Reaction time, when you do kung fu, is a fascinating monster. I say monster because it is the one thing people have that they should get rid of. It is one thing that can get you killed faster than a bomb in the diapers.
Reaction time is reaction, which means that it is something occurring after something else has happened. Do you understand what this means? If you possess reaction time, you are moving second and behind whoever is launching a punch at your face.
Now you are forced to move, and this because of the attacker’s move, rather than in keeping with what you want to do. That means you are the target, and you must get out of the way, build a good block, or whatever. It means you are not doing what you want to do.
The easiest way to understand this situation is if there is attacker A on the A spot. And a defender B on the B spot. And a third spot, maybe off to the left, which we will label spot C.
The time it takes A to move to B, B can move to C. But B MUST move at the same time. If B moves after A, then he is going to get clocked.
And, if B moves because of something he learned in a class, or because of an exercise, or because of anything else, then it is like he is moving yesterday. B must watch A ‘in this moment,’ and he must move as he wishes and not because of what A wishes. This is the only way for B to actually live to fight another day.
There is, oddly enough, how A sees this situation, and of actually being able to hit somebody. If you have seen how many misses there are in the mixed Martial Arts fights, then you will understand what I am saying. Simply, A is punching to where B is, but B is no longer in that spot.
In other words, for A to actually strike his opponent, he must strike not to where B is, because B is going to move, and spot B is where he used to be. And he must not attempt to change mid strike, for that will destroy his base and take power out of the strike. The trick is merely to understand and analyze the one sentence: in the time A attempts to move to B, B can move to C.
In summation, let me say that many people talk about timing and slipping strikes and that sort of thing, but they usually don’t really understand the equation I have given you here. To understand this equation-in the time A moves to B, B moves to C-you should write it out, along with every fight situation you can imagine, on a piece of paper. No matter what martial art you study, Kenpo, Kung Fu, Aikido, or whatever, this piece of data will enable you to shorten and even get rid of your reaction time, and elevate your martial art to a much higher level.