[caption id="attachment_4712" align="alignright" width="476"] Chojun Miyagi (left) observes a training session.[/caption]
With any type of response such as a separate block and counter, as in go no sen, timing is of great importance. In go no sen you must time your block correctly with the incoming attack. If you mistime the block, either too early or too late, your block will miss the attack allowing it through to its target. The concept of timing and distancing is key in the martial arts. Here, the two concepts are conjoined much like space and time in modern theoretical physics. If a person has a technique or weapon that has a longer range than that of their opponent, then they can initiate their attack before their opponent so their distancing affects their timing.
In addition, if speed is equaled to distance travelled over the time taken, then the speed of the technique, which of course affects its timing, is dependent upon the efficiency of the movement. Let’s say for example that you have positions measured from 0 to 10. If one’s technique (“Technique A”) starts in the middle (position 5), withdraws to position 0, and then is launched forward from there to make contact at position 10, such a technique – all things being equal – would be three times slower than one that is simply/cleanly launched from position 5 to position 10 (“Technique B”). That is because “Technique A” will have travelled three times the distance than “Technique B,” the more direct and efficient technique. So clean, efficient movement is key to quality martial arts. We can further influence speed/timing, by adjusting the time element of the equation. In a relative sense, the time a technique takes is dependent upon one’s opponent’s perception of the beginning of the technique.
For example, in the simple Ippon Kumite, one may have a very good/fast technique, but if one telegraphs the technique by preceding it with a tell (an extraneous movement that alerts your opponent that the technique is coming), then the end result is a slow technique, because your opponent will easily be able to intercept it.
Taken from Yakusoku Kumite Volume 1
by Williams & Kenny