We need to take a three dimension view of our karate. Many people get confused with the difference between techniques, tactics, and strategies. Today’s post, I want to help clarify the difference between the three.
Techniques are the individual move of the martial arts. When you look at most traditional karate curriculum or rank requirements, they are purely techniques ~ moves and combinations of karate. At the techniques level, you are not exploring the practical applications of the moves - just the move itself.
Tactics are specific applications or actions used to make the techniques work in a real situation. For example, the application of a fake or feint in a sparring match setups the use of other techniques. A good example of a tactic in grappling would be to push someone in order to tempt them to push you back so that you can apply a specific move. Or many times, you attempted to go left to open the right or go high to open up low. Tactics also entail the conditions required for a technique to work.
Strategy is how to achieve the overall objective. Strategies require you to link multiple tactics and techniques to achieve a higher goal. When explaining a technique, have you ever had a student say, “What happens if your opponent does this instead?” or have a student thwart a technique by resisting. At this point, you are talking about strategy. If you apply a tactics and the opponent responds differently than expected, you need to create a strategy for that scenario. Strategy make you think “Okay, what will I do now?” or “How will I respond if my opponent does this?”
That’s your 101 level crash course on tactics vs. strategies.