“Yeah…but that doesn’t work for striking.”
That’s what I hear nearly everytime someone hears how I approach grappling.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Part of how I approach all Martial Arts is the principle of Kuzushi,
or unbalancing of the opponent, popularized in Judo. I find this principle to be so important, that I think it is the first step and every step thereafter except the last step in a match or fight.
I believe Martial Art is expressed best when we keep our opponent off balance until we can make our final move – whether that be a submission, pin, and of course – a finishing strike.
So when I teach (or practice) striking, it is about keeping the opponent off balance until the opponent can be hurt, or better, finished.
Many of our best strikers make use of feints and footwork to get their opponents off balance. They minimize their defensive blocking and maximize their parrying and slipping.
And when they finally hit their opponent with the final strike, whether it be a punch, elbow, knee, shin, or foot, their opponent is so off balance that they don’t see the strike coming or if they do there is nothing they can do about it. This is Kuzushi Striking.
So the next time you are watching a boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, or MMA bout, pay attention to the replay of the knockout and I’m sure you’ll see the victim being the victim of Kuzushi.