The distance between opponents in a self-defense encounter can and will change rapidly. Shortening the stick in martial arts refers to being closer to the attacker. Whatever technique was going to be executed now needs to be changed quickly and thoughtlessly. In this article we will show how to shorten the stick.
The ability to perform martial arts techniques at all ranges is crucial. In most self-defense situations the attacker will shorten the distance between themselves and the victim when striking. If the defender was planning a long-range kick this tactic now needs to become a short-range knee strike. A short-range punch now needs to become a close-range elbow strike with the closer proximity.
Whatever the new distance a martial arts practitioner needs the ability to shorten the stick with another technique without moving. This requires knowing how to execute both tactics correctly and the ability to balance when changing. Being unbalanced when changing can leave one vulnerable to being thrown to the ground and seriously injured. At times the attacker will telegraph their intentions and allow time to change the defense. Many times though shortening the stick needs to be applied without thought.
Training with all forms of distance and movement is important. When practicing vary movement and distance. This builds confidence balance and stability. In a self-defense situation the way one moves and distances can confuse an assailant. It can also warn them of the level and experience of martial arts the victim has. Many times this will make the attacker back down and stop the attack.