Escaping Patterns

Within the martial arts it is critical that you know how to get out of the way when necessary. This is often more difficult than you might imagine. In Tensoku Ryu we expose students to a broad range of movement patterns that will enable them to move safely out of the way in most situations.

We refer to these patterns as “Escaping Patterns”. Beginning students are introduced to twenty different stepping patterns that are designed to enable the student to get off of the line of attack in two simple steps. How you move will depend on the situation and what you may anticipated doing after you have moved. As you gain experience in Tensoku Ryu you will find that these patterns of movement can be utilized in many different ways. They can be used for more than only escaping.

These patterns will aid you in many skills (moving twice, escaping, distance training, timing, etc.). A chart is provided below to introduce the first set of our stepping patterns, or what are referred to as the Escaping Patterns. All stepping patterns are provided with reference to global Octagon angles. You should become quite familiar with the performance of each of these patterns. There is further description about these patterns following the chart.

You will need a basic understanding of several other Tensoku Ryu principles to fully appreciate this chart. Here are some principles you may wish to explore before proceeding:

Here are a few pointers to consider when referencing this chart.

  • The numbers and letters indicate the leg to move (L for Left and R for Right) and the octagon angle to which each leg would move.  For example, R7L6 indicates the right leg should move to angle 7 and then the left leg should move to angle 6.
  • The foot locations indicate where your feet will be located following execution of a stepping pattern.
  • The arrow associated with each pattern indicates the likely direction in which you would focus your center or to which you might move next. However, there are many reasons why you might elect to have your center focused at 90° to this angle or move differently than what the arrow may indicate.
  • The blue diamond (pentagon) indicates the position of your opponent.  The green “X” shows where you are located before initiating the stepping pattern.
  • Learn to reference the patterns by their pattern name (e.g. R7L6).  You will be asked to perform a random sample of these patterns during the belt ranking examination.
  • Your actual foot position and centering angle could easily vary when dealing with a live opponent, but the diagrams provide a good general assessment of where you will be relative to your opponent when performing these patterns.
  • In general the patterns on this chart are escaping patterns that move you out of the way of an ongoing or potential attack.  They are designed to help you get away, not necessarily to help you strike your opponent.
  • In some cases the patterns will work best if your attacker is coming toward you.  Try to understand how each pattern will work in both a static and dynamic situation.
  • Use the C-Stepping methodology when moving.  Moving this way not only helps you maintain balance, structure, and centering, but also has the advantage of allowing you to step behind an opponent’s leg by simply stepping forward.  This allows you to then better destabilize and manipulate your opponent.
  • In most cases you can to perform the stepping pattern by rotating your torso forward. In many cases you will alternately be able to perform the escaping pattern by rotating your torso backward (in the opposite direction). There are many subtle but distinct differences that can result from these two different methods for executing a stepping pattern. It is beneficial to experiment with these different options. There is no correct way to do these movements. It really depends on what you want to accomplish and the circumstances in which you find yourself.
  • Realize that each stepping pattern is in reality an instance of the Move Twice concept.
  • As always, keep your guard up while stepping.

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