At the core of the Guilds teaching, are the Principles. Some will be self-evident; others will become apparent through practice and repetition. An understanding of these Principles should allow the combatant to create his or her particular solution to any problem or combat situation.
AWARENESS - EYE CONTACT
Awareness is arguably the most vital Principle. Without the Awareness of an attack one will not be able to react to it, without Awareness one will not be able to sense opportunities to attack. Awareness is is the core Principle in developing the skills in oneself, Awareness of what is appropriate and Awareness of what one is actually doing. In the Guild the basis for developing Awareness is through the use of Eye Contact. This means that the scholar’s eyes are directed on those of their opponent from the beginning to the end of an exchange, simultaneously making use of their peripheral vision to take in the greatest range of visual information from the surrounding area. This helps to stop the scholar focusing the on inappropriate things and thinking about how and what they are doing. In training it also helps the scholars to work together
Understanding the systems of the body and mind. The design of the human body will dictate the ways in which it should be used most efficiently. Also understanding the roles of Physiology and Psychology, both in the process of learning and the applications of the skill, it is also vital to understand how all these are affected by the adrenaline and stress in increasingly "real" violence
This refers to both Physical and Mental balance. Both start from centring the body and the mind to insure that the Practitioner as a whole is involved in the process.
Intent or Combative Intent, refers to the mindset and the way that the actions are carried out. The Intention may change depending upon the context. However at a basic level, the goal is neutralise the threat. As such all actions should be carried out with this goal in mind. At all stages of training the scholar must understand and apply Intention, for without it the movements will be pointless.
CONTROL/ECONOMY OF EFFORT
Control refers to the ability to carry out the actions required appropriately to the situation. For example; In attack placing the attack on the appropriate target with the appropriate levels of Power. The concepts of Forcing and Yielding are based in the understanding of these Principles
Making use of the body’s natural movement patterns to control Distance, position and to generate and transmit Power
TIMING, RHYTHM & SPEED
Actions relating between those involved in combat can be said to take place either, Before, During or After those of the opponent. Also all actions can be defined by the Times they take. In relating actions to one another the one that involves the fewest times will be generally considered to be more efficient. In general the rhythm of a movement or a series of movements will depend on the number of Times involved and commitment with which they are carried out. If the opponent has the advantage of Time then one can use Speed to alter or regain the advantage
DISTANCE & POSITION
Distance relates to when you or the opponent is able to the hit with one or more of their weapons, one needs to control Distance appropriately to the weapon and attack being used. By controlling Position one can improve one’s ability to hit and avoid being hit, while reducing that of your opponent
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the weapons you are using and facing.
The ability to generate and transmit Power in to you opponent.