Three Rules for Self Defense: Rule Seven

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:4-5

We are currently sharing with you several “Rules of Three” that are part of training in Grace Martial Arts.

You can look at previous Rules here:

3 C’s

The three C’s are Contact, Control and Counter. However, it’s import to note that before we make contact we do two other important things: Yield and Clear.

We yield to oncoming force and clear our midline. That places us in a better position to Contact, Control and Counter.

Here are some excellent insights into Yield and Clear from The Chinese Five Word Song.

  • “Yield to heavy attack.”
  • “Follow the opponent’s attack by yielding with circular motion.”
  • “Open and close oneself and be able to yield and stick.”
  • “Without anticipating your opponent’s move, you lightly stick with his every movement, at once yielding to oncoming force, while leaving him no change to advance.”
  • “Yield to force when it reveals itself.”
  • “If the opponent is quicker than you and his strength has reached you, yield. I yield and lead my enemy into an empty space. I guide his advances into emptiness.”


If you are able to yield and clear before your opponent touches you, you touch them. That’s first contact. If they touch you first, that’s first contact (e.g. grab, strike that is blocked). Whatever the first contact, your movements are a demonstration of power and speed.

“When contact is made, the inner force comes forth at once.” The Chinese Five Word Song

As soon as you make contact with your opponent, you are able to control the fighting situation – able to steal his strength and bring his attack to a quick end.


Contact moves instantaneously into Control. Your movements are so quick that is difficult to see where one ends and the other ends. Our goal is to Yield, Clear, Contact, Control and Counter in less than two seconds for most attacks.

“Let your attacker advance as he desires. Don’t mind how he comes. Yield. Don’t be in his way. Guide him towards his desired direction. The more force with which he advances, the farther he will fo where you desire. Thus causing him to lose his balance, you guide him into emptiness. When his balance is lost, you move to attack. Only a small force need be used since he is moving without control and with great force … “we use four ounces of force to push away 1,000 patties of strength.” I yield to heavy attack; guide him to the empty. At that moment he loses his balance I use four ounces of force. That much is sufficient to make my attacker fall.” The Chinese Five Word Song


When we have stolen the opponent’s strength and taken control of the attack, we can choose many counters including strikes, traps, projections and throws. Our goal is to escape to safety, so we determine the best counter(s) based on our needs.

“For self-defense, we yield to our attacker with softness, then follow soft with hard, and with a little force, a little touch applied to his oncoming force, he is sure to lose his balance. The heavier the attack that is coming to me, the heavier my opponent’s fall will be. When I yield to heavy advance (by swift movements from my relaxed muscles), his attack will follow towards my emptiness, and he will fall.” The Chinese Five Word Song

“… like guerrilla war tactics, yield at first, but attack at the end.” The Chinese Five Word Song

Next Time

We will look at another set of Rules of Three for Grace Martial Arts when our special series continues.

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© Grace Martial Arts 2018



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