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What is a Technique Variation?

What constitutes a variation?  This is a common question we receive often.  In this video segment, GM Patrick goes into a good deal of information on how to put together variations which can be useful for testing for rank in the DSI as well as just generally great information to help you during your training.

To summarize, here are some options from GM Patrick after he filmed the session:

  • Add a move to the end of the technique that makes a great followup blow
  • Change the last move of the technique to either become a control, break, knockout, etc.
  • Change the type of attack (.e.g. from a vertical punch to a twist punch)
  • Change distance
    • You close slower or faster and end up at different ranges
    • Or, the attacker does
  • Change the angle of the attacker
    • This can be because you change the angle with wrist latches, parries, blows, etc.
    • Or, the attacker changes angle based on their response to the stimulus you give
  • Murphy's Law
    • Predict what might go wrong and plan counter movements
    • Opponent does not react to stimulus (strike, latch, lock, etc.)
    • You blow too hard or too easy and cause opponent's range and body angle, as well as placement, to change
    • You end up with arms in the wrong place (inside/outside, or high/low, etc.)
    • Your first parry or block misses
    • Your blow or lock fails
  • Change wrist latches to hooks to account for loss of digital dexterity and loss of fine motor skills under BAR
  • Utilize different players which require different stimuli
  • Deal with counter blows or attacks from opponent
  • Utilize Yin and Yang responses (defenses moving forward and moving backward)
  • Various types of techniques from: Karate-Do, Karate-Jutsu, Tuite, Life Protecting, and Life Taking
  • Utilizing different Pressure Points other than the main ones indicated in the original technique
  • Choose different weapon selection (.e.g. change a forearm strike to an elbow)
  • Use latches to change the angle of attacker by varying the type of latch
  • Change the timing
  • Change the Intent
    • The attacker's intent
    • Your intent



One thought on “What is a Technique Variation?

  1. Thanks for this video. It sheds light on what real variations can be. From the simplest to the more advanced interpretations. The realization that because of the many players to the game, the taking into account the many things that can occur in a real real confrontation, there is always more than can be done. The choices grow exponentially. Also taking into account the various body types, finding as many variations and being able to flow through them and string them together, if need be, becomes paramount.

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