One of our primary goals in Tensoku Ryu is to limit the injuries that you or your opponent might suffer in a potential conflict. We do not like to injure people unless it is absolutely necessary. And clearly, we do not like to see ourselves become injured either.
One of the ways that we can help prevent injury is to simply move out of the way when something is about to happen. Unfortunately, opponents can sometimes predict the timing, nature, and extent of your movement and adjust their attack accordingly. We compensate for this, in part, by moving two times and not just once. This has the added benefit of placing us at either a further distance from our opponent or at a position that is more advantageous for us.
By moving twice you are effectively one step ahead of your opponent. If they move again, then you would move twice again to further baffle and confuse the opponent. You should practice this often with others. Before long you will see it takes very little time before your opponent is poorly positioned to attack further or to defend himself or herself.
A classic example of moving twice is found in our article on Escaping Patterns. This is perhaps the most fundamental use of the Move Twice concept. But there are many other ways to think about moving two times.
There are uses for stepping patterns besides escaping. All of these patterns involving movements similar to the escaping patterns, but the purpose and intent of these movements is quite different. The patterns might be used to maintain a constant and uniform distance from an opponent or might be employed to gain a strategic advantage. In nearly all cases you would move twice to achieve your objectives.
Moving twice might also involve other parts of your body besides your feet. As you gain experience you will appreciate that a block is a move-once concept. You move and then, for a split second, you stop. If you employ the move twice concept then a secondary movement is built into your block. You block and then move the opponent’s arm in a second direction. This usually disrupts the opponent’s structure, making it more difficult for the opponent to strike at you a second time.
Students who have studied Tensoku Ryu for some appreciable period of time will come to understand the benefits of rotating your center. This is an extremely simple, effective, and powerful way to manipulate and control an opponent. But even here moving twice as significant advantages. Rotating to your right will often provide you with an opportunity to eventually rotate to your left again. The second rotation may be employed as a strike, manipulation, joint lock, or throwing action. With experience these two movements (again, moving twice) can be accomplished with great speed, power, and precision.
You will also want to consider moving in multiple dimensions. For example, you may press an opponents arm inward and then immediately upward. These two directional movements, done in quick succession, will make it very difficult for an opponent to maintain structural integrity. As another example, you might press an opponent’s torso backward and then suddenly downward. These two movements may be all you require to terminate a conflict.
As you gain experience in Tensoku Ryu you become very accomplished at moving twice. You strive to employ the concept in everything you do. Nearly every longer sequence of movements is really comprised of multiple sets of double movements. As you are stepping twice, you may be moving an opponent’s arm in two different directions. You may then use your opposite arm to rotate the opponent’s head and press it backward while your move your foot and bend a knee. While this may not sound like much initially, these are quite powerful and effective sequences.
This simple concept has thousands of uses. One of the benefits of Tensoku Ryu is that we use concepts in conjunction with other concepts repeatedly, and on purpose. At any moment in time we may be employing five or more concepts concurrently. If you study a movement sequence you may find that it employs ten or more conceptual elements. One thing is almost certain, however. One of the concepts will be Move Twice.
Moving twice has many other connotations that will become apparent as you study Tensoku Ryu, but for now understand that it is seldom advantageous to move only one time when involved in a conflict. Think of how many different ways there are to move twice. There are likely to be far more than you initially realize.