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Mastering Distance as a Weapon: A Comprehensive Guide to Effective Attacks

In the realm of combat, the strategic use of distance can be a potent weapon, offering the advantage of swift and effective attacks. Understanding the principles that govern distance-based attacks is paramount for any martial artist seeking to enhance their skills. Let's delve into the key principles that contribute to mastering distance as a form of attack.

  1. The Lunge: A Gateway to Swift Contact: The foundation of a rapid distance attack lies in the artful use of the lunge. Whether executing a kicking maneuver, such as the leaning shin/knee side kick, or opting for a striking technique like the finger jab to the eye, the lunge becomes the vehicle for reaching the opponent at the closest possible distance. Delving into both the progressive targets and weapons charts proves instrumental for a comprehensive understanding.

  2. Economy in Motion: The Power of Non-Telegraphic Movement: The second principle emphasizes the significance of economical, non-telegraphic initial movements. Through latent motor training, a practitioner cultivates intuition, enabling them to initiate actions with efficiency and minimal telegraphing. This principle becomes a cornerstone for achieving swift and unexpected attacks.

  3. On-Guard Precision: Facilitating Freedom and Phasic Bent-Knee Position: The on-guard position is not merely a static stance but a dynamic facilitator of movement. Ensuring a correct on-guard position promotes freedom in movement and ease in adopting small phasic bent-knee positions. This adaptability proves invaluable in responding to the evolving dynamics of combat.

  4. Constant Footwork Shifting: Mastering Broken Rhythm: Dynamic footwork plays a pivotal role in securing the correct measure. The fourth principle advocates for constant shifting of footwork—a strategic application of broken rhythm. This not only confuses the opponent's perception of distance but also allows the practitioner to maintain control over their own spatial dynamics.

  5. Exploiting Weakness: Seizing Physical and Psychological Moments: Recognizing and capitalizing on the opponent's moments of weakness is the fifth principle. This involves astutely identifying vulnerabilities, both physical and psychological, to launch effective attacks. Timing becomes a critical element in exploiting these opportunities.

  6. Measure Mastery: Achieving Explosive Penetration: The sixth principle centers on correct measure for explosive penetration. A precise understanding of the distance required for impactful penetration enables the martial artist to execute attacks with maximum force and effectiveness.

  7. Swift Recovery and Follow-Up: Ensuring Continuity: The final principle underscores the importance of quick recovery and appropriate follow-up actions. A seamless transition from an attack to a defensive stance or a subsequent offensive move is crucial for maintaining control and adaptability in combat scenarios.


Mastering distance as a weapon involves a holistic approach encompassing lunge proficiency, economy in motion, on-guard precision, dynamic footwork, exploitation of weaknesses, measure mastery, and swift recovery. By embracing these principles, martial artists can elevate their combat skills, wielding distance as a strategic asset in their arsenal.

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