Goju-Shorei Systems

Martial Arts for the 21st Century

I've written previously on the overall strategic goal of breaking down an opponents structural integrity, and of the specific tactics of blending, entering and avoidance footwork to keep your power and integrity intact while weakening and misaligning him. Let's add some more specific tactics to your arsenal. 

As you come into contact distance, whether moving forward or angling back, your opponent will expose various targets. Every punch, kick, cut, tackle, etc. exposes some part of his anatomy for you to target with strikes or destructive controls and leverages. The purpose of your training is to supply you with the anatomical knowledge and the timing to take advantage of these exposed weaknesses. 

As an easy example, if he feeds you a straight right punch he exposes his ribs, liver, armpit, and bicep to your concurrent counter strike. He also exposes his elbow to a hyperextension, his wrist to a twisting destruction, and a pathway to his chin and head for a head twist takedown. Every movement of his momentarily exposes those types of opportunities for you, whether his movement is circular or linear, high line or low line.

His body is full of "control points" that act as levers to control his structure. If his knee is pushed out of it natural alignment and relationship to the ankle and hip, you've momentarily made it hard for him to chain a strike and simultaneously created openings for your sweeps, strikes or throws; if his groin is struck and results in his hips "flinching" back, you've created the opening for a throw; striking the liver can bring the head down; the elbow can be levered to drive his head toward the ground or to lift him up on his toes; the chin can be pushed straight back or to either side, misaligning the relationship of his ears to his shoulders, hips and knees. All these examples give you openings for further strikes and/or takedowns.


Take the time in your training to study how your opponent will naturally react to your blocks, parries, strikes, arm/leg drags, sweeps, underhooks, overhooks, etc, and what openings his reaction will create for you. As always, start slowly and work up to speed. Then talk about and work on variables like destructive/non-destructive scenarios; multiple attackers; armed attackers; obstacles like a wall on your left or right, etc. 

This kind of study aids in precise targeting and proper application of technique. It helps you move away from standing toe-to-toe and banging away at each others heads.

Master Andy Tourin - Director, Goju-Shorei Jujitsu

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Comment by Katherine A. Wieczerza on March 10, 2015 at 6:49pm

I particularly like : His body is full of "control points" that act as levers to control his structure. 

That is a great phrase!

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