10 Universal Truths of the Martial Arts, Part 2

Royce Gracie faces Dan Severn in the UFC octagon
Photo by Scott Stallard

Read Part 1 of “10 Universal Truths of the Martial Arts” here.

Universal Truth of the Martial Arts No. 2

Any martial art or martial arts technique will work if you have the element of surprise on your side.

The element of surprise can have two applications. The first occurs when your opponent is not aware that you are about to strike. An example of this would be a sucker punch used in a street fight.

a man grabs Benny Urquidez by the shoulder in preparation for a sucker punchPhoto by Robert Reiff

Benny Urquidez knocks down one attacker while the second man prepares to execute a sucker punch.

The second application occurs when your opponent is not aware of certain techniques that you might use. For a memorable example of this, think back to UFC 4 when Royce Gracie caught Dan Severn in a triangle choke.

The element of surprise is used in other circumstances. Think of how many martial artists have been defeated by an opponent who was pretending to be injured. And imagine how many muggers have regretted picking on some harmless-looking old man who turned out to be a martial arts master.

Read Part 3 here.

About the author: Erik Petermann teaches martial arts in Cape Town, South Africa.

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