By Jose R. Villanueva

As originally published on the Listen & Be Heard Weekly1, August 31, 2005.

There is a science to the Martial Arts. It has an axiomatic structure, which allows it to be in existence as a viable activity. Axiomatic is derived from axiom, which means – "that law or agreement that predicts future end result or that law or agreement that creates an effect when applied." Every system of Martial Art is operating more or less on some axiomatic structure that creates a body of knowledge. There are techniques in the Martial Arts, so the question that should be asked is, "Why does a technique work?" It is very simple. A technique has an anatomy. For example, you cut open a cadaver, and you will find parts that make the body function. The anatomy of a technique is timing, accuracy, and range.

Timing is an important aspect to a technique. Timing is defined as the "exact moment." As long as one's estimated time of arrival of one's techniques is exact, then one has one-third of the formula for success. It is not that a person increases speed as it is that the person must do a better job of estimating the exact moment. One's timing must be better than his opponent's timing in order to derive success. For example, a person attempts to throw a punch to the chest, but throws it one second too late. The opponent closes up the target or moves away; therefore, the punch will either hit air, be blocked or hit something other than the intended target. Awareness in present time allows one to have the ability to have proper reaction time.

Accuracy is the next third of the formula for a technique. Accuracy is defined as the "exact location." When a person applies a technique, he better have accuracy. Otherwise, he will not have any success in application. How can any technique be effective if a person cannot hit a target? A person can have a whole repertoire of techniques, but they will be rendered useless if exact locations cannot be hit. For example, a person throws a punch, but the defender attempting to block the punch missies the block. It is very simple. He gets hit.

Range is the final third of the formula. It is defined as the "exact space; distance." A person can have two-thirds of the formula operating, but incorrectly estimating proper range will cause the technique to fail. For example, if a person throws a kick that is too close or to far from the opponent, the kick will get jammed or will hit air.

Any practitioner must pay attention to timing, accuracy, and range when applying techniques. They align together as a whole to derive an exact result. The end phenomenon is a successful technique. Each aspect can be isolated. They have been proofed through observation and experimentation. If one is still skeptical, try to apply a technique missing one, two, or all three aspects of a technique. The truth will be expressed by one's own observation.