Reaction time is essential

PTA NewsThe time to respond in offence and defence is crucial and must be trained by instructors on a regular basis.

Especially in higher level of combat, response to attack will determine a winner in most cases.

Fighters rarely expose a target area and diversions are often necessary to open such an area.

A number of popular tactics can be used, for example an initial fake attack followed by a scoring technique.

Another popular diversion is to attack with a pure tactical technique.

This technique can be launched at a non-scoring area like the inside of the leading leg just above the knee, or slapping the leading hand of the opponent.

Experienced fighters will soon determine the referee’s interpretation of this rule, which sometimes has a fine line between an effective illegal attack and a permissible tactical technique.

In the earlier days of competition, more static fights allowed single attacking techniques by welltrained fighters with superior reaction ability.

The distance between fighters was also less, allowing effective single technique scoring.

Distance between fighters has increased and requires greater speed as well as greater reaction time between fighters.

A number of matters must be included in training reaction time of fighters.

Fighters must be relaxed in their fighting position with only the muscle controlling the front elbow tensed to protect the ribs.

It is important for students not to fight with their heels stuck to the ground.

This old-fashioned style of fighting slows the attack down and reduces chances of effective technique.

A fighter must have only the balls of both his feet on the floor to not only increase reaction speed, but also improve distance.

This does require specific training of competitors.

Reaction time in defence is obviously of utmost importance.

The biggest challenge of a defender is to decide on the method of defence.

Options for the defender is first to create more distance from the attacker by moving back.

This option cancels the opportunity of a counterattack.

A popular option is to attack by moving forward on the moment of attack with a counterstrike.

This is often dangerous and requires perfect response time and a very confident fighter.

Response time can be trained by letting fighters face away from a second row of partners.

On a count they would turn around and land on the target as soon as possible.

Distance can then be increased as a variation.

Karate schools in our city have started to prepare their students for national and in some cases international participation.

The JSKA South Africa team is doing exceptionally well, thanks to hard and diligent training.

If you have any views on karate or want to discuss something with Soon, he will be pleased to hear from you. His e-mail address is: