Basic Martial Principles

The following are 8 basic principles that should never be compromised. It’s my belief that these principles are always true and should apply to every martial art or style. In fact, they should apply to any physical endeavor.

1) Posture. There is no technique that is worth losing your posture. Strong legs and a stable base. A straight back. Soft shoulders and hands. Head erect with jaw loose. And of course the ability to keep it or regain it quickly under pressure and through movement.

2) Balance. Always maintain perfect balance. Slow movement and repetition of technique will allow any movement to become balanced.

3) Relaxation. If you panic or become excited you’ll lose your capacity for choice as well as your skill. Use breathing techniques and repetition under stress to stay relaxed in any situation.

4) Center. Always stay in center. It’s where all your strength and energy lives. Guard your center line and dominate everyone else’s.

5) Fluidity. Transfer energy from your legs, through your hips, and to your technique. The order is always the same; base, power, and then action. This allows for the fluid transfer of power. In other words, don’t get in your own way.

6) Full body commitment. Never move a single body part, bring it all. All movement should be supported by every fiber of your body and spirit. This also means that you must always stay aware of all 360 degrees around you and not become overly focused on your opponent.

7) Ki extension. Energy moves. Understand the difference between inflow and outflow. Learn to control it and apply it correctly.

8) Acceptance and Joy. One must accept the reality of conflict, your own capacity for violence, and total responsibility for your actions. Death is on every mat so you must always train with Joy. It also helps you keep training over the years required to master your art.