Saturday, 3 August 2013

The 5 Strategies of Invulnerability

Part 3 of Tony Higo’s FLITE or Fight Strategies
Last month we continued our examination of the FLITE stratagems looking specifically at the 5 Leverage Strategies of: Tire them out, Recruit them, Isolate them, Align with them and of course to Depress or in other words, overwhelm. I hope at this point that our analysis of strategy in both combat and life has given at least some pause for thought on how strategy can be used not only in combat but also as part of one’s game plan to improve one’s life.
Invulnerability strategies deal with vulnerability and provide us with the ‘I’ in the acronym FLITE which is the mnemonic we use to remember the strategies. One thing to consider with any goal is that every goal has some part of it which is most vulnerable, like the Greek warrior Achilles whose mother sought to make him invulnerable by immersing him in the river Styx, however the heel by which she held him was not immersed and was therefore the only part of him that was not rendered invulnerable. Consequently he could only be killed by striking his heel and which his enemy Paris did exactly that with a poisoned weapon.
The point is that any goal at the outset can appear invulnerable to our efforts to achieve it but every goal can be made achievable through the proper application of strategy. As martial artists we must consider what we hope to achieve through our studies to set and monitor the purpose and validity of our goals. One thing to consider is always, how will the achievement of this goal improve my life? It’s important to always keep in mind this question when setting meaningful goals but for now let us examine a couple of reasons we might choose martial arts as a tool to achieve in our lives.
Self-defence may be one reason and one would normally choose an art which is practical for wherever you feel most vulnerable, be it the street, neighbourhood, or through an occupation which might put one in danger. One must find where one is most vulnerable in order to remove that vulnerability.
Competition success might be your martial arts motive and if that is the case then moving through the ranks of competitors in your journey to the top needs that you must find the vulnerability in every opponent you meet. Sometimes your skill may be sufficiently high to achieve this but as you rise higher in the ranks then so will the skill of your opponents. This being the case then your physical skill can only make up part of the strategy and like so many greats before you the discovery of each opponent’s vulnerability will be an essential part of your strategy for winning.
Whatever your hot button for achievement in the martial arts, in your rise through the ranks of mastery one must understand how strategy applies to your success. Strength, speed and physical skill alone may not be enough to get you what you want and it is the limited achiever who sticks with the same strategy over and over and one that has confined many a budding fighter to the junior ranks when a deeper knowledge of, and skill in the application of strategy could have been the tool they needed to achieve martial arts stardom.
In order to achieve in life we must seek new goals. In order to move forward and progress we must compromise our balanced position, and utilisation of the same strategies because we don’t have a full grasp of the strategies that are available to us leaves us like the law of predictability ‘if you keep on doing what you do, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve got’. In order to progress we can only keep doing what we do if it keeps working. But if it is not we must change what we do ‘if you want something you’ve never had before you must do something you’ve never done before’. Both of these adages are positive guidelines we need to push us forward. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the 5 vulnerability strategies so that we can add them to our arsenal of weapons with which to achieve our goals in life and the martial arts.

The first of the 5 vulnerability strategies is the strategy of manoeuvrability

Part two of this article coming tomorrow

Best wishes

Tony Higo

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