Lotus Self-Defense Principles




There are many physical principles that are common to all martial arts. They aren’t the intellectual property of any style or system but are shared by them all.

These principles are some of the big blocks that make up the foundation of our art. These building blocks are what make our techniques work. Having an understanding of the principles that are used in Lotus makes it easier to understand more completely each new self-defense technique we learn. We can use this understanding to speed our progress, for by having a firm grasp of each principle, we can apply them to these new situations.

What are we dealing with when we practice self-defense techniques? We are dealing with the study of bio-mechanics-how does the body move, what are the limits to the range of motion of each part, where is the center of gravity, how far in each direction can the body move without losing balance? Once we have answered these questions we know some of the bio-mechanical weak points of the human structure. For instance, it the heads is caused to tip backwards so far the body will start to fall over backwards and if a joint is flexed or extended as far as its flexibility will allow we have found that place where excruciating pain begins.

Now that we have some idea of how principles can be used let’s list a few that are worthy of our attention:

  1. Balance.
  2. Range of motion.
  3. Leverage-the use of fulcrum, lever and base.
  4. Center of gravity.
  5. Minimizing slack or empty space.
  6. Rotary motion.
  7. Counter-rotary motion.
  8. Circular motion and using as small a circle as possible. Thank you Professor Wally Jay. www.smallcirclejujitsu.com/.

There are other concepts worth looking at and hopefully your study of those listed above will spur you on to discover others.

Each of these principles is worthy of in-depth study and each can be observed in small chunks as you perform each technique. A complete knowledge of these concepts comes from both types of study and the more attention you can focus on each one the faster you will internalize it. This is, after all, where Lotus lives. Not in our heads but in our bodies. We can think about the moves all we want, but when we need to do a technique for real, it comes from our body. That is why repetition is so important in Lotus-it creates muscle memory. And hidden in that last statement is one of our concepts: balance. Ya’ gotta have it!

Written by Tim Hollembaek