This article's title sort of places it under Systema, however the same approach is used in teaching and learning Krav Maga. The particularity behind the Systema mindset is not only do we use our instinct to trigger an acceptable response, but we base the acquisition of knowledge on top of it, not from it.
Whats the difference you may ask? Well, when facing a real threat. Chances are high that you will contract your muscle and use your own limb against the threat as a shield. You see boxers do that all the time. Tensing the body, readying for impact and literally take the hit by blocking.
The problem with this dynamic is choreographed in a chain of events based on psychological expectations. Derived from this mindset only two things come out of a strike; Either it hits and lands or hits and misses. In both cases you trigger an outcome to a strike that is expected. Like any other activity you do, your mind doesn't constantly think of every actions, its all subconscious. Same thing happens in a fight. You don't constantly think about everything in a fight. You only care for survival, and your subconscious is leading the way.
"In a fight you should create a feeling in your opponent that their technique has neither failed nor finished"
- Martin Wheeler
Rather then just instinctively force a response to a threat. Restructure the body so it becomes useful and active in its own defence. I know it does sound esoteric, but its basically a matter of moving so that the opponent's brain won't get a clear message to the actual outcome of the strike.
By guiding the hit away and not necessarily blocking it or obviously dodging it, the opponent's brain won't compute an active response to the expected outcome. Instead there will be a form of thinking involved to reassess the "problem" of unknown results. This is when you are in control, while they think they are until its over and you walk out of it. Like we discussed in the previous blog post.
When you get hit and follow the movement and energy invested in the strike you naturally will move another part of your own body towards the source of the hit in a counter balanced fashion. I take a hit on my left shoulder; being relaxed I will move back shoulder back accompanying the hit offering little resistance; Move my body using my feet to keep my structure optimal; Using the kinetic energy involved in the moves to counter strike with my right side. Creating tensions only in the parts required for the strike to be efficient. Of course this don't work the same way when knives are involved.
You instinct will get your body to use its reflexes to keep its balance, use it at your advantage.
I like this video; it explains the importance of tension in the body's structure.
Stay relax, move to keep your structure and breath to fuel your mind and muscle.