Circular movements, allow a natural continuation of successive techniques as well as a continuous flow from technique to technique in combination. Circular movements typically necessitate the use of both hands.
Most attack movements travel along a relatively horizontal plane; the arm or leg is going to be at a relatively horizontal position relative to the target surface. Thus, blocks and parries are going to travel along a relatively vertical plane so as to gain the greatest surface area (and the greatest advantage) against the attacking appendage. If both the attack and the block traveled along a horizontal plane, the block would have a greater chance of missing and being ineffective.
The quickest way to engage a blocking arm with force against an attack is to use a circular movement, but this is not the quickest movement. The quickest movement would be simply to bend the arm. However, this would merely place the arm between the attack and the intended target. If we wish to deflect the blow, we would need to move the arm at some angle to the attack. This is where the circular movement allows for a quick response.
It is not practical to use circular movements in one direction only, and, if we stop the movement to reverse direction, we would lose continuity and speed. Therefore, to change directions without losing speed, the arm needs to travel in a figure eight. With this movement, blocking and attacking may be continuous and the arm maintains its speed and power. In contrast, a linear block would require a change of direction which takes time.
Linear movements have a range advantage. Normally, during linear movements, the arms or legs are relatively straight, while in circular movements, the arms or legs make contact when the appendage is bent. Thu, linear movements have greater reach and circular movements have greater continuity.
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