There’s a branch of study of human behavior called proxemics.
Proxemics basically has to do with how much space people prefer to keep between each other.
Talking about how people choose the space between each other may not seem all that interesting, but consider the following examples.
- You ask a stranger if they have the time and they take one step away from you before they answer.
- While in a relationship, your significant other periodically does not respond to text or calls for a several days at a time.
- You walk into your boss’ office. The chair you are supposed to sit in is intentionally placed far away from his desk. You decide to pick up the chair, put it right in front of his desk, and sit down.
One of the most fascinating properties of proxemics (where people situate themselves compared to the people around them) is that the person who controls the space controls the entire situation.
Think about the three examples.
- The stranger stepping away controlled the distance and gained control of the situation.
- The significant other, by controlling distance through avoiding communication, controls the relationship.
- Finally, your boss attempted to control the distance by putting your chair far from his desk. You countered by moving the chair closer to him. Now you are asserting your control of the situation.
The point is that whoever controls distance the most consistently and effectively controls the situation.
This same principle applies to martial arts and is one fundamental secret that any great martial artist understands:
If you control the distance, you control the fight.
How does it work?
The Bagua player controls…
when you are close…
when you are far away…
and to what degree.
When an attacker throws a punch, the Bagua player is out of reach (until he decides to close distance at the most advantageous time to completely destroy the attacker).
Not many arts invest as much time as Bagua does in controlling the space. This training gives the appearance of being untouchable in live self-defense situations, which is a hallmark of a serious Bagua practitioner.
Trouble is, most Bagua players don’t understand how to train this skill so it can be done against multiple opponents, on the fly, in a bad situation. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, serious combat Bagua instructors are rare.
Second… It’s tough to get a bunch of people who all want to train Bagua at the same place and time (no players, no multiple attacker buddies to work this stuff out on).
Clear Silat is holding it’s annual Bagua intensive workshop October 22-25.
At this seminar, our first two issues will be taken care of:
-There will be a serious combat Bagua instructor (Master Clear).
-There will be a bunch of people who all want to train Bagua at the same place and time.
for more info on the event.