Obviously, I am talking not just Karate Kumite, but Kung Fu fighting or Taekwondo freestyle or the sparring of whatever martial art you practice, and I am not talking just street fight, but home invasion, robbery, and so on. And the truth is that every person should know how to fight…because your survival hinges upon it.
The first time I tried into Karate Kumite, I was in a total state of panic. I had experienced a few high school ‘fights,’ if you could call them that, but this was a grown man coming at me, punching and kicking, and he wouldn’t stop! It was one of the most valuable lessons I ever had.
After a couple of weeks of karate I began to settle down, and I started to see what was happening. I began trying to control the distance, to set myself at the right angle, to actually think about punching back.
After a couple of months I began to see some of the subtle things about the way my instructor was moving. I could see when he was shifting up for a quick kick, or when he was setting me up for a punch. I could see when he was strategizing, and whenhe was just blasting.
After a couple of years I stopped thinking about what was happening in Karate Kumite. I merely set and waited, and let my now trained instincts take over. If he came to close I attacked. If he didn’t move when I got close, I attacked.
In this growing third stage I wasn’t thinking much. Thinking got in the way of analyzing inside the moment, and I had to put it aside if I wanted to survive. I didn’t understand that this was actually the first stage of enlightenment.
In that first rush of fight excitement people get very agitated. Everything is happening so fast that thoughts tumble over each other and the result is confusion.
So the purpose of freestyle training, be it in Karate kumite or kung fu fighting or taekwondo freestyle or whatever, is to enable the mind to remain calm. If your mind is steady, you won’t feel that rush of surface thoughts that confuse you. You will, instead, experience a calm mind that is able to analyze, and you will experience the kind fo thought that goes with good freestyle. This thought, to be honest, will be different than any of the common thinking stuff, ‘when do I go to the movies,’ ‘what do I have for dinner,’ ‘who should I call now,’ that people normally experience and think are real thoughts.
You will, instead, have no thought, and your body will move, and you won’t hesitate or experience panic. You will simply use your karate kumite or kung fu fighting or taekwondo freestyle, have a calm mind, and deal with the street fight in a winning manner.