Taijutsu resources

Taijutsu Tips

  • Like in fencing, and any long weapon based art, it is important to stay in profile. Your body should form a single line to the enemy, presenting as little surface for attack at possible. This allows you to defend yourself by controlling the center. Striking along a line also provides power, as your force travels along a single vector.
  • Like walking, many taijutsu techniques are controlled falls. Uke is a great example of this, as is tsuki. It maybe psychologically beneficial to begin training with ukemi so you are comfortable with the idea of working with gravity. Much of the force in movements like tsuki is generated by gravity, which is then transferred through a pivot (your back foot) into your opponent’s body. During that movement it is as if your body is falling forward along the line towards your opponent. When practicing solo, your front foot eventually catches you, preventing your from actually hitting the ground. In a real situation, you are stopped when you impact your opponent and transfer your momentum to him.
  • Generally speaking, keep your shoulders down. This connects them to your body. In most strikes and grapples the arms are not generating much force, they are simply firmly connected to the body while the body generates the movement.
  • Also keep your elbows close to your torso. Keeping your elbows out is an invitation to your opponent to put you in ura gyaku or omote gyaku and it also weakens your arms.
  • Pay attention to timing and distancing.
  • Most techniques rest on being able to do the basic kamae and movements correctly. Almost all techniques share the same footwork, and in fact, a master like Kacem Zoughari can demonstrate the interchangeability of the footwork depending on circumstances.