Sunday, June 20, 2010

Drill Post #14: Low Maintenance Kicks

In a weird psycho-social way, I understand why certain kicks are not emphasized in most martial arts. Take the foot-stomp. Most people, particularly of the youth species, have an image of martial arts being exotic and physically dramatic (high flying kicks and so on), so if those people went to a school and saw the teacher showing people how to stomp on someone's foot or knee them in the thigh, instead of being impressed with the straight-forward practicality, they would be disappointed, thinking "Well, anyone could do that!" Of course they would be missing several points, among them that they wouldn't think to do that if they weren't turned on to it, and that one still needs the training to catch the opportunity amidst the flow of things. Which is why sometimes I call some of what I do "Old Fart" method; that is, I want to emphasize things that I could do as an old fart. As part of that ethos, we would want the lowest maintenance tools in our repertory. Two of those tools are the foot stomp and the knee to the thigh. One way to train these, beside the obvious use as a follow-up to hand or foot combinations, is in the midst of hand defense. So now, going back to drill post #7, when the trainer goes into a flow of strikes that the trainee is defending against, the trainee/defender should also look for opportunities to knee the attacker's thigh or to foot stomp. A few details here: The foot stomp may be toe point out or toe pointing out according to how your body is positioned as you are defending. Also, regarding the knee, some might ask why we don't just knee the groin. While kneeing the groin is a good tactic, it is more instinctive to defend, and there are many times when the opponent's groin is not an available target, but the inside, outside and front of the opponent's thigh is usually available when at hand range, and as an added bonus, no average dude thinks of defending their thigh. Needless to say, the execution of the foot stomp and knee needs to be completely controlled in training unless good protective equipment is used. Have fun!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Drill Post #13: Defending the Attack

This will relate back to drill post #7 where the trainee sometimes has to switch up from attack to defense, but in a more concentrated way.

This may be done initially without footwork, but after working it in a stationary fashion, it should be done with the trainer moving the footwork around freelance.

Staying just INSIDE the fighting measure where the either of you can reach with a strike without having to step in to do so, the trainer has his hands somewhat up, but a bit wide and low so as to give the trainee available targets. The trainee throws a consistent flow of strikes using training targets (such as a light palm contact to the neck of the trainer, or the chest), and periodically the trainer (who is not defending) throws a strike or two at the same time as the trainee is striking, forcing him to choose appropriate defenses with his striking or passive hand (or bob and weaving).

Many martial systems have simultaneous defense and attack as part of what they do, but attack and simultaneous defense is not the same mental skill, and the reason to do this drill. Note that in many fights, both swing away and one gets knocked for a loop just out of happenstance.