Saturday, December 30, 2006

Encounter With Danger

Green Belt Technique

This technique works when we have been pushed hard from the front and are falling backwards as a result. To prevent our head from hitting the ground on impact, we have our rear end hit the ground first, and both of our hands slap the ground to absorb the shock. Hence, to absorb the shock, we take the angle of least resistance and go with the push. We then immediately counter with a modified side kick to the groin at the same time that our hands slap the ground. If that kick doesn’t drive the opponent back enough to end the confrontation, we then role onto our left side and execute a right side kick to the opponent’s body.

Obscure Claws

Green Belt Technique

This technique is designed where an attacker attempts a rear grab to our right shoulder and pulls us back. The angle of least resistance, then, is to borrow that force and go with it by stepping back with our right foot to a left neutral bow as we claw the opponent’s face with both hands. The first claw will cancel the opponent’s height and width and our forearm and shoulder will act as a check as we do the initial step back. After the double claws to the face, if the opponent is still holding on, we can proceed by stepping forward with the right foot to a right forward bow as we execute the elbow break to the opponent’s arm.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Twirling Wings

Purple Belt Technique

This self-defense technique is for a rear two-hand choke to our throat while the opponent is pulling us back. As such, the angle of least resistance is to go with the momentum driving us back. As we do, we drop our left foot back to approximately 5 o’clock, as we end up pivoting to a forward bow with a left vertical outward block to the opponent’s left arm to clear it, followed immediately by a right inward horizontal elbow to the attacker’s ribs. We then pivot out of the forward bow as we execute a left inward horizontal elbow to the ribs and/or solar plexus. The issue, however, that many Kenpoists don’t address is the lack of the pin. If, when we are being choked and pulled back we do not pin, it is possible for the opponent’s left arm to hit our face either by accident or intentionally, which could cause us injury and potentially check our width and depth since we are turning into the left hand. As a result, this technique is more effective when we pin the opponent’s left hand with our right hand. Why pin specifically the opponent’s left hand? Because it is best to check the opponent’s arm that we are moving into. There is no need to check the hand of the opponent that we are moving away from. Furthermore, if we pin the opponent’s hand tightly, it is possible to break the elbow and/or wrist of the opponent as we take the angle of least resistance as we are being pulled back. The technique is called Twirling Wings because of the figure eight type pattern with our two elbows.

Short summary: PIN the opponent’s left hand as we step back!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Delayed Sword

Yellow Belt Technique

Delayed Sword is a self-defense technique taught off a front, right hand lapel grab. The catalyst is a grab, followed by a shove. Therefore, the initial step back is your angle of least resistance assuming a non-static attack.

Many American Kenpo instructors teach the technique by stepping back with the left foot and executing a right inward strike to the attacker’s right wrist or bicep while the left hand is checking at solar plexus level as a precautionary check. The problem with this approach is that they are omitting the importance of pinning the hand the grabs. The pin and step back is used to cancel the opponent’s height, width, and depth. Also, if you don’t pin the hand that grabs, if the opponent lets go, it will cancel most of your action. After the pin, step back, and inward strike, the next move is a front kick to the opponent’s groin, which acts as a simultaneous width and depth check. The technique concludes by using marriage of gravity as you execute a right handsword to the opponent’s neck, being sure to cut diagonally down to check height, width, and depth zones.

Delayed Sword teaches students how to use their strong side forward (which is important in the early stages of learning) and how to create and gauge distance. Should the first inward strike not cancel the opponent’s width, and the attacker counters with a left punch, it is possible to graft into Sword of Destruction. Alternatively, if the opponent tries to tackle us after the inward strike, we can graft into, say, Striking Serpent’s Head or Intercepting the Ram.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sparring Tips for Beginners

I have been training in Karate for about six months now, and my forms are coming along fine. However, I am having a very difficult time with sparring. Do you have any suggestions for a beginner to improve sparring?

If you fight often, you are going to get really good at sparring, especially when you are fighting people that are better than you. It won't be long when you can dominate fights against other beginners because of your experience in fighting good fighters.

Here are a few tips:
(1) the weakest area of Kenpoists (generally speaking) is their kicks. So work on delivering fast and effective kicks when putting your combinations together.
(2) commit to hitting; don't be hesitant when you strike - go for it!
(3) don't just use your lead leg and lead hand like so many do (e.g. use your reverse punch)
(4) take a zone of sanctuary when your opponent attacks
(5) don't look at the target you are trying to hit
(6) shadow-box
(7) be patient and you WILL see results!