Whenever people start learning martial arts and self defense skills — they will usually learn a lot of different “techniques”. Like kicking, punching, leg sweeping, etc.
However, just as important as technique — maybe even more important, depending on who you ask — is something you rarely hear in the dojos, on TV or read about in the magazines:
What are attributes?
They are things like awareness, line familiarization, sensitivity, strength, power, speed, distancing, timing, and body mechanics.
In other words, attributes are the things that make it possible to pull off a technique in a real life situation. The guy who trained me, Sifu Paul Vunak, explains it like this:
“Anyone can watch hours of Michael Jordan on videotape. Anyone can write down and study his techniques on dribbling, shooting, passing, and defense. Now why can’t that person go out and play like him? It is because one does not possess his attributes, like his awareness of teammates and defenders, his speed, distancing, and ability to coordinate his body.”
And this is where many traditional martial artists fall short. They may have very effective and efficient “moves”, but can’t execute them in a street-fighting situation.
When it comes to techniques and attributes, without one, the other is useless. Train them both and you’ll be a lot more dangerous to a violent attacker than you would with just “moves.”
Sifu Matt Numrich is one of only a few instructors in the world with Full Certification in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, and also the Filipino Martial Arts. His students include everyone from Federal Air Marshals and military elites to small children and 65-year old ladies. Matt also offers free weekly street-fighting lessons by email at http://jkdondvd.com
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