So what are the principles that underpin our training, well my list differs from Rory’s slightly but the thing with principles is they are pretty universal. So last month I shared what I see as building blocks, those things that are fundamental to fighting well and training properly. Here are the principles as I see them.

Structure – We should be using bone instead of muscle wherever possible. If we get our skeleton working in its best position than the muscles can work to their optimum power. Good structure gives us the advantage and we want to destroy an opponents ability to use structure against us.

Balance and Gravity – Having a strong base whilst fighting, is the essence of maintaining good structure. Staying balanced is key to maintaining control. If you lose your balance gravity will work against you. Obviously we want to exploit these 2 principles against an opponent. We can make our weight work for us if we can get our structure right so we are not just relying on strength.

Leverage – especially when using the arms, legs and head of an opponent to manipulate them, destroy their structure, remove their ability to balance and allow gravity to do the work for us. Leverage is also important when applying locks so that we can control our opponent.

Range and Time – staying in control of these is of utmost importance if we are to remain in control of the fight. Many variables will dictate what is the optimum range in a given confrontation especially the known or unknown ability of an opponent, whether or not weapons are present and of what type, bladed or blunt. Timing your moves correctly needs discipline and skill that can be developed over time. Using range and time effectively can help to create uncertainty in an opponent and disrupt their ability to fight effectively.

Environment and Gifts – We do not fight in a desert, except when on the mats…. In real life there will be walls, furniture, objects, all can be utilised in different ways if we allow ourselves to see the possibilities. An opponent may attack in a way that gifts us a limb, use it, break it.

Targeting – Hit them where it hurts the most, using space and time to create different angles presents us with different targets, practice target identification and selection regularly.

Action and Reaction – Take the initiative wherever possible, take and keep the initiative, we are not taking turns, continuous forward momentum and effective supressing firepower.

Movement – Do not become static, learn to operate whilst moving and maintaining a solid base. Create different lines of attack and learn how these help generate power differently, particularly with strikes.

That is my list, what is yours?