Sunday, March 21, 2010

Drill Post #4: Hand Defense Training

In drill posts 1 and 2, footwork was the primary defense, along with the stop-hit and then the stop-kick in post 3. Now, to develop the hand defenses further, we'll take away all footwork. As the trainee, put your back foot against a wall (now taking away all footwork) and having a partner throw a flow of strikes at you, not hard at first, and not so fast you are getting tagged most of the time. As your skill builds up, the trainer should go faster and appropriately harder. Also, the strikes being thrown should mix smooth combinations and broken rhythm, the simplest example being half of a jab followed by a rear hook, or half of a right hook (as fake) smoothly followed by the left hook. This will help develop a bodily understanding that what seems to be coming might turn out to be something else, and to keep all defenses small and tight as possible to be able to deal with those unexpected shifts in the flow. The primary tools the defender will use will be the high-line parries (parrying on the outside of the feeder's hands), the modified high cover for head hooks, low covers for body hooks, centerline forearm parries (like a detached "fook sao" from Wing Chun) for mid and low straight shots. For the variation of a cover (versus hooks) that I recommend, put your wrist on the back of your head, shoulder hunched up, with the elbow level between the nose and the eyebrow and, very importantly, pointed OUT slightly. This angle prevents a hook from getting any kind of surface to "bite" into and makes it slide off behind you. It's important to slip slightly forward when doing this to prevent the hook from slipping inside of the cover. The defender should keep his gaze on the attackers chest so as to be able to pay attention to a field of activity rather than one thing at a time.

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