The distance
by Emmanuel Manolakakis
Distance changes the way you work.
In most martial artists, you study self defense from a set distance - about an arms length away. Techniques and drills usually stay within this
agreed upon space. The reality is aggression comes from many distances, both far and near.
Scenario 1
Someone is 30 feet away walking towards me. I feel uncomfortable and start to sense the aggression. Do I need to see the fist? Or
has my training allowed me to develop tactics from 30 feet away?
Scenario 2
I greet someone with a hand shake and feel my fingers squeezed past the point of firm, bordering on pain. Do I now need to push
away and set myself before I can respond? What do I do if my fingers are broken? Or has my training allowed me to develop tactics
for fighting with injuries?
Both these examples are not that uncommon. What is uncommon is the amount of time spent on these two polar extremes. While you’re training
make sure to spend time varying your distance. Here are some things to consider:
Training Tips
Far distance (Not close enough to touch):
  Close distance (Close enough to touch):
  • Observation skills – the walk, run, look, breathing and tension
  • Reading the situation – intuition, fear in yourself & aggressor
  • Scream and shouting skills
  • Throwing skills – chair, bottle, knife…anything
  • The use of movement to defend against any aggression
  • The use of breathing to reduce or increase tension
  • The ability to use entire body as a weapon
Physical Contact:
  The Result from Physical Contact:
  • The ability to take various strikes onto the body
  • Dissipate or isolate tension from the body
  • Understanding the dynamic rolls from various angles and levels
  • Use of movement to lessen impacts
  • Concentration and focus on the end results; not the moment
  • Protection and working with injuries
There are thousands of ways to train for distances, so I will stay away from giving specifics - just remember once the distance changes, so does
your work. Be creative and the benefits are remarkable.
Copyright © 2005 Norcal Systema | Terms of Use