The essence of martial arts is combat and the essence of combat consists of speed, accuracy and deadliness.

!. speed
It is not simply executing fast movements as we understand them. "Speed" refers to the speed used in changing the body's position, so quickly that the opponent can not catch up. Therefore, when the practitioner makes contact or collides with the opponent, the speed is invincible.

2 Accuracy
Accuracy refers to the execution on target with the least amount of power expended. To be able to use the least amount of power, skillful practitioners often wait until the last second to react. This last second reaction preserves power, surprises the opponent, explores and exposes the opponent's weak spot and makes it possible to finish the confrontation in one strike.

3. Deadliness
Deadliness refers to the amount of power delivered to the opponent's weak spot. It is so powerful that it can be lethal. Therefore, skillful practitioners have the responsibility of not starting any fight unless it is absolutely necessary.

When a practitioner is able to apply these three factors together in one execution, it is an expression of power, technique, timing, perception and opportunity. It is the result of one's life experiences of martial art training. In order to cut down time in training, a beginner must do the following:

a. One should begin with a correct method of training. The bare hand form should be correct so the skill will be true. If the bare hand form is not correct, all the fundamentals are not good, and are not able to strengthen the muscle, bone, ligament, tendon, essence, qi and spirit. The training will not able to do the body any good and will result in nothing but harm.

b. One should search for a knowledgeable instructor. An instructor can show you how to perform a movement. A knowledgeable instructor can demonstrate and explain how a movement functions.

c. One must practice regularly in order to improve. Knowing the information does not mean much. When one is able to incorporate the information by practicing, this means a lot.

Many people spend years training and are not able to attain any martial skills because they have not incorporated any of the three factors described above in their training. Simply put, if one has failed to attain any of the three factors described above, one is not able to solve the problem of relations between body, power and technique. This is the type of information which requires oral transmission. How should one practice to achieve speed, accuracy and deadliness after one has already obtained the information? Here are some of the concepts one should keep in mind in practice. They should offer some guidance when one is formulating a training schedule.

1. Confidence
A practitioner should have confidence and believe in his skill. In other words, one should have courage. If a practitioner does not have any courage, is afraid and nervous whenever he confronts his foe, there is no way he can win. In order to win, he must believe in himself and have confidence in his own skill. When a practitioner is in confrontation, he will be hit and hurt regardless of whether he is afraid or not. The truth is, most likely the opponent is just as afraid as the practitioner. If the practitioner has more control over his own fear than his opponent does, he will win.

2. Offensive and defensive maneuvers
In any strike, one should be prepared to deliver offensive and defensive maneuvers. In any punch and kick, one should not drop the head down, but keep it up and alert for a defensive maneuver. In defense, one should always look for the opportunity to strike.

3. Nimbleness
An experienced practitioner generally has a very flexible body and is nimble in movements. In practical situations, one should have mobile footwork to advance or retreat. When one distances from the opponent, he should expect the opponent to expose his weak spot when moving. A short distance requires less stepping but requires more flexibility of the body to neutralize and counter strikes.

4. Relaxation
Relaxation refers to having a relaxed body. It is only through relaxation that one will have enough power and endurance in vigorous physical confrontation. It is the result of relaxing the body that makes it possible to be flexible, have mobile footwork, speed and powerful strikes.

5. Opportunity/Timing
This refers to the opponent exposing his weak spot for a short period of time. If one is not able to seize the opportunity, one can not win. Therefore, one must train the body so one can take advantage of an opportunity at last second without causing any injury to one's own body.

6. Coordination
It is common that many beginners have a hard time remembering the bare hand form. This is so because they are not used to physical movement. The body is not coordinated with the movements of the hands and feet. When we see beginner apply the left hand and not continue with the right hand in movement this demonstrates the two hands are not coordinated. When one is not coordinate, it is equivalent to tied up the body in confrontation.

7. Strategy
In any confrontation, strategy plays a very important role. People are different, some are tall, others short, fat, skinny. Some like to kick and others prefer to use the hands. Therefore, one should apply different strategies separately depending on the opponent. If one uses the same strategy for all kinds of opponents, the chance of winning will be reduced.

8. Proper response
This refers to the fact that all the movements and strikes should be proper or appropriate to the situation. For example when one punches the opponent's stomach, most likely the opponent will drop his head. The next proper strike should be a upper cut to the head. If the opponent kicks the knee, it is better to neutralize the kick with the feet. If one neutralizes the kick with the hands, the head is exposed to potential strikes.

When one practices based on these concepts, one's strikes will be powerful in actual confrontation. Every execution will be speedy, accurate and lethal.

Author's Bio: 

Vincent Chu, M.Ed., The sixth generation lineage practitioner of
the Yang Style
Tai Chi Chuan. He is the second of three sons of Gin Soon Chu. He
studied Tai
Chi Chuan from his father when he was very young. As age 16, he has
begun to
assisting his father at the Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Club in Boston and
he has been
teaching at the Brookline Adult and Community Education Program since
1984. To
further his understanding and knowledge in Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan
System, he
obtained instructions from Master Ip Tai Tak and Professor Fang Ning.
He has been
conducted many workshops and seminars in Canada and Europe and he is a
contributor to martial arts publications to share his knowledge. Come
visit the official website for Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation at for more article by him.