Last week, we revised basic direct cuts, where the tip of the blade moves in the shortest possible arc to the target. This week, we’re going to expand on this core and start developing blade control skills for compound attacks.
Once again, we’ll be starting with a short and intense footwork session focusing on distance control and acceleration on the attack. Then we’ll move on the bladework, practicing how to make opportunistic cuts to the wrist on the attack against an opponent who is leaving their forearm exposed, before finishing with a real cut to a deep target like head. The tricky part is to keep these wrist shots small, smooth and relaxed: so smooth, in fact, that neither the referee or the opponent will be able to see the difference between these opportunistic cuts and a feint attack. If you can pull this off, you will maintain priority even if the opponent withdraws their hand and you miss your wrist cut.
This might seem like a pretty high-risk maneuver, but it builds a level of blade control which will allow you to exploit the tiniest of openings in your opponent’s defense, and which will form the foundation of more complex attacks in the coming weeks.