Taking your opponent’s balance is absolutely essential for effective execution of many techniques in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. This is especially true when your opponent is much bigger and stronger than you. Done properly, your opponent will not recognize that their balance has been taken until it’s too late for them to recover; however, done incorrectly, your opponent will sense the attempt to take their balance, and will make the necessary corrections to re-align their body into a position of strength. And more than likely, it’ll end badly for you.
The secret to taking your opponent’s balance lies in the fact that balance is handled by the cerebellum – a primitive part of the brain. And, much like taking candy from a baby requires finesse, so does taking your opponents balance. This skill takes many years to master, and requires high-quality instruction.
Physics, psychology, and geometry provide the theory behind this subtle but critically important skill – the significance of which can be best illustrated by an analogy: “forcing your opponent off-balance is like using a sledge-hammer to swat a fly – the only person that’ll be thrown off-balance is you”.
To learn more or join our dojo, please visit our main website at http://www.bujinkan-vancouver.ca/
(c) Paul Mann, 2015
This is a question that is not asked often enough in many martial arts because there is an assumed understanding that power *is* strength. After all, it takes strength to throw a 100 kg human, right? Well, yes and no – but it’s not in a way that you may think. Yes, there is a certain amount of strength required to hold your body together, and even more to keep your wrist from folding when you punch, for example. But beyond that, it’s not strength that enables a person to throw another much bigger and stronger person.
In Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, as with other balance-based martial arts like Judo, Jujustu, and Aikido (just to name a few), power is developed by using natural body dynamics. It really doesn’t take much for us to lose our balance. So, when our biological operating system senses that we have lost our balance, it’ll direct all of our mental processing power to that one critical task (to prevent injury) – dropping guards in the process. This allows trained martial artists to keep their opponent constantly off-balance by using whatever controls the next opening offers – be it a pressure point, a strike to a vital area of the body, or a joint lock. And therein lies the secret to generating power without using strength. If you understand that “power” is “doing more with less” and “strength” is “doing more with more”, then you can appreciate the difference between the two concepts.
To learn more, join our dojo at http://www.bujinkan-vancouver.ca/
(c) Paul Mann, 2015