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By Sensei Malcolm Fisher, edited by Charles Rhodes

The menu for Tactics is much more varied and numerous than the menu for Strategies. However, they have one thing in common. There are only a finite number and they always remain the same. How much or how many one has complete command of is directly related to the level of one's Karate history.

The length of time, level of experience and the training environment should be considered before making an instructor selection for competition. The instructors grasp of Tactics has a direct correlation to his/her Karate background. Whom to follow is a major consideration for any serious student of Karate. The reality is that all who study Karate have only a finite amount of time and energy to apply to the acquisition of a body of knowledge which at times seems infinite. The most productive use of that time and energy requires that the choice of the instructor be determined by the depth of his/her knowledge.

A teachers experience and length of time training at the highest levels of Karate will constrain the degree of Karate understanding that the student ultimately achieves. If the teacher has never experienced the environment of the JKA Instructor program it is unrealistic to expect him to communicate knowledge to his students that can only be gained by exposure to that environment.

It must be understood that Tactics is the middle component of what is often referred to as, “Sport Science.” Tactics are sandwiched between Strategies and Techniques. This sandwich is taught by the Canadian NCCP Certification Program. What Tactics have in common with Strategies is that they are limited in number and never changing. How well they are executed is entirely dependent on one's understanding of Techniques. For Techniques accomplish Tactics, which in turn accomplish Strategies.

Simply put, knowing a large number of Tactics, without having an intimate understanding of how to maximize energy development and delivery of the relevant Techniques, demonstrates a very shallow and potentially harmful understanding of Karate. The very essence of Karate is energy development and delivery. If a technique successfully delivers maximum energy in the required half second time scale, then an appropriately chosen Tactic will almost always succeed.

The foundation for Tactics is entirely based upon the level of one's understanding of the Techniques of Karate. The simplest techniques, combined with effective methods of movement are often the most effective. How well one executes a technique will determine how successful any given Tactic and Strategy will be.

Here are a few simple examples of Tactics that should be in the tool box of all Karate practitioners along with the requisite level of understanding and execution of the Techniques involved:
1) Kick against a punch
2) Punch against a kick.
3) Strongest punch against weakest punch.
4) Feinting or, faking an attack to reveal your opponent's intent and mindset.
5) The combining of techniques in such a way as to produce an anticipated reaction.
6) Give your opponent a target and then take it away.
7) Attack directly into your opponents strength.
8) Attack from a direction that does not allow your opponent to maximally energize a response.
9) Force your opponent to attack.
10) Match your Tactics to your opponents body positioning.

This web page last updated March 26, 2012.

Contents Blogs Introduction Fisher One Page Contacts Links