Evasions

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Most people walk like a more subtle version of Frankenstein’s monster; they raise themselves, fall forward, and catch themselves in a controlled fashion, like toddlers. This is why toddlers fall -- they gradually increase their speed until their legs can’t keep up, and they fall down because they haven’t figured out how far they can fall and still be able to catch themselves.

To become an effective fighter, you must change the way you move. Martial artists don’t step in the conventional sense; their motion is more like dragging their legs, as though they were in a ball crawl, or a giant pile of leaves. Stepping covers lots of ground, but it requires you to change your leading side, and clever opponents can exploit this. Our special stepping techniques are representatives of a larger class of techniques called tai sabaki (literally: “body management”). Tai sabaki are more than a simple evasion. Rather than just avoiding an attack, tai sabaki are designed to dodge an incoming blow while simultaneously moving into a tactically superior position; evading attacks and setting up counterattacks in one move. In The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), Mr. Miyagi made a quip about how the best defense is to not be there. Like all jokes, this is based upon a kernel of profound truth. The authors cannot find any instance in our system that doesn’t involve some form of tai sabaki, because tai sabaki can be performed in tandem with any technique, adding an additional layer of defense.

Within Goshin-Justu, we make use of the following evasions: