Integral to stability is balance. You must maintain balance to have stability. You maintain balance through subtle movements of your body, not by gross body movements. Large movements may overcompensate and require further compensation in the opposite direction. Use your arms for defense and attack, do not swing them around for balance. If you extend your arms for balance, it leaves you open to attack. Maintain balance using minute movements of joints, muscles, head, or feet. If minute movements are not sufficient to maintain balance, then move your entire body into a new position that is in balance.
What is involved in Balance?
What is the primary interaction of the following systems to maintain one's equilibrium:
- Vision. Messages are sent to the brain about position and movement.
- Inner Ear. The inner ear is key to the balance equation. It also sends signals to the brain regarding position.
- Proprioception. Proprioception refers to a sense of joint position. Tension, pressure, and stretching in the muscular system send signals to the brain via the sensory receptors.
Breaking the balance of an opponent, means you are causing the opponent to lose balance or to be off-balance. Some principles of breaking balance include:
- There are eight directions of off-balance. The directions are best described by relating them to the directions of a compass. The eight directions are north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest. You should push or pull your opponent in one of these directions to cause them to become off-balanced. If opponent is already in motion, pull or push the opponent in that direction to cause them to become off-balanced.
- Coordinate all parts of your body to force your opponent off-balance; do not rely on just your arms.
- Take advantage of your opponent's long reaction time. When your opponent is distracted, such as when concentrating on an attack, he or she is not thinking about balance and will react slower to being forced off-balance.