As a beginner in martial arts, you first learn how to block, basic blocks: closed-fist low block, inside-outside block, and high block.
Next comes punches, middle punch, high punch, low punch. After that, basic kicks: front snap, round, and side. Skip-jump kicks come thereafter.
Then, open-hand (knife-hand) blocks and attacks. Don’t forget jump kicks.
You get all these techniques on blocking and attacking, but it isn’t until later that one starts to pick up one of the most important lessons: the side-step.
In the beginning, one learns how to hard block, then hard attack. As the martial arts student matures, he begins to learn that stepping up to make the hard block isn’t the only maneuver. Rather, it’s not being there at all when an attack comes that sets one up for the best position. Side-stepping, or skip-stepping allows one to get out of the way long enough to avoid an attack, instead of taking it head-on.
As an inexperienced businessperson will often take things head-on, confronting every situation with either a hard block or attack, the same principles apply: taking head-on attacks with hard blocks and attempting to insta-attack back always isn’t the best solution. Sometimes side-stepping provides the best angle and position from which to make an efficient move.
There are at least three moves available to an oncoming attack or incoming problem: hard-block, attack, or side-step.
Never underestimate the side-step, because executing it correctly means the next move (*ahem*, back-kick)…is the one that counts.