Friday, 1 August 2008

Book of Five Rings Examination Part 5

Todays writing comes from the water scroll and is entitled Striking Down an Opponent in a Single Beat.

“Among the rhythms used to strike an opponent, there is what is called a single beat. Finding a position where you can reach the opponent, realizing when the opponent has not yet determined what to do, you strike directly, as fast as possible, without moving your body or fixing your attention.

The stroke with which you strike an opponent before he has thought of whether to pull back, parry, or strike is called the single beat. Once you have learned this rhythm well, you should practise striking the intervening stroke quickly.”

A great tactic by Musashi which can be adapted well for modern day martial artists, this is something that most of us do many times.

It requires not so much power but speed to be accomplished. It is basically when you strike your opponent fast enough without giving him a chance to react to the hit.

The strategy probably works best with the jab. The perfect jab should not be telegraphed, it should be able to be thrown from any position and should be the quickest weapon in your arsenal. You should be able to jab multiple times if needed and should use it to not so much aim to knockout your opponent but to land short sharp irritating blows.

When the opening bell rings, normally one of two types of fights take place. The first is a sloppy exchange of wild blows when each fighter is full of adrenaline and eager to score a knockout. This normally happens with amateurs with less experience of fighting. The second type of fight is one where two fighters meet in the middle of the ring and feel there opponents out with short jabs and combinations trying to find out each others fighting style in order to adapt themselves adequately. This is normally what happens between two experienced fighters and where this strategy can come into play. Musashi writes,“Finding a position where you can reach the opponent, realizing when the opponent has not yet determined what to do”. As your opponent is waiting to figure out an attack, use your jab cautiously with speed to keep him on his toes and to maybe frustrate your opponent. It may give you the opportunity to land a second strike after which could do more damage but if anything it should show you how your opponent reacts to attacks. This should give you the ability to plan a way to take advantage of the fight.


Marks

Introduction
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 6
Part 7

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