Home > Concepts & Principles > Moving once, moving twice, moving continuously

Moving once, moving twice, moving continuously

There are a different theories out there on movement. Some suggest that you should always move twice. Others suggest moving once. Others emphasis is a continual flow until your opponent has stopped moving. As a general rule those that recommend moving once or twice as a concept also use a continuous flow.

A system that believes you should always move twice, is using the first move to set up the second move. The first move is designed to make the second move have a greater effect.

An example of how this is used, is for positioning (see my earlier post on the octagon and it’s use). The idea with this approach is that if someone is truly trying to hurt you, they will seek your center and will end up where you were as they started the attack. With this in mind you know where they will be, and where they will have to go next The idea is you will be one move ahead of the opponent. With that in mind you can put something in his path for him to run into. Since you’ll catch him in transition, it will amplify the effect. Another part of the mind set is that you get out of the way first, so that even if you make a mistake you won’t get hurt. This doesn’t mean they can’t hit, or block at the same time they move out of the way. Moving out of the way is in effect a block/evasion. However generally the mindset, is to move out of the way on the first move, while hitting with the second move.

People that think in terms of moving twice think in a linear fashion. You have to start and stop your thought process twice, as well as you physical momentum/movement each time you move. Since you have to have twice the thought, and movement each time it is slower.

In my opinion moving once is a far superior method. It would be the preferred method for anyone with a warrior mindset. These people aren’t first and foremost looking to escape, but first and foremost trying to destroy their enemy. Of course not getting injured unnecessarily is right behind that in priority.

With the idea of ending the altercation as fast, efficiently, with least risk, and energy required as possible you move once. This means you block and strike at the same time. Moving out of the way of the incoming strike as you hit, can count as the block. The intention is to end the conflict in a single move.

While people that move once can move in a linear fashion, they’ll tend to move in a more circular manor. Movements that appear linear really aren’t. they my be more spiral in nature. Circular movement tends to lead to flowing more easily then straight line movement.

Well thought out martial arts systems always use a flow through their techniques. This includes systems that move once or twice as a fundamental principle. They take into account the first move, and the possible counters. There is always a direct flow to counter and counter attack, each move the opponent can make.

Each person needs to determine which approach suits them best, and seek out a system that fits them. After all we are all physically, physiologically, and culturally unique. The best method for you, may be different the the best method for me.


Mike Murphy


Categories: Concepts & Principles
  1. Jerry M.
    March 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I have finally got around to reading your blog moving twice…ect…ect.

    I guess with moving once, twice or continuous flow, it provides an excellent way of mixing up your sparring strategy, where distance and timing will change if you are adept at the above 3 types of moving.

    For conserving energy sake and your face, moving continuous would have to be the best way for moving.

    Once again your info can be used on many dimensions.

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