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  • Writer's pictureGregg Morrison


At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic it was suggested by the CDC to try and maintain a distance of six feet apart. This is to help prevent the virus from spreading person to person.

This got me thinking, in combat and self-defense like timing distance is key. Like Sensei Goral say.

"Distance is everything in life. How far away is the alarm clock in the morning? How far are you to work of school?"

Keeping that six foot distance inspired this new exercise. Any legitimate martial arts school is going to teach its students to first and foremost run away from danger. At the very least try to leave, avoid dangerous situations. If it's not obvious, this is to avoid injury because realistically we can't expect to win every fight. But more importantly in a self-defense situation we don't know we're about to get in a fight. Typically an attacker will be bigger and stronger. That's just being a smart predator, going after smaller weaker prey. So prey must be even smarter and more agile. Like a gazelle avoiding a lion.

But what if we can't just run away? We aren't always going to be attacked in an open field or parking lot. Statistically speaking most assaults take place indoors and a smart predator is going to corner you.

So how does this relate to Tug of

Tactics? You're going to have two people connected by a rope 5-6 feet apart. Just outside of each others range. One person is playing the victim where the other is the predator. The victims task is to keep tension on that rope as the predator will create slack as they try to close the distance and corner the victim. The predator will also be equipped with either gloves or mats to occasionally swing at the victim if they manage to close the distance. This encourages the victim not to expose their back and keep their guard up while avoiding or blocking the attacks. Also the victim learns to recognize openings to get around the predator and avoid crossing their legs as they can trip.

We can't expect to be able to just

run away every time, just like we can't expect to win every fight just because we know karate. Even if we're in an open field and could run like that gazelle we might have loved one who need protection. We need to think strategically and true be as we like to say, a scholar warrior.

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