Self Defense: The Rule of Opposites

Steve Weber.JPG

Steve Weber

By Steve Weber

Special to the Nugget

When we think of Martial Arts, we can be overly enamored with flashy moves that seem so mystical and that do not appear to be possible for “normal” human beings to perform. This artificial glamour enhanced by creative movie magic, whose purpose is to sell tickets and create heroic fantasies, belies the fact that, in truth, there are moves that are so subtle that they can succeed in achieving self-defense skill with deceptive ease.

The Rule of Opposites includes a wide variety of applications and, although they appear simple enough to perform, the difficulty lies with the fragility of human nature. Ironically, we use that same weakness in human nature to overcome superior strength and size. An example of this weakness we benefit from is the tendency to push back when being pushed or to pull back when being pulled. This knee jerk reaction also occurs when trying to drive your opponent up or down – they will invariably respond with immediate resistance and proceed to stymie your intended move by doing the opposite counter move. Good. That is exactly what we count on because our initial intention was to move in the opposite direction anyway. We deceived them into helping us get there faster and with less effort. We relied on their knee jerk reaction, often based more on the emotional aspect of power than on the subtle aspect of physics and logic.

There is no denying that physical size and raw power have their advantages. But, what can

you do to deal with that when your size, power, age, health, and/or emotional demeanor cannot? Applying The Rule of Opposites works well in such cases and may be the only course of action readily available to you. Our next article will deal with a number of specific examples. Have a healthy and happy New Year.

Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 North Oracle Road, in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.

Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at

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