Learn Basics First, Then Move Into The Fancy Stuff…

By | August 31, 2013

Too many times when learning to fight, people at least in large majorities always seem to want to learn the most fancy techniques. It’s because of all the Hollywood movies we’ve seen where people are taken down effortlessly with moves that make our jaws drop, or our skepticism arise.

But in reality a lot of the fancy things you see on screen as well as in training is:

1. Unrealistic.

2. Takes TONS of training.

3. Requires you learn the basics first.

And the last point is what I want to touch base with. Before you learn to run, you need to walk. Before you learn to walk you need to stand. The same kind of analogy applies to martial arts.

In order to learn the awesome moves you saw in the Bourne trilogy, you first need to get the basics down. If you already signed up to the newsletter, you’ll be hearing this from me again and again.

The Basics Part I: The PROPER Fighting Stance:

I can’t believe how many places have their own way of doing this. My school teaches the JKD fighting stance which is very similar proper fighting stanceto boxing but allows for versatility against kicks, grappling and weapons. Here are 2 images (on the right) which give you a good representation of that.

How to have a proper stance:

Step 1: Put your feet together.

Step 2: Take your right foot, and bring it out diagonally about 1 1/2 feet away from your left foot. Why is the left in front? Because this is the standard stance every fighter starts with, whether they are a lefty or righty. 

Step 3: Bend just a little bit.

Step 4: Put your hands up such that your knuckles cover your face and the only thing showing is your eyes. Use a mirror as reference. If you see your face, you’re going to get hit. Notice how in the picture, the man is keeping his hands down. This is important as it protects your lower body and side from attack.

Never weight too much on your feet. Be light on them but at the same time be ready to lean on them if pushed or grappled with.

The Basics Part II: Basic Punches & Combos:

Before you perform what you saw Bourne do, you need to learn the basic punches. Jabs, crosses and hooks. Sounds simple when proper hookyou think about it, but I can guarantee you 9 out of 10 people will get it wrong. 

All of these moves stem from a proper stance. Having the right stance puts you in a better position to throw powerful punches and defend against them as well.

When throwing the jab with your left hand, extend and twist the arm.

When throwing the right cross, make sure to pivot your right foot as you throw the punch.

When throwing a left hook, make sure to twist your left foot and turn your hand sideways. Use the picture on the right for reference. 

Notice the left hand’s position. It is twisted such that the wrist is facing the opponent. This is your reference.

If you’re a subscriber to the newsletter, you’ll get access to videos and tutorials on how to do these basic combos as well as exercises to help you learn and master them.

Putting them together and advancing towards the next levels:

Learning to have a proper stance and punching properly is essential to any fighter. When all the fancy stuff goes out the window, these will be the moves that will win the fight. My own trainer has stated that in all his years studying all the arts he has, in the end the best moves are the simplest ones. Keep that idea in mind! 

Is there ever a place for fancy things you see in Kali and in the movies? Yes. For example, in Kali there is a basic nerve destruction move called the gunting. It involves blocking the opponent’s attack and hitting their nerve on the bicep/tricep with your other arm. To do it you need to know how to properly block an opponents arm and the right motion of the counter. That you get from learning the basics. 

If you watch a lot of videos where different style of martial arts are put against each other (Wing Chun vs Kickboxing), you’ll almost always see the fanciness that is Wing Chun (though it has many good uses) destroyed by basic kicks and punches from the kickboxer. 

These are 2 of the MANY examples which point to a need to learn basics first. As for advanced techniques, learning the basics automatically makes you more prepared to learn the advanced moves and absorb them faster. Don’t try to go for the advanced stuff first. Start with the simple things and make them your bread and butter. 

Do you have any questions/comments you’d like to add? Please share them below!


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7 thoughts on “Learn Basics First, Then Move Into The Fancy Stuff…

  1. max

    do not fall into routine – maybe that’s obvious, but still great advice, thanx 😉


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