I am returning to the philosophy of circles.
When I began martial arts, it was with the focus on the circle. Techniques were always completed with this concept in mind; defences were based upon rounded movements, such as jiu-jitsu usually is. This philosophy became the basis of my training. And while I haven't forgotten this, somewhere along the way I started to take my own philosophies for granted.
You see, as I grew to be a more experienced striker, I learned the value of a linear approach to defence to complement the circle. I learned about centre lines, jabs, and crosses. Attacking on angles and doing kata in line formations. Often, it seemed, the quickest route to reach an opponent was in a straight line.
My circles never went away, though, I just didn't focus on them in the same way I once did. But my mind is returning to it, now, albeit in a more layered manner than before.
I like to look at a karate reverse punch as a good example of combining straight lines with circular movements. The punch, to be quick and effective, must travel directly at its target – in a straight blast of power. The foot, also, lunges into a forward stance, aimed in the same direction as the arm. But, the circle is still there. The fist corkscrews as it is extended; the hips turn in order to generate power. It is a perfect balance of both concepts at work.
Lately, I have been hoping to increase my jiu-jitsu training once again. It's like going home and I'm excited. I am once more thinking in circles both small and large. And I am applying the philosophy to what I have learned in the meantime, blending the two, hopefully, into seemless, coherent actions.