Martial arts has a theory called hicks law. I believe in it, I just view it a little different.
If you take the phrase in hicks law and break it down you will see what I mean. If you substitute the word “choices” with
“techniques” you make the wrong assumptions in that you thought that is what I was percieving the way as.
The reality is that there are only so many root ways to respond to an attack.
Understanding techniques on a deeper level allows you more ways to adapt,
not more choices, if you don’t look at them as set in stone choices.
The thing about that is that it assumes that when you have made a choice to do a certain “technique” that your
body is fully committed to those exact motions. They are committed in a certain degree, because your body begins
in motion. It only gives you more choices if you add more, you can also delete
parts of techniques. One example in Kenpo of this is called rounding corners & elongating circles.
This shortens your motions making you faster.
I have many techniques that I know, but I don’t look at them that way
as many “choices” because they all have master key movements in them.
I also stick to my most effective techniques for the situation.
Having 20 choices for a knife attack is way to many, I agree.
The next hole I see in hicks law is that it assumes that you have to
know what you have to make a choice for. Sometimes you never know exactly what 100 mile an hour strike is
coming at you. What if you are attacked from behind really fast? No martial artist is invincible.
the what if’s could go on forever, but the action has to beat them. There is only before, during and after.
The choice isn’t always even there. But if you have a choice, then respond fast and you can win.
The better words I think are “adaptive applications” because when your body
is in motion almost all of the beginning motions of the 20 choices could almost
begin from the same general point.
If you compare all of those 20 choices, they are not exactly the same, but almost all of them have similar
basic root motions in them. Yes they are not the same, but there are many overhand knife attack techniques
that have either a block or parry to the arm in the same motions, they only end different,
or maybe some are changed because they end into a combo.
When you look at the root of most motions you can see that they start from
almost the same place. If you look at many combos they are just variations
of the same rudimentary basic motions.
Target, Weapon and Angles are primarily going to be what change the “technique”. Yes there are many more factors.
That is why techniques are limited. One technique will work for many different
attacks, but not every attack. But we are not only considering techniques.
Principles have more ways to adapt. This where WITH comes in.
Your motion is not A and B and C it is -ABC, one continuous FLOW.
Not several techniques, they all become one.
You don’t think you only react and that is why your body
will adapt to the motions. To be extemporaneous. That is what muscle
memory does, it helps your body to react much faster, because you don’t have to think.
That is why you will probably do what you train the most.
The movements flow to adapt with the situation.
Every block is a strike and every strike is a block.
Example- a punch/block begins as an elbow then flows into an extension
which can graft to several directions. Look at he basic star block set.
If you look at the upward block, it can also be an uppercut punch also.
If you look at the root of the kicks they are knees.
So you really have many choices but you are not fully committed,
you can use the directional change principle.
Only at the point of contact does it become a block or strike, etc.
If you limit your “choices” –substitute word for –knowledge that choices are not fully set in stone
but directional change applications you can see.
You can move your body into many different positions.
Why limit yourself as far as application? Because their “choices” can change in motion to a degree also.
I used to argue with my kenpo friends about hammer, thrust and whip.
They think that is all there is and it is just not true. Yes, they are the primary
generic motions. But, If you know the additional ways that you can move your arms, hands, and body, etc.
The truth is that you can move your body into many different postures and positions.
There are more angles. This gives you more
ways to adapt. When you have more ways to adapt it gives you an edge.
Changing the techniques from what the opponent sees coming does not always over-complicate choices ( the moves ).
This isn’t adding more techniques, just covering all the angles of attack.
But you are right, knowing what your most powerful strikes are is key and
is what you should mostly use in combat. That is so it ends faster.