Recently I whipped up a few videos for the website. In fact, my last post featured one of those videos, and luckily I had a weapon to handle the whole time. Something I noticed during my open hand videos is that I make a lot of hand gestures naturally throughout the course of my conversation.

I also noticed that my voice goes up into a high pitch sometimes, which is annoying. Sorry.

But anyway, I do a lot of gesticulation. Once I started thinking about it, I realized that this is no accident at all. Whenever I discuss self defense with students, I always talk about putting yourself at a safe distance and keeping something (i.e. your hands) in between you and your opponent. This will greatly increase your ability to quickly react and defend. One of the best ways to have your hands up naturally and without drawing attention to it is to have “talking hands” while you interact with people.

Not too long ago I was watching Goeff Thompson (proud owner of The Fence), and he made the very same point. In fact, he took it one step further and claimed that if you don’t train your fence to be natural and part of your communication process, it won’t serve as well as possible in times of stress. Good fence technique, he explains, can be a subtle controlling factor that causes your opponent to feel at a loss, and puts you in ideal body position to defend yourself.

Next week I’ll post a video that discusses bunkai, and you’ll be able to see my hand jiving in action.

Do you have a good natural fence that flows with your conversation?