Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

by Richard Conceicao

As with any discussion of the principles in martial arts, each one could take many years to a lifetime of exploration, in order to gain mastery. The understanding of angles and angular relationships in combat is another example of this.

In our previous discussion about structure we noted that certain angles have the capacity to provide enormous strength within the body, however, there are many more aspects to consider.

Correct angle required for proper type of vital point. In general the human body is designed for frontal protection that is most damage occurs from an angle other than directly forward. (more…)

Structure – Part 4

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

by Richard Conceicao

Basic Blocking

In order to understand the proper application of what we call “blocks” a distinction has to be made for each one having a separate defensive and offensive application. While discussion of the different applications will be resumed later, for now only the distinction has to be made. A defensive application is one that’s primary goal is to redirect, or intercept, an incoming strike. An offensive application is one whose goal is not only to redirect an attempted strike, but also to place the opponent in a disadvantageous position, as well as attacking him at the same time. (more…)

Structure – Part 3 How to test stance structure

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

by Richard Conceicao

Cat stance

A stance while not commonly used as much in modern-day karate still maintains its importance in self-defense situations. As with all stances described it must be understood that these are transitional states, they are not meant to be permanent postures that one takes as seen in our forms.

To begin with, stand with the feet parallel. For a left foot forward Stand, rotate the right foot out 45°. Move the left foot out so that the heel is in line with the right foots toes. (more…)

Structure – Part 2

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

by Richard Conceicao Now that we have discussed structural basics common to all stances, but begin to examine each one in slightly more depth.


The proper way to structure your front stance is as follows:

  1. The feet should be shoulder width apart.  This should be measured, although it is not necessary to be exact, when asked to place their feet shoulder widths apart, most people tend to keep them too narrow.
  2. The lateral (outside edge) of the foot should be facing directly forward. Visually this will give the appearance of a slight towing in all of the foot.
  3. The step length should be your normal stride +6 to 8 inches depending on your height.  The classical way of measuring this is to kneel forward on one knee and place your closed fist in front of that knee. You then place your other foot in line with the edge of the fist, and stand. (more…)

Structure – Part 1

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

by Richard Conceicao

Elements of Structure

(or: The fat Chinese guys in the paintings had it right!)


Structure is an essential part of any martial art.  It makes a difference in every technique, every stance, every move.  It forms the basis of everything we do.  It determines whether or not we do it correctly or more importantly, whether we completed it properly with the desired effect. (more…)