Attack is the best form of defence (Ukete wa Uchite). When facing an opponent there are some patterns of attack initiative but these two are the most important and principals in fighting strategies.

Go No Sen
ln its simplest form go no sen timing is the timing we teach for basic ippon, sambon, and gohon kumite. The attacker attacks and the blocker reacts with a block/counter, shift and counter, etc. However, there are masters of go no sen timing who are able to lure the attacker into making the attack, and finishing them off at their own pace.

Go no sen, taking the initiative later, is not the same thing as counterattacking or engaging in defensive karate, nor is it simply inducing the opponent to action. It means to lead the opponent into movements advantageous to one's own self and then finishing off according to one's own pace.

Sen No Sen
Sen no sen timing is more advanced than go no sen timing. With sen no sen) you watch for the attacker to move, and beat him to the attack. This requires full commitment by the defender, as late or hesitant movement will result in failure.
Timing is so critical that to be off by as little as one-thousandth of a second can reverse the situation and make one the victim rather than the victor.

Shito-Ryu's Five Principles

1Rakka (Like a Falling Flower). To block with such force that if it were applied to the trunk of a tree, it would lose all its flowers. A block should be applied so decisively that it not only halts the opponents attack but defeats it with a single technique

Rakka (Hard blocking). Striking an off-center or indirect attack with sudden maximum power.

(Like Flowing Water). You should flow with your opponents movements, using them against him and as an aid to your defense. Respond to your opponent using fluid movement.

Ryusui (Soft Blocking). Redirecting a strong attack with a circular or deflecting parry.

(Bending). Control of an attack that uses body movement originating in the knees. Keep your spine straight and use your knees to control your height, giving you balance and the strength of your legs so that little effort is required to control the attack.

 (Springing). A reflexive, darting "out and in" kind of body shifting from any angle.

(Body movement). Essentially avoiding your opponents attack using body movement. Stepping in all directions to confuse your attacker and facilitate your Hangeki.

Teni (Footwork). Shifting or turning quickly out of the opponent's way.

(Counter attack). When the need arises, respond to your opponents attacks with decisive, powerful counter-attacks. By utilising the first four principles, you may never need to implement the fifth, but if required you should apply your whole mind and body to the counter.

Hangeki (Defense as an attack). A good defense is offense.


Sen No Sen

Go no Sen


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