In the video below we will look at using direct attack to engage the opponent.
In general the defender facing the attack has two different options: staying engaged while moving forward, backward, sideways, remaining in place or – disengage by moving away from the attacker in any direction.
While the first group of options allows the defending side a chance (at least theoretically) to effectively counter the attack with use of different forms of Oji-waza, disengaging from the fight does not.
Bear in mind that while ability to disengage the opponent without use of physical attack is considered by many as true mastery, chasing them in such situation exposes the level of immaturity on both moral and technical grounds. The moral aspect should be clear for all karate practitioners – it is against the virtue of karate to unnecessarily hurt another. The technical error lies in the very process of chasing a disengaging opponent which results in the attacker going off balance himself both physically and psychologically. Having said that, you need to understand that backing up does not automatically mean disengaging and moving away beyond certain distance does not automatically mean the opponent is unwilling to fight.
This drill helps to establish a certain tactical framework and is a constant element of jiyu kumite practice in our dojo. It provides learning space for reading opponent and allows interaction with different levels of commitment. Ability to engage the opponent does not automatically bring you success – in our example Dave keeps up with me and is able to respond to my response making it more difficult to finally reach him.