Karate fighters operate in and out of two zones on the karate mat. They share ‘personal space’ when they are within foot or hand striking distance and they use the remaining ‘tactical space’ to set up next attack maneuvers. If the opponent is faster, then the next move is defensive – hopefully followed by a counterattack. These martial artists move from point A to point B to point C rather than staying at point B or moving back to point A. Point C is the least most predictable position after an attack.
Oppositional karate fighters are alert and perceptive, detecting and evading attack with intuitive reactions. They stay ‘grounded’, using sliding footwork. Conscious planning and full steps with weight transfer between feet are too slow. They lift their feet when they want to propel themselves in a particular direction or when they performing an offensive kick. Karate footwork reflects the philosophical mindset, the strategies and ingrained body movements the fighters learned as beginners.
A Fighting Scenario Focusing on Footwork:
The attacker performs a lunge punch, left leg front kick, back kick (left lead closed stance); left reverse punch or step through punch or rear leg front kick (attacker right lead open stance).
The defender quickly slides to the outside or back of the attacker. As the attacker lunges forward with his left foot to punch, the defender adroitly slides forward and to the right. He not only avoided the punch, but he is behind the attacker out of range of other weapons, yet in optimal position for a quick counter. (1)
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM