“This stuff is amazing,” he said. “Okay, you got my attention, what stuff,” I replied. “To-shin Do, To-shin Do is amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t agree more,” I said. “What’s the story,” I asked, because I knew there had to be one.
Geo is a black belt student of mine. With great enthusiasm he proceeded to tell me the story of his Krav Maga seminar experience. While he enjoyed the experience, and particularly the part where they used an old school bus to simulate in-flight conditions, what excited him the most was how well his To-shin Do training served him during the seminar. Without going into a lot of boring details, what Geo kept describing was how his cultivated sense of balance breaking kept surfacing naturally to thwart attackers and prevail over assailants. While some of the other participants were intrigued, it seemed like some of the instructors encouraged him to simply focus on overpowering and “clobbering” opponents. Geo found it difficult to comply. Though, being a gentleman, he did his best.
I was so pleased that Geo had this experience that helped him internalize the importance of continuing to study balance breaking as a critical piece of your To-shin Do skill development. Without it a lot of opportunities to protect yourself and end things quickly just won’t be available. With it you can do powerful and amazing things that are baffling, and ultimately defeating for your attacker.
The principal here is this: when an adversary is in balance and stable their focus is on harming you. When their balance is broken it is an autonomic (not conscious) reaction for them to focus on regaining a sense of balance. So it’s kind of a no-brainer. Where do you want an adversaries’ attention focused, on harming you or recovering balance? Of course it is necessary for you to have the skills to be able to take advantage of this, usually tiny, window of opportunity created by disrupted balance. This can only be accomplished by collecting years of training experiences.
There are various ways to break balance; pushing, pulling, distancing, timing. I covered this pretty extensively in my Breaking Balance course. Here is a useful tip for your own training. The next time you catch yourself in a momentary lock up with a training partner, yell “freeze!” and take a moment to study balance breaking as a way to regain control of the situation. In this way you can train your mind and your body to recognize these opportunities intuitively. Good luck, and train safely.