What separates a good one-step from a bad one-step?

Kung Fu Wang

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Now we have some clip that we can talk about.

At 1.01-1.05,

- she blocks her opponent's punch,
- jump kick his head, and
- throws double punches at his chest,

while he is frozen his punching arm in the air. She did 4 moves (block, jump kick, right punch, left punch) while her opponent only did 1 move.

Is this realistic? I would assume if her jumping kick is done correctly, her jumping kick should knock down her opponent already.

The OP said that I don't like one-step. I have collected more than 1000 good one-step GIF files on my computer. I like good one-step. I just don't like bad one-step.
 
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marvin8

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"Timing is the skill of executing a move at the right time. What is the right time? Its the time at which the move can be the most effective.
Some moves work without timing, providing you have a strength advantage or leverage, or both. If your opponent is standing square on his feet, poised and ready with good balance, you may be able to lift him and throw him anyway if you are much stronger. No timing involved. You will however spend a lot of energy, and your chances of getting countered are very high, especially if your opponent is skilled.


Whenever you do a move, you want to think about the right time to do it. Figure out the right timing.

The proper timing requires the following conditions to be true:
1. Your opponent moves into the (weak) position you anticipated, the way you anticipated;
2. You are in the right place to do the technique;
3. Your position allows you to perform the technique; and
4. You know how to perform the technique.

If these 4 conditions above are met, you can execute the technique with good timing.

#4 is your technical skill.

#1-3 have to do with predicting the future: You need to know where your opponent is going to be ahead of time, so you can put yourself in the right spot and position yourself in such a way that when the opponent gets into the weak position, you are ready to attack.

Some people think of timing in terms of fast reaction time: you see a weakness and you attack it right away before your opponent gets a chance to make himself secure.

This is a shortsighted approach and will only work if the opponent remains in a weak position for a long time. It happens, especially in groundwork where people can spend several seconds or even minutes in weak positions because they dont realize they are exposed. Standing, timing is far more difficult to achieve as people, even beginners, move and constantly shift their balance.

Fast reaction times will only do so much. To have good timing, you need to predict your opponents position and movement several seconds in advance."

I agree with all of this, except point 1. I agree that's definitely helpful, but not needed. You have the option of that, or noticing when your opponent has moved to a weak position of which you know a technique. While it's better to set things up, it's important to always pay attention and see if your opponent gives you any extra openings you can use.

Might be nitpicky, but important.
Not nitpicky, but an important distinction per the definition and drills above. I will add that one can be vulnerable to feints (e.g., foot, strikes, etc.). We already agree set ups are better. For more clarity, I will continue the timing definition that includes, "Causation."

There are ways to predict the future:

1. Direct observation;
2. patterns; and
3. Causation

The same principles apply to grappling. When you see/feel your opponent lifting his back leg, you know that in less than a second, all his weight will be on his front leg. You also know that his back leg will most likely be coming forward and about half a second later his weight will shift onto it.

These are opportunities to apply your techniques with timing. It is however extremely difficult to do on direct observation due to the speed involved. Half a second is very short if you need to position yourself and attack. To have more time to prepare, you can look for patterns in your opponents movement. If you can figure out what he is going to do a few seconds ahead of time, it will be much easier to attack with proper timing.

However, your opponent will react to your movement and if you are familiar with Sci-Fi B-movies, you know that your actions can change the future. ;) If your opponent notices you are getting ready for a technique, he will avoid it, or worse, counter it.

Attacking based on pure observation is hard, you must be fast and your technique must be very good. Fortunately, there is an alternative.

Causation.

You make your opponent behave in the way you need to execute your technique. This is what we usually call a set-up.

The classic example is pushing your opponent. Most opponents will push back. You can prepare yourself to take advantage of that reaction so that when your opponent pushes back, you are ready to throw him forward.

However, not all opponents will react the same way. Some might just step back, or to the side, etc. To increase your success rate, you can try it a few times and observe how the opponent reacts. Once you know what the opponent will do, you can then attack accordingly.

Either way, the window of opportunity is seldom open for very long, so your ability to perform the technique must be very high to take advantage of it.

Timing, attacking at the right time, is the key to effortless technique. It is a major factor in good grappling.
 
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JowGaWolf

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At 1.01-1.05,

- she blocks her opponent's punch,
- jump kick his head, and
- throws double punches at his chest,

while he is frozen his punching arm in the air.

Is this kind of training necessary? I would assume her jumping kick should knock down her opponent already.
I don't think it is. It makes training too long by separating technique and fighting movment. The other problem is that it assumes that your opponent is going to be in the same place after the first strike or that they will fall in a predetermined way. It also destroys timing.

The biggest danger is that it's easy to see false opportunities of attack.
 

Belkster

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I don't think it is. It makes training too long by separating technique and fighting movment. The other problem is that it assumes that your opponent is going to be in the same place after the first strike or that they will fall in a predetermined way. It also destroys timing.

The biggest danger is that it's easy to see false opportunities of attack.
As a workout for some standard movements, this is a good exercise. But it's not sparring, you have to understand. It's different in sparring, that's for sure.
 
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Not nitpicky, but an important distinction per the definition and drills above. I will add that one can be vulnerable to feints (e.g., foot, strikes, etc.). We already agree set ups are better. For more clarity, I will continue the timing definition that includes, "Causation."
Every technique and every style has a counter. If there was one style that didn't, it would dominate UFC and we wouldn't be arguing about striking vs. grappling or BJJ vs. wrestling. If there was one technique that didn't, then every UFC fight would be about who was faster with the dim mak.

A counterpuncher is good against an aggressive style. Feints are good against a counterpuncher.
 

Earl Weiss

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Bear in mind people coming up with their own defences invites a trip on the crazy train due to the idea that if the person gives you 20 feeds. You need to give 20 different responses to show depth.

Which is the opposite to fighting. If you look at the UFC stat's. There are only about 4 things that work.
Among the 4 things that work are you counting the illegal stuff that works but the UFC rules don't allow?
 
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Among the 4 things that work are you counting the illegal stuff that works but the UFC rules don't allow?
Some folks assume if it's banned in UFC it's because it doesn't work...
 

marvin8

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Not nitpicky, but an important distinction per the definition and drills above. I will add that one can be vulnerable to feints (e.g., foot, strikes, etc.). We already agree set ups are better. For more clarity, I will continue the timing definition that includes, "Causation."

Every technique and every style has a counter. If there was one style that didn't, it would dominate UFC and we wouldn't be arguing about striking vs. grappling or BJJ vs. wrestling. If there was one technique that didn't, then every UFC fight would be about who was faster with the dim mak.

A counterpuncher is good against an aggressive style. Feints are good against a counterpuncher.
Right. When I said "one can be vulnerable to feints (e.g., foot, strikes, etc.)," I meant the attacker can be the one to feint you. "So just noticing when your opponent has moved to a weak position," then counter is riskier. I said KFW repeated my principle post, because he and I may have a different understanding of what the principles mean. And, I may not agree with his interpretation or post(s).

The two MMA step demos I posted were only examples of action/reaction and timing principles. But do not restrict them to techniques. There are several ways to express these principles. One doesn't have to be the aggressor by attacking first (which one generally doesn't want to do in public for legal reason).. One can use a defensive posture (e.g., cover up) or movement (side step) to bait the opponent to attack a certain position.

One purpose of action/reaction is to attack when the opponent is double weighted, unable to change. You change, when the opponent cannot change.

A fighting strategy/principle is to use the following process of skills:

One common mistake for many people is that they try to use attack too directly. They just want to use their skills to beat their opponents as hard as possible. But in real fighting skill, attacking should never be used alone.
The complete process consists of five steps:

1. Lure: give the opponent false impressions, making him feel like he can get you, and leading him to go where you want him to go,
2. Listen: feel or detect what the opponent wants to do,
3. Control: get the opponent under your control (usually means keep him off-balanced),
4. Dissolve: neutralize the attacking force, and
5. Attack: release a throwing force

In order to be fighting at a high-level the first four steps must be present.
 
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Right. When I said "one can be vulnerable to feints (e.g., foot, strikes, etc.)," I meant the attacker can be the one to feint you. "So just noticing when your opponent has moved to a weak position," then counter is riskier.

One common mistake for many people is that they try to use attack too directly. They just want to use their skills to beat their opponents as hard as possible. But in real fighting skill, attacking should never be used alone.
That's one strategy. It's not the only way.

Lure and listen are not not necessary if you're being aggressive. Doing so, you can skip straight to step 3. Dissolve is not necessary if you are using the opponent's energy or position for an attack.

To the first, if you're initiating a combination, you're not making your opponent feel he can get you. You're making your opponent feel you can get him. You're predicting what they're going to do based on responses your combination has received in the past (either in training, or in earlier stages of this fight).

To the later, there are many moves in many martial arts that take advantage of an attack. If you dissolve it, you wouldn't be able to use the counter.

Your attitude comes off as "This is my strategy, therefore everyone else must do it this way", and that just isn't the case.
 
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Right. When I said "one can be vulnerable to feints (e.g., foot, strikes, etc.)," I meant the attacker can be the one to feint you. "So just noticing when your opponent has moved to a weak position," then counter is riskier.
In my last post, I quoted this. But I wrote the other part first and forgot to come back to this.

I understood entirely that this is what you meant. I was disagreeing with what you said. My disagreement is not from a lack of understanding of what you said, but from a belief that what you said was a poor analysis.

People criticize one-steps (or TMA techniques in general) because "well if you do that, I can just do this and counter it." All techniques have pros and cons, pluses and minuses, advantages and disadvantages. They all have counters and things you can do against them. To look at a one-step and say "if they feint, you get caught" is silly, because that applies to counterpunching or defense playstyles in general, and for those who make them work, they work really well.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I will say, we do the same thing in BJJ. When we're practicing lasso guard sweeps, I let my partner get into lasso guard, even though I'm generally better off stopping him from doing so. I don't just jump over onto my back, but I also don't base as hard as I can against the sweep.

One interesting thing I'm finding is that a lot of what we do in TKD and HKD is similar in BJJ and Muay Thai. So all the criticism I see online from those arts, I'm adding more salt to take it with.
If you're talking about drilling techniques in a compliant manner, with one person feeding the energy or position that their partner needs to execute the technique, that's universal to any martial art. No one from BJJ or Muay Thai is criticizing TMA practitioners for doing this. It's an important, essential step in the learning process.

The criticism that is sometimes made is of arts or practitioners who only practice in this manner. Especially when it leads to techniques which only work with a compliant partner.
 

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Your attitude comes off as "This is my strategy, therefore everyone else must do it this way", and that just isn't the case.
The pot has just called the kettle black....

Your attitude comes off as "I learned it this way from my master, therefore everyone else must do it this way or they are wrong."

You learned one steps, where the attacker punches 6 inches short, therefore anyone doing one steps where the attacker intends to land the punch is wrong and dangerous.

You learned a knife hand block was a block. Therefore, everyone else who uses it also for a strike, grip escape, arm lock...etc. is wrong, because those do not use the word "block." Your master said the word "block" so everyone else is wrong.

You learned and concluded that forms cannot have more to them than rote memorization and aesthetics. Therefore, everyone else on this board is wrong, for seeing more in them. Your master said that there was nothing hidden. Therefore, everyone who sees it differently is wrong.

Anyone reading your "questions" sees this. You post a "question" but in reality, the only answers you accept are the ones that you already got from your master. Anyone seeing things even a little different than what you learned from your master is wrong. We must all do it the way you learned from your master.

and that just isn't the case.
 

JowGaWolf

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The criticism that is sometimes made is of arts or practitioners who only practice in this manner. Especially when it leads to techniques which only work with a compliant partner.
This is where I see the criticism as well. It all boils down to just understanding the purpose of a training exercise and not to make assumptions that it is doing more than what it was designed for.

If I were to use a one-step, then I would have my partner include fighting motion. I would then have the jab extend and return to guard position (my opponent's one step). The defender's one step would be to land one strike or one block, as a counter to the jab. The defender would also have to include fighting movement. This way both get trained on footwork. The defender would have to respond to the jab with as many reactions as possible.

1. Attacker throws jab.
2. Defender reacts with a solution
3. Reset
4. Attacker throws jab
5. Defender reacts with a solution that is different than what was previously done.
6. Reset and repeat.. When the defender has gone through the possible choices that they know. Then start from the beginning.

This will do a few things.
1. Improve footwork
2. Teach distance for striking and defending.
3. Will help the student to be more aware of the movement a body makes as a result of setting up a strike.
4. It will quickly remove the false opportunities of attacks.
 

marvin8

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One common mistake for many people is that they try to use attack too directly. They just want to use their skills to beat their opponents as hard as possible. But in real fighting skill, attacking should never be used alone.
That's one strategy. It's not the only way.... Your attitude comes off as "This is my strategy, therefore everyone else must do it this way", and that just isn't the case.
I welcome your critique to that strategy. It's not "my" strategy, but a taiji strategy that I don't limit to taiji. It's a simple process, but can have depth in understanding and application. Zhang Yun states it as an absolute. However, it's a broad strategy/principle which I haven't seen any holes in and can be seen at the highest-levels of professional fighting.

Lure and listen are not not necessary if you're being aggressive. Doing so, you can skip straight to step 3. Dissolve is not necessary if you are using the opponent's energy or position for an attack.
One wants to get an advantage before attacking, otherwise you are trading or taking more risk. One wants to dissolve an opponents attack (avoid getting attacked). There is an advantage to using simultaneous defense and offense.

To the first, if you're initiating a combination, you're not making your opponent feel he can get you. You're making your opponent feel you can get him. You're predicting what they're going to do based on responses your combination has received in the past (either in training, or in earlier stages of this fight.

To the later, there are many moves in many martial arts that take advantage of an attack. If you dissolve it, you wouldn't be able to use the counter.

If you're just attacking and not listening to the opponent, he can counter you. One can feint, listen for the opponent to counter, then intercept the opponent's movement. A feint + a counter can follow the principle of make two punches sound like one.

An example of dissolving and using the opponent's counter momentum is slip to the outside, intercept opponent's movement and simultaneously punch.

People criticize one-steps (or TMA techniques in general) because "well if you do that, I can just do this and counter it." All techniques have pros and cons, pluses and minuses, advantages and disadvantages. They all have counters and things you can do against them. To look at a one-step and say "if they feint, you get caught" is silly, because that applies to counterpunching or defense playstyles in general, and for those who make them work, they work really well.
I have not criticized any one-step yet. KFW posted a one-step video which I saw some good things in. One-step may have different purposes and goals. I would be more interested in spending time analyzing a one-step video that you feel is a good one-step that serves your purposes and goals.
 

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This ^^^

If I could pick one bad habit to fix that I see in many, many karate, TKD, and kenpo schools, it would be the practice of drills where the attacker throws a fully extended punch which comes up 6 inches (or more) short of the defender and then leaves the punch hanging while the defender goes through a sequence of counters. To my mind, the incorrect range is worse than the punch being left extended and worse than the defender getting multiple moves to the attacker's one. That incorrect range makes the timing wrong. It makes the angles wrong. It makes the footwork wrong. It alters the techniques that will work. It basically messes up everything.

BTW, just to make sure I wasn't misremembering the prevalence of the problem, I went on YouTube and searched for TKD one-step sparring. I went through the first 8 results and 6 of the 8 had the attacker stepping in with a fully extended punch which came up anywhere from 2 to 8 inches short of the target. Note - all of the demonstrations were by black belts.

I think that one-step drills can have value, but performed this way I think they are worse than useless.
I completely agree with you on this. I was just telling some of my students. This exact thing on Tuesday.
 
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If you're talking about drilling techniques in a compliant manner, with one person feeding the energy or position that their partner needs to execute the technique, that's universal to any martial art. No one from BJJ or Muay Thai is criticizing TMA practitioners for doing this. It's an important, essential step in the learning process.

The criticism that is sometimes made is of arts or practitioners who only practice in this manner. Especially when it leads to techniques which only work with a compliant partner.
I see this all the time. I see this criticism quite a bit on reddit or youtube, if they even assume you only practice in this manner.

I think you might be insulated from some of this, being on the other side of the fence on this one.
 
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I welcome your critique to that strategy. It's not "my" strategy, but a taiji strategy that I don't limit to taiji. It's a simple process, but can have depth in understanding and application. Zhang Yun states it as an absolute. However, it's a broad strategy/principle which I haven't seen any holes in and can be seen at the highest-levels of professional fighting.
You've lost the plot again. I wasn't critiquing your strategy. I was saying it wasn't the only one.
 

Gerry Seymour

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This ^^^

If I could pick one bad habit to fix that I see in many, many karate, TKD, and kenpo schools, it would be the practice of drills where the attacker throws a fully extended punch which comes up 6 inches (or more) short of the defender and then leaves the punch hanging while the defender goes through a sequence of counters. To my mind, the incorrect range is worse than the punch being left extended and worse than the defender getting multiple moves to the attacker's one. That incorrect range makes the timing wrong. It makes the angles wrong. It makes the footwork wrong. It alters the techniques that will work. It basically messes up everything.

BTW, just to make sure I wasn't misremembering the prevalence of the problem, I went on YouTube and searched for TKD one-step sparring. I went through the first 8 results and 6 of the 8 had the attacker stepping in with a fully extended punch which came up anywhere from 2 to 8 inches short of the target. Note - all of the demonstrations were by black belts.

I think that one-step drills can have value, but performed this way I think they are worse than useless.
Absolutely agree. On top of everything else you mentioned, it builds poor pattern recognition. The student learns to respond fully to punches that cannot land (easily affected by weak feints) and doesn't develop good recognition of punches that are within distance.

This happens with a lot of drills where there's a single input (as opposed to the continuous/variable input of sparring). I've even seen it with feeds that are supposed to be a double-leg, where the "attacker" doesn't enter nearly enough to execute the takedown, so the "defender" either easily suppresses the attempt (since it wouldn't work, anyway) or breaks their own structure reaching into a space they shouldn't bother with (that pattern recognition, again).

I find it's a lot less prevalent if there's even a little sparring that has actual contact. It doesn't cure it, entirely, but if students are encouraged to wave off bad attacks like this, it can be mitigated. The best remedyI've found is to occasionally use the starting point of one-steps to enter into resistive training. So, if the feed was to be a roundhouse punch, I give you that feed as the start of a sparring session. Since it's immediately free-form, there's a penalty (feedback) if I give a punch you can ignore.
 

marvin8

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You've lost the plot again. I wasn't critiquing your strategy. I was saying it wasn't the only one.
It is a proven strategy that is found in the MMA demoes posted and professional fighting, although not phrased in those terms.. Your comments of the steps that were not necessary has flaws and risk. You may not understand the depth of their meanings.
 

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