui kang bicycle kicks and more down to the normal kicking and punching. But at the same time i suppose it lessens the things tori has to defend against to the point to where whatever attack is executed there really IS only a minimal amount of moving or defense that tori would need to do to counter.



Patrick Parker said...

Good commentary on the class, Andy. I can add a couple of hints to help you keep the right sized steps in tegatana. First, notice that with very large steps forward it is difficult to land on the ball of your front foot instead of the heel. Conversely, if you take a very large step backward you cannot keep your rear heel near the floor - it pops up. so, watch how your feet are working and if it is awkward to do a proper falling tsugiashi try shorter steps. A good trick for learning to make standard sided turning steps (move # 3) is to measure the width of your basic stance in tegatana then draw a box on the floor (or cut out a paper square) with sides the width of your stance. Then start with your toes on two adjacent corners and step around the box to the left and to the right so that after each step your toes are on adjacent corners. If this text description doesn't make sense then remind me in class next time to show you how to "walk around the box."

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