Technique or Tactic?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Sam, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Sam

    Sam Absent-ish member

    This post is brought to you from an overactive brain and an inability to sleep.

    Which do you believe is more important in Karate kumite (or whatever style whoever fancies answering this studies) - technique or tactic? Or to put it another way - If you could choose to have strength in one above the other which would you take?

    To clarify what I mean, anyone who has bothered to read posts of mine(all three of you) should know that I believe its more important for a fighter to first have an in depth understanding of positioning, footwork and how to use both to your advantage in a match. I realise I'm not stating anything groundbreaking here but I would take decent tactics and having an arsenal of attacking techniques I could count on only one hand.

    I realise to have one without the other is pretty useless but the positioning of kumite has always fascinated me, how a small push to your left opens up a whole new host of places to attack on your opponent and with a decent guard, also closes your gaps down.

    Not sure if this will open up a decent discussion but for the tactical people, do you have any favourite ways of controlling the area, pace of the fight, opening up your opponent or forcing them into a weak position?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  2. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    Would you mind breaking down the difference between the two? In the military we had two basic levels of operation: strategic (what we wanted to do) and tactical (how we planned on doing it). So that's the basis for my definition of tactics. So for me, when I think "technique", I think of a specific move ("waza", I suppose would be the Japanese term) and the goal I want that technique to accomplish. In other words, to me, technique and tactic are two very interwoven concepts, almost interchangible. Do you mean something else when you're talking about technique?
  3. Sam

    Sam Absent-ish member

    Sorry I guess I'm not making myself to clear it's 5am and I haven't slept so forgive me.

    By tactic I mean positioning yourself for the offensive, think footwork, stepping off the line and forcing your opponent to move where you want them too with how/where you move and how you position yourself to execute any techniques (kicks, punchs, blocks, locks etc).
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  4. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I think Sam is referring to volume of techniques. As in, would you rather

    1. learn hundreds or thousands of different techniques, but not have good tactics (footwork and positioning)

    2. or would you rather learn really good tactics (footwork and positioning) but have the knowledge of only a few different techniques

    Given the choice above, I would say that it is a case of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. If my footwork sucked, I need to work to improve it. If my techniques sucked, I need to work to improve them.

    I actually don't think volume of technique is all that great to have unless your technique is good. So when I think of technique, I also equate it to how well you do something... So tactics yield opportunity to apply technique.
    Technique is basically how well you do something (e.g. good punching technique means you don't telegraph your intentions, you have power, speed, accuracy and timing, etc.).

    As for my goals, they are to develop practical application. Recently I've been spending a lot of time trying to improve my techniques so that I can get them to work well under fire. What I'm finding is that I have to start working on my footwork, timing, and positioning in order to improve my technique under fire. In the end it is all lumped together (related), IMHO.
  5. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    i guess i'll have to say technique, since having well drilled techniques and knowing how to use them will minimize the effectiveness of any tactics the other guy might use.

    for example, if i have an impenetrable guard, it makes the tactic of feinting to find openings all the more difficult for the other guy, since i should be able to react in such a way that even if i fall for the feint, i can still defend against follow up attacks, or if i have a very good roundhouse kick, it makes the tactic of flanking me more difficult for the other guy, since if he comes inside he's keeping himself in my striking range and if he flanks me from the outside i can stop him in his tracks with a heavy kick, forcing him to confront me directly.

    my rationalization is that tactics need to be made for specific situations, and depend directly on the techniques you plan to use to bring said tactics to fruition, whereas i can focus on developing my technique(and all that it needs to be successful, like strength and speed, not just the correct mechanics of a given waza) which can then be adapted to a variety of situations i might face in a match.

    the problem here is actually getting those techniques up to scratch :p

    front leg mawashi geri ftw!
  6. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    5 am or not Sam, this is an excellent question.

    Technique (as in form) is always important because it represents the sharpness of the blade in your hand.

    Personally however, I don't think you need a never ending supply of different "moves" as it is how you move that is more important. What is absolutely key though, is the tactics and stratagems you apply to your kumite - how you manage your oponent throughout, and how you yourself avoid being owned.

    The way I look at it, there are basically two ways that an attacking strike can win over an oponent - the first is luck, and the second is by creating the opportunity / target.

    As luck will only get you so far, I believe that when a karate-ka has attained a sufficient level of "technical" ability, he/she should focus their training arround developing their tactical skills.

    In Wado Ryu for example we have our Kihon Kumite katas - these are packed full of tips on how to improve in this area - and they really do work.

    [edit] from a bujutsu perspective, the only "certain" oportunities / targets that exist are ones you have created / manufactured yourself.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009

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