Saturday, 15 January 2011

The Law of Set Up

The ‘Law of Set Up’ states that: ‘every effective action requires good preparation’ and in martial arts terms we would say that ‘every effective attack needs a good set up’. Set up is the preparation of a movement or action; the set up is a preliminary action which sets up a better intended action. For instance a cross is stronger than a jab and could finish the fight but the jab is faster than a cross and has more chance of landing. It is therefore the ideal set up for a right cross.

The law of hierarchy gives us a strategy for set ups for instance; a left jab sets up a right cross and right cross sets up (for instance) rear kick or a left hook or another jab; they are blended together creating easy set ups to deliver effective techniques.

There exist a whole range of techniques that blend together well creating these natural set ups and they are obvious to the experienced fighter. The beginner needs to be carefully coached so that they learn the correct set ups early on as it can be more difficult to correct an erroneous movement than to learn the correct movement from the outset.

There are many other natural set ups that are useful such as:

1. A left punch sets up a left lateral kick (either roundhouse, side or hook kick) and another left punch either frontal, lateral, dropping or rising.
2. A left punch also set ups a right punch.
3. Rising techniques set up dropping
4. Dropping sets up rising,
5. Frontal sets up frontal, lateral and rising techniques.

Once you think about and study these movements and their complimentary nature you will see how obviously they work together. These blended set ups are not something I have put together they are created by the natural way the body moves and we utilise the body’s natural mechanics to create these strategies.

In daily life we also use the law of set up and in this instance to set up means to prepare our actions in advance. For instance setting a goal before we make a plan and making a plan before we take action on a goal. The decorator prepares a surface (sets up) before painting it; a lawyer prepares a brief before entering court. Consider this now;

No plan with action is better than having a plan and taking no action this might work well enough at times. But the best goals are achieved through first setting a goal, then preparing a plan (setting up) and then taking action toward the goal.

If you recall the AEGIS laws of success, AEGIS being an acrostic of attitude, expectation, game plan, implementation and study, implementation is the point where we take action but first comes the game plan or strategy and this is where the set up is most apparent, however it also exists in the expectation too in that the mind has already set up its intention though not yet in detail. The detail comes with the strategy. Action alone does not ensure a good set up, it is in visualising the goal and preparing the strategy that creates the best set up. We can also see the place of the set up clearly in the action process of RADAR (see the earlier essays on this RADAR)

We use these strategies to give us the best ‘set up’ for each effective action in fact strategy itself is a set up. In combat we must understand the law of set up especially well. This is because our goal will deliberately resist us. Our opponent is our target for attack, his defeat is our goal or, however he is an unwilling target, he doesn’t want to be kicked or punched so our set up must be more subtle, utilising for instance, the natural law of hierarchy as we have discussed already but also the law of deception.

End of part one
Thank you for reading today and I look forward to speaking again tomorrow in part 2 of the law of set up where we finish our discussion on how to make a better life by understanding the laws of life and combat.

Best wishes

Tony Higo
Chief Instructor
National Martial Arts College
0800 092 0948

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