I don't know if any of my black belt readers got this, but this bit is meant for those of you who have not yet reached black belt level (or if your style does not have belts- those who are still ranked as beginners).
You may by now have found yourself in this situation at least once:
You have learnt how to punch, kick and block. You have even learnt a really cool technique like a roundhouse kick that you like very much. Then- during free sparring practice- you want to whip out this favourite technique and wow the audience- only to get beaten up and not given a chance to use it.
Laypersons will tell you that it's because fancy techniques don't work. If you take my advice, however, you will find that even the fancy techniques work- in their time. So what does this have to do with selfishness?
Let's put it very simple- each attack and defense has its time. Just as blocking when there is no attack coming is silly so a straight attack when an opening for a curved attack is presenting itself is also disadvantageous.
No how will you know when is the right time?
Well... Before you even start using your eyes, ears and sense of touch- you have to let go of your own thoughts, emotions and intentions. That means that when you face your opponent you are not to think about which attack to use, but to use the attack that is appropriate.Thinking about what to do slows down the processing of information and finding the appropriate response. The absence of thought and intent on the other hand makes it easier for you to respond quickly and, of course, to attack on time as much as to defend on time.
When you find that, instead of being concerned of what YOU want to do (really selfish... tsk! tsk!) you actually can adapt to what your opponent does- you'll find yourself on the right track.
Now I already hear an advanced student asking what one should do with an opponent who waits for you to make the first move. :)
Well- this principle applies to such an opponent as well. Instead of spoonfeeding you on that, however, I want one of my readers to tell us. (I already know that those Wing Chun people have the answer...)