What’s the difference between technique and principles?
Ever wonder why a technique works on one person, but not on another? It’s important you understand the difference between technique and principle. Techniques are a series of moves you do. When you actually apply the principles, then they become effective. If you just do the technique, and then it goes wrong, you got to understand why it’s going wrong. And that’s why some people go “oh, these techniques don’t work”. But if you apply the principles to that technique, it will work. Example; I am going to do an armbar, but you can do any technique, and then we are going to put the principles into that.
If I use power and strength and wanna get this armbar on my opponent, it’s not going to happen. They are just going to power up, and yeah ok, if we are about the same size, and I am as strong as them. Ok, cool, it might work. But if they are big, and there is always a bigger opponent Isn’t there?
So there’s always someone who is going to be stronger than yourself. If I apply this with strength, it’s never going to happen. If I apply the principle to the technique, then it will work.
If you simply move in and take their posture, their structure is now broken. As I enter, I am taking their space and now the armbar becomes very simple. So simple, you can actually do it with one finger. Now their not just giving me that, it is the fact that I am moving in their space. If they try to move back into my space (which was just previously their space), you can see it ain’t going to happen. Ok. As they try, you just push them back, taking their posture once again.
So again, if I try to muscle this, and I muscle this, it’s never going to happen. But if I just take their posture, even if they want to come back in here, because I have their space, and I have their posture, I have the center, they can’t come back.
So once I have taken their posture, if they want to come back, as you can see, I have the space and everything, it’s not possible for them to come in. So what I have to do now is, just circle it and now I have the armbar. But that’s because I applied the principles to the technique and not just tried to do the technique.
So if I do it with strength, this is the wrong way to do it. They are just going to power up and then I’ve got a problem. But if I take their posture. Which is the first principle, they are already gone. Now, this armbar is easy. The technique is the arm bar, the principle is the way you apply it. So you have got to apply this by taking their posture, and then you get that (the arm bar), you can do this with one finger. You don’t need to put lots of muscle into it. It’s not important. Apply the right principle to a particular technique. And that’s the difference between technique and principles
It’s the principles contained in these arts and how they relate to each other, that is the most important thing, it’s not enough to collect lots of techniques (baggage) when you understand the principles you can do and make as many techniques work as you want. Please remember the techniques are there as a way of studying the principles. Techniques are not the actual martial art or style it's self.
So we can change the technique from the armbar to whatever you want. What you do with the technique is up to you. You can go into whatever you want. The idea is, I always have their posture, I am always on centerline, I always absorb, deflect, project. I am putting all those principles in every technique I do. THAT IS THE IMPORTANT THING. Don't do techniques for technique's sake. That's not it. Don't just think "hey I know a good technique", just because your instructor showed you. Make sure it agrees to the principles. Make sure you understand the principles and you apply them.
There are over 350 principles that need to be applied in order to make your martial art effective. Here are a few of them but by no means an extensive or exhaustive list.
Controlling center line, taking posture, broken timing, Using body core, Spirals, circles, dots, absorption, deflection, projection, creating voids, management of spaces, economy of motion, continuity of motion, points of balance, breathing from the center, ETC.
Sifu/Guru Willaim Filipino Martial Arts-TLCXFS, LLC Shore Cultural Centre 291 East 222nd Street, room 214 Euclid, Ohio 44123
I work for the City of Euclid, and I am a 2nd-degree black belt in the Filipino Martial Arts in the Kali/Kuntao curriculum. I am the instructor at the Shore Cultural Centre, where I teach the Filipino Martial Arts. We offer empty hand and weapon training. I also teach Street Jiu-Jitsu for men, women, and kids (ages 9 and up). Each curriculum has something different to offer those individuals, so they can gain awareness, build confidence, it also allows for goal setting, along with many other great qualities.