Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Law of Guard

The Law of Guard

The law of Guard states that: ‘attack is the best defence therefore purpose of the guard is attack, its secondary purpose is defence’

The Law of the Guard is a sub law of Attitude and if you remember attitude is not just our mental attitude but also our physical position. I have said for many years that most of our defence is positional, that is our protection comes more from our position than our defence using our limbs. Unfortunately the existing genre of martial arts films portray defence as large circular blocking moves and upper body swaying madly from side to side. Real self defence is very different, large movement blocking is way too slow to work in real life where the direct attack is the best defence. However when you have time to raise your guard either in threat or to defend you must remember the law of the guard and that the guard position which in our terms is the position of the arms is primarily to aid our effective attack.
Once again the martial arts movies have introduced some bizarre guard positions and it must be remembered that the purpose of martial arts movie combat is to entertain. Unfortunately the movies are the only education that the general public have on martial combat. For this reason it is necessary to introduce what the real guard positions might involve.

We categorise guards into 5 basic types:
1.     Boxing Guard with fists about a hand span from the shoulders and about the same distance between them and held about level with ones mouth or chin. Any
2.     Long Guard with fists held well forward to catch control and counter any opponent attacks
3.     Close Guard as its name suggests the hands are held close to oneself, used for infighting, hooks and uppercuts
4.     High Low Guard where the rear hand is held high for defending and the lead hand is held low for balance. Generally at greater range and often used to draw an opponents attack to the uncovered side of the face to effect counter attacks.
5.     Low guard or no guard used in street defence, the guard is held in a non threatening non aggressive position prior to or ready to attack or defend

Each type of guard and all the variations available should aid the fighter to attack first and defend second, placing the fighter in the best position suitable to the circumstances. In street defence where we don’t want to give away our intention to fight before we actually take the initiative and attack the ‘no guard’ is preferable. We would only raise our guard initially in a threat or challenge situation perhaps to deter or scare our ‘would be’ opponent.

The guard is the adoption of a physical attitude or position toward our intended goal to aid our ‘attack’ on the goal or prevent us being injured whilst achieving it. In life our guard is our way to protect our attitude or position. There is an apt saying which goes ‘stand guard at the doorway to your mind’ meaning protect and guard yourself against any attack on your attitude or mindset. In life there are obstacles and challenges put in our way to test our resolve and motivation toward our chosen goals.

Our ability to overcome life’s challenges is what shapes our character; our achievements are not achieved without paying the price of self doubt, setbacks, problems and challenges and these can come through lack of experience, preparation, luck or even through the negative mindsets of those around us. There are those that are close to us who we must also guard ourselves against; those that either intentionally or not stand in the way of what we are trying to achieve.
Our guard position is also how we physically protect our homes and businesses through insurance, contracts and agreements, copyrights and patents. There is always some area of our life that needs to be guarded that is not necessarily through physical martial arts. It must be remembered that our guard is our awareness our recognition of challenge and opportunity so that we can place in ourselves in the best attitude or position to maximise our attack and defence in both life and martial arts.

Thanks for reading today and I look forward to speaking to you again soon

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Best wishes

Tony Higo
Chief Instructor
National Martial Arts College
0800 0920948

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