Tactics of Karate
To apply karate tactics correctly, discipline – mental as well as physical – cannot be overemphasized. Mental discipline breeds the right attitude in the competition, while the physical side of the discipline provides the right timing in the execution of the movements. In this short article the tactics are designed mostly for competition. This is not for street fighting where the correct application of a movement is not as important as its result.
Tactics are applied in several different ways.
Provoking your opponent into making mistakes and capitalizing on these mistakes. To do this you must force him to telegraph his intentions. You can then properly anticipate this attacks and defend yourself. One way to do this is to advance quickly toward the opponent then suddenly move even farther back than you were before. He cannot follow you that quickly and his attack will be too late and from too great a distance.
Attacking your opponent’s weak spots and preparing yourself to act decisively with attacks, counterattacks and defenses. In this tactic you should know your opponent’s weak spots. For example, you know he cannot protect his head properly. You make a decisive attack there; or feint to the lower body to make him react to that and then attack his head.
Being capable protecting your body’s weakest part. If you know that you weakest part is the groin or lower abdomen – then you should proceed as follows: If you are attacking: A. You should attack with the legs instead of the arms. B. Attack with sweeping techniques, even if you are not strong in that technique, as it will make him lose his balance. If you are defending: A. Defend yourself in a lower position. B. Hold down at least one arm to protect your lower part of the body etc.
Being able to anticipate the opponent’s actions and use surprise attacks effectively. Disturb your opponent with feints, body shifts etc. This will prevent him from making correct actions. In this way you can take preventative actions decisively.
Imposing your fighting rhythm on your opponent. In attack: You should attack at every possibility and continue attacking in case the first attack is unsuccessful. In defense: Initiate false actions, feints that permit your opponent to attack you and merge with his actions and thus turning his rhythm against him by the use of yours.
Excerpted from “Masters of Karate” magazine/March 2003 by Professor Emeric Arus – Founder of the International Sendo-Ryu Karate-Do Federation.