The Most Important Martial Arts Technique

Written by Jason McCormick (Parent News Magazine – February, 2012)

I have operated Karate World in Surfside for almost 17 years. During this time people have asked me all sorts of questions about my line of work, but one question seems to be the most popular “What do you think is the most important martial arts technique?” or What’s your favorite move?”.  The answer might surprise you. It’s not a punch, a kick or a grappling submission. It’s a technique called The Position of Attention. You simply stand with your feet together, hands firmly by your side, with your head and eyes to the front.

As a young Marine recruit on Parris Island, I spent a significant part of my day standing in the “P.O.A” and often wondered why, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that this was the ultimate exercise in concentration and self-control. It really taught me a lot about blocking out distractions (you don’t want to know what happens to Marine recruits that swat sand fleas while they’re supposed to be standing at attention!)

I finally believe that if a person lacks the concentration and self-control skills needed to stand perfectly still for a short period of time, then he or she will have a difficult time learning martial arts or any other thing for that matter! For this reason, the Position of Attention is the first thing students learn in my class. It’s the foundation that everything else is built upon. So there you have it. It’s not glamorous and you probably won’t see anybody do it in the next UFC, but the Position of Attention has my vote for the most important martial arts technique!