Wednesday 29 January 2014

Class notes: the new beginning

Being back with Martin and the class was like we had never been away. It was great to see so many familiar faces and that throughout the night training was serious, fun, focused and relaxed all at the same time!

As always with this blog it is only my point of view and my memory that gets these words down. All errors and misconceptions are mine alone and will hopefully be edited as my understanding and learning develops. This blog is also reflective of where I am in life and my journey down the path of martial arts which last Autumn was my 20th following this endeavor.

Martin gave a brief yet deep introduction. He talked of where this path is going, why and what he now teaches and all the different influences that have got him and ultimately us to this point. My primary understanding is that he wants to guide us along the path of being martial artists, not just in our weekly class but beyond.

And so to the class.

3 drill:
Just getting warmed up by rolling with lots of different partners but our main focus was the chin. Previously the head sat on top of the spine, now we are more concerned with head preservation and tucking the makes sound defensive sense. Whilst the 3 drill is not a fight, I think it does teach and develop attributes distance, range, timing, relaxing under attack and in attack, sensitivity at close range, fluid motion over stiff. In keeping the chin down you add another dimension to your practice by forming the habit of keeping the chin down. For some tucking the chin equals tight neck and shoulders so over time this is something to be aware of. On a less modest note was how quickly the 3 drill came back to all which made me realise how much we must have done all those moons ago.

Double wrist lock (Upward shoulder rotation) against the rear bear hug:
It transpires that only the daft will take your back this way if they want their shoulder ripped to pieces. It does make better sense to take the back from the angle. Instead of your hips facing his, have your hips to the side so you are facing one of his hips. This is a much safer yet offensive position to work from.
Tight scoop and lever; hug yourself with your own elbow and get right under his forearm. Keep the hug tight. Snaking tarn between his forearm and you, other hand comes over and grabs his wrist (thumb inside), tightly grab your wrist, lean onto his shoulder and rotate the shoulder by taking his hand higher than his elbow. This is one of those moves you need to see, feel and simply drill. Other hints are for the takedown by standing on the foot and fast torquing of the body as if to rip the arm off. The separating of his wrist from your body is not a slow motion, getting to it yes as you want absolute control, but when it comes to the rotation, explosively rotate for maximum effect.

Forearm break from double wrist lock

– palm up grab, rotate, deep DWL, ulna against his wrist and rev.

Lead jab and counter:
Horizontal fist striking is new for many people at the class as they were used to the wing chun bottom 3 knuckles. Martin is giving us greater food for thought. He gave a brief demo regarding distance and range and how the plane of the punch changes with it. Long range = HF, as you get closer to the opponent the angle moves towards vertical. Jab details: lead with the shoulder and the the chin, weight is balanced through the feet, balls of the feet.

Rear hand pak sau defence against the jab
– half an half motion – hand and head. This tightens your defense and gives the opponent less options. A large and extended pak sau leaves you open for an attack along his second power line. Sort tight motions prevent him reading your defences quickly. As we spend more time on this I can comment more too. As a drill it looked like A jabs, B pak sau, B jab and A pak sau.
Testing hook defence after jab feeds:

Man sau – turn from the torso keeping the motion small and tight in the body and the arm, do not over extend and give him lines to crash through. Again this was an example of being economical and precise with your motions, it was also for about staying calm. I can liken it to teaching children in my day job how to catch a tennis ball. Normally in the beginning they reach and extend with the arms when the most efficient way is to stay relaxed and use the legs and the body. It makes sense to me as I taught this last week… This man sau will, never block a powerful hook. Ever. It is more the range finder type strike

Last chance saloon punch defence:

Bicep hugging roll, but in balance ready to throw from and out of.
The old adage of time flying when you have fun is a perfect way to describe tonight. Even though it has been a long time since the class ended, the night of the London riots, I feel like it was yesterday. I am looking forward to complementing all the lessons I learned at MMA and moving forward in my understanding of using my limbs to outwit another and his limbs but also actually trying to apply this learning to life.