Understanding Defense-to-Offense transitional play through Karate

Elvis Elvis

If you are looking for a reference tool to explain Defense-to-Offense transitional play Karate can be very helpful. Karate is known as a form of self-defense. More descriptively it can protect you from an attacker or situation that may cause you serious harm, pain or worse. That is something that anyone can understand because we know what pain is and we don’t like it. Now for any one who has ever taken a self defense course or played a sport you know that there is a time to defend and a time to attack or a time to be on defense and a time to score.

What I have found to be really helpful when talking about transitional play is explaining things in it’s’ most simple form. I have told you earlier that most of my coaching experience in hockey is with B level players. This has served me well because their understanding of the game at times leaves a lot to be desired. What balances that out is their attitude about winning and losing and the amount of fun we’ve had in the dressing before and after games. I have also benefited because of the challenges I’ve faced in explaining Defense-to-Offense transition and the benefits of discipline without sounding like Miyagi off the Karate Kid

For most years I wound up with the rowdy bunch, great kids but could be described as difficult to coach. They love to play but aren’t really students of the game per say. Rarely did I use the term Defense-to-Offense transition.

Understanding Defense to Offense transitional play through Karate

Often times we were not the most talented team but we always done better than expected by the end of the year. What I attribute that too is very basic karate principles. The most obvious is put yourself in the best defensive position and you won’t get hit. Hit when you have a clear opening then get back to a stance or position where you won’t get hit again or scored on.

With these guys everybody knew I had karate training but with these guys it never was a big deal. I couldn’t talk about Defense-to-Offense transitional play and giving required support. What I did talk about was when we had the puck we were on offense and when we didn’t have the puck we were on defense. When we didn’t have the puck there was a place to go and when we had the puck there was a place to go. Keep it very basic.

Once players understood that I added “anticipation” into the mix. Anticipation is the key to understanding team Defense-to-Offense transitional play. If your players understand when you are going to lose the puck they will get to their defensive positions faster. They will also get into an offensive position faster when they anticipate when we are going to get the puck.

Once they understood that I would stress working your offense from your defense we wouldn’t actually play a trap. But we always tried to be in the best possible defensive position whether on offense or defense.

I have also found that simple systems work when coaching more skilled players in a tournament situation. For example this year I coached and assisted on an Ontario Provincial Native hockey team where we won the Championship. I also assisted on the Ontario South team in the 2006 Canadian National Aboriginal Hockey Championship where we captured the Silver medal. Make your players understand basic team Defense-to-Offense transition and the results will follow.

Over complicating things can take away talented players creativity. Lines, X’s and O’s on a play board can be impressive but your players basic understanding of defense and offense will take you further faster. It is also the basis for a player to understand the complicated play board plays and descriptions