Who of you has seen Game of Death?
I think Bruce Lee's fight scene with basket ball player Kareem Abdul Jabbar is one of the most memorable fight scenes in all of his movies. (An all-time favourite of mine is the fight with Chuck Norris in Way of the Dragon).
Kareem's obvious advantage in the fight was the length of his limbs. We saw Bruce Lee getting kicked this way and that until he figured out a way to beat his tall adversary.
In training we find that our basics and forms involve techniques that are meant for someone the same height as ours and whose limbs are the same length as ours.
Under these circumstances one can block and counter without having to move at all- except for the instance where kicks are involved, because either the defense and counterattack or only the counterattack shall always require some body movement.
When your partner or opponent becomes taller than you, you realise that avoiding his attacks come at the price of you not being to counterattack. Well- that is only if you do not know how to manage distance well enough.
Today I will tell you a short story. I mean- really short, because it is weekend and I don't want anyone to concentrate too hard on a weekend.
After the story- I want to see your views on what the teacher has told the student. O! By the way- I am not going to take the time to write a clause saying that it's a work of fiction and that I have not intended any similarity with any real persons alive or dead. Just be cool and accept the whole thing is made up- okay?
Michelle is an orange belt student at a Tenshinkan Karate dojo. Free sparring has not been any fun for her ever since she had started as she had often received a lot of punches and kicks while not landing any herself. Every time she attacked her kicks or punches landed short of their target.
Well- to be fair- Michelle was sparring with senior students who did not stand still. This was partly because her teacher felt that it is a good idea for a 25 year old orange belt (8th kyu) student to attend only the junior class.
After one such class Michelle asked her Sensei:
"I never seem to know at what distance I should be. What is the best distance?"
The Sensei replied:
"Too far to be punched. Too close to be kicked. Never attack from too far away."
That is the story.
Now- what was the Sensei trying to tell Michelle?