Peter Southwood's tips #11 Your opponent will not cut you any slack

As the student progresses, playing the attacker well becomes increasingly important.
The assailant must be ruthless, uncompromising and cunning.

A bad attacker is also a bad defender.



Softness feels heavy

Being soft allows the body weight to be transmitted to different parts of the body.
To another person, your limbs will feel very heavy.
To you, they just feel loose and relaxed.
This heaviness can be used to transmit the groundpath through somebody else.



An important point that Musashi repeatedly comes back to is composure.

Modern martial arts do not really consider this concern; they typically embrace aggression and allow students to become inwardly angry.
Emotional instability reduces your ability to function smoothly and easily.

If you are not inwardly calm, then you are caught up in the melee.
This is the wrong approach.

You must be the eye of the storm.


Self defence classes

A lot of people go to martial arts classes in order to learn self defence. They want to avoid violence and look after themselves.

There are quite a few ‘serious’ martial arts classes available in the UK where the training is so realistic that you actually get assaulted. You may learn great skills but the whole point in attending was to avoid being attacked…

Other classes promise self defence and offer nothing of tangible value.

Children in a playground ‘rough each other up’ without any animosity, fear or pain. It is just fun.

Our school looks at self defence as play. If adults can adopt a playful, exploratory attitude, they can develop practical useable skills without getting hurt or memorizing fixed responses.

Good martial arts classes of any style should be able to offer a practical syllabus without brutalizing students or giving them empty skills.

Space: Above & Beyond