Feb 3, 2020 - Feature of the Week

A Huge Mistake vs. Bruce Lee . . . or Anyone

The following screencap is courtesy of Warner Brothers via the Bruce Lee YouTube website. It’s from the movie, “Boards Don’t Hit Back.” The 3:15 video is here:

The fight, with Lee on the left and the bad guy on the right, begins as pictured. Based on Kiado-Ryu fighting theory, there is a major problem here, a problem in fact that violates the #1 Security of combat. What is it?

Figured it out yet? The bad guy seems like he knows what he’s doing. After all, he is wearing a black belt, right? And any Black Belt should have a strong knowledge of fighting skills and tactics. Yet, the bad guy is making a huge mistake from the very beginning.

Distance. That’s the mistake. The fighters are too close, way too close, not just because the bad guy’s opponent is Bruce Lee but because, from the Kiado-Ryu perspective, “Distance is the #1 Security,” especially at the beginning of the conflict.

Of course the scene is created to highlight Bruce Lee’s fighting acumen and skill, but the close proximity of the fighters is unrealistic. Even Bruce Lee would have trouble if the bad guy had fast hands and moved first. Why? Because the human eye, mind and body cannot see, perceive and process a fast strike or strikes from close range quickly enough to avoid the strike. In such a situation as the one pictured above, all things being equal among combatants, the guy who moves first has the advantage.

Intelligent fighters never get too close too soon if at all possible. They remain at a safe distance, probe and study their opponent’s skills and abilities and shape their opponents before they attack. As Sun Tzu teaches: “The great generals never attack unless they are certain of victory.” One cannot be certain of victory by being too close too soon. Bad things happen when one violates distance - the #1 Security taught at the Karate Institute of America.

What is a reasonable distance for security? The KIA teaches at least a double arm’s distance. This generates enough time, not just to react but also to probe and shape the opponent. Intelligent fighting involves thought, movement, probing, timing and wise, not foolish, attack strategies. Leave chest bumping to the Neanderthals. Great fighters are great thinkers, not blowhards.

However, distance is not necessarily physical distance. It can also be emotional and intellectual, too. One should never lose his balance and centeredness in a fight. Get the ego out of the way. Don’t overreact to an opponent’s trash talk and empty blusterings. Words can’t hurt you. Ignorance can. Keep your distance. Be calm. Be cool. Think. Probe. Shape and attack the opponent at the optimum time with devastating speed and destructive intent. Such a plan is an excellent blueprint for victory.

© 2020 Richard Andrew King and Kiado-Ryu Martial Arts

~finis