The Lines of Balance.

When a lot of Martial Arts and Self-Defence coaches teach this, they usually refer to your  ‘centre of gravity’.   I personally prefer to break it down by using the ‘Lines of Balance’.  There are two Lines of Balance:

  1. The horizontal line
  2. The vertical line.

As we know, a standing human only has a ‘Two Point Base’, (his or her two feet).  This means that while standing, we lack three dimensional stability, so to speak, which if exploited in a sense is ‘flawed’.  This is where the ‘Lines of Balance’ come in. 

The first Line is the Horizontal Line.  This line runs between the two feet of our opponent.  Simply visualise a line from one foot to the other, joining them together.  If the feet move, then the line moves.  Standing in front or behind the horizontal line and applying pressure, for example a push, you will easily knock someone off balance regardless of their size.  The only way for your opponent to regain their balance is to adjust their base by moving their feet, in which case the line moves, so you move.

The second Line of Balance is the Vertical Line.  This line runs from head to toe.  Looking side on at another person, the line will run from their head through their shoulders, hips, knees ending at the ankles.  If any of the upper points move backwards past the ankles, the toes will rise off the floor and the stable base is lost.  Again, the ‘Two Point Base’ (the feet), must be adjusted in order for your opponent to regain stability. 

 Note:  An attacker off balance is 9 times out of 10 not attacking, (unless in a clinch), because we need a solid base to generate power for strikes.  The Lines of Balance is not the only way, but I feel an effective way of looking at an oncoming opponent and it could easily be a simple tip to build from.

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A former Ju-Jitsu instructor with over ten years experience. Trained for several years in MMA and competed in UK submission league.

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