Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting to Grips with YS

The key message with this one, is don't- you'll end up on your head!

We did standard Kihon last night- just good standard training, which was really good for me as several of us had been out late the night before at the KWF "Shadow" Hombu Dojo, Barmian, sending Bryan Sensei off.

We had gakusei in tonight (university students) so YS focused on cleaning up their Bassai Dai. That is a post all in of itself!
We also did Jion. But to be honest, I was so exhausted, I was coasting on fumes.

A Gripping Situation

Ouch! Yowl!
About three times a year YS deals with applications that are not part of Kata bunkai. Last night, we went through some techniques and takedowns about how to deal in a Karate way with situations where a thug or a hoodie, drunk, etc. grabs you by the lapel. Usually its for leverage for the quickly coming headbutt, punch or, with a second hand coming quickly, headbutt, knee in the groin. We only did two techniques, but we did them lots of times, and YS only stopped when we all demonstrated that we could do them. Unfortunately for me, I was the aite, so now I am covered in bruises...

It's difficult to explain the moves, so I'll check Best Karate etc. to see if there are Nakayama Sensei equivalents. The most important thing, however, is to be fast- not hurried, because that's fatal, and decisive. YS says there is a huge difference in power and approach between a left hand grab and a right hand grab. Most people are right handed, so a left hand grab often means a right hand punch is coming. Unless, of course, your thug is a southpaw. So, there are no absolute truths and there are many caveats. The major thing is be cool and decisive and strong!

Enpi Attack
Assuming a right had grip, an extremely fast vertical chop down hitting the top of the arm on a spot 5-8 centimeters on the lower part of the forearm on the palm side of the forearm should, done properly, rip the hand away from the strongest grip. The point here is the point- it's difficult to explain exactly where that point is- you have to be told and you have to be hit there to feel it. Hitting it is really, really painful- it's a tsubo or pressure point. But then, the critical thing is that you use the momentum for a powerful Enpi to ribs, groin, face, throat, etc. getting inside your opponent. And I mean you really go for it- creating the opportunity for you to take the initiative. I am lucky because after years of Judo, I have taken several thugs down with Tai-otoshi, or Harai-goshi. But these days a powerful heel on the shin, ankle will do!

The most difficult part of these moves however is not to signpost and to generate power at the same time. When someone grabs you, it means that they feel aggressive and instinctively superior to you so you MUST take away their initiative immediately. Act fast, cool, decisively- so don't swing your chop back and come down, use the hips and chop vertically! Again, with your center of gravity below your opponent, don't signpost the Enpi, just smash it in, shinshuku, and up. When I did this to Goro even controlled, there was a sickening smack of my elbow and his jaw and he went flying.

Lock and Takedown
This is almost impossible for me to describe- you have to do it and either you get the hang of it quickly or you need a competent teacher to break it down with you, and build it up. Luckily I also did a year of Aikido- so while I would never pretend to be anything more than a beginner, at least I am used to doing these things. I'll see if I can find someone who knows what technique this refers to. The main thing about a wrist lock is making sure to use your whole body with your hips to draw your assailant off balance. I personally think that once you have done that, you are on the way to dealing with the situation- the next thing to do is to make sure you take advantage of your advantage!


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