Thursday, July 22, 2010

Drill Post #16: One More Destruction

Previously we've talked about a stop-kick/low side kick as a counter to kicks, punches and general advances, and in the last post we talked about two do-able destructions (injuring the attacker's incoming strike). Although the average street fight does not involve kicking very commonly, even with all the MMA popularity, it would not be shocking to encounter someone kicking. The low round kick ("hook" in JKD terminology) is often defended against by either evasion or "shielding," a block using either the shin or outside of the calf. The shin shield, however, takes a lot of conditioning, and while it will be painful to the kicker's shin, it doesn't feel great on the receiving end either. The calf shield doesn't feel as painful to use but it doesn't really hurt the kicker either. The kali knee shield is a good alternative. The proper execution involves getting the thick bone just below your kneecap to the instep of the incoming kick (which really can't be conditioned worth a darn). Done correctly, your leg will feel fine and their foot may be broken or be so painful as to be hard to stand on. It would be understandable for someone to point out that it takes much more accuracy to do than the standard shields, but it takes much less time to develop the accuracy required than the conditioning of a shin shield which makes this a great solution in a number of ways. An important point in the execution is to draw back rather than advance as you shield, because that way you are replacing the intended target, your thigh, with your knee. If you advance in any way, you will end up crashing shins. By using a slight retreat (possibly just pulling you weight onto the rear foot to be able to point the knee inward or outward at the incoming instep) you also move back out of hand range should the kick be a fake to be followed by a hand attack. If you have good shin/instep pads, then the trainer can put them on, move around freely and firing light round kicks to the inside or outside of the trainee's lead thigh, which he defends against with a "point shield," that is, one that drives into the kicker's instep as we have described. This can be a real show stopper.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Drill Post #15: Two Easy Destructions

Dan Inosanto refers to the Filipino Kali tactic of attacking of an opponent's strike or kick as "destructions." Some require finer timing than others. Two of the simplest destructions to time are the forward elbow against a jab or cross and the downward elbow against kicks coming straight in at the mid-section. Several issues regarding the jab/cross destruction to be aware of. First, the distancing should most often be using a small retreat as though you were going to use a "catch." This has two important functions; first, it gives you the room to fit the pointed-forward elbow between your face and the opponent's fist, and second, should you not have the proper accuracy, the opponent's strike should not be able to reach your face. An additional bonus is that if your accuracy/timing is off, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to become gun-shy, thinking "Holy smoke! That guy just tried to break my fingers!" It is more likely that he will just think you were covering. It is important when training this, that the trainer/attacker (wearing good hand protection, duh, or using lighter strikes with his palm) actually aims honestly for the defender's face, and doesn't "help" him by aiming for his elbow.

As for a dropped elbow on a front or side kick, still maintain proper distance, retreating just enough to be out of the range of the kick but close enough to come back in quickly with hands or feet afterwards if you want to. As you drop the point of your elbow sharply on his ankle/instep (if it's a front kick) or low outside of his leg (if it's a side kick), still keep your eyes forward so you can see possible hand attacks coming.

Note that in both cases, it's a one-step defense and counter, and really, the finesse needed is not extreme, certainly not a lot more that just a simple boxer's catch in the first case and definitely easier and safer than a scoop parry versus kicks.

Finally, a quasi-political note. There are JKD "traditionalists" that would avoid developing these tactics because they were not part of the JKD/JF curriculum. But since they "fit in" with the structure and principles of directness and efficiency, there is no reason not to use them other than a misguided closed-mindedness, the antithesis of what JKD is all about.

Good for now!