Tuesday 15 April 2014

Class notes: (guest instructor Andy Cross)

As Martin was away he arranged for his training partner to come and take the class. The class has more of a street feel to it and Andy's approach is a little more gritty than Martin's. He talked candidly about his own real life experiences and was thus teaching from practical experience. We did learn a sequence of techniques that followed an incremental progression but the main theme of the night was angles, leverage and structure. This was something that Andy was most insistent about us taking away from the lesson and looking to apply in future learning.

As I reflect back on the class there was also the idea of being in the best position at all times to ensure you are safe in the environment you are working in. Being aware of the threat and any other potential threats from the environment, from his friends. Be aware of the distance and range and aim to control that.

We started with our jab and counter jab drill and then using the pivot footwork to create the angle for the right cross and thus being off his power lines.

Next we looked at attacking his lead foot by stepping on it when he attacks with the jab. Thankfully I can moan on here about my sore toes from the session tonight as we did a lot of this initial attack. Thankfully because I am not Ayyaz who was politely tortured all night long as the crash test dummy for Andy.

From this the foot step we added a range of attacks depending on their range. As I have said before, in essence it did not matter what techniques we learned tonight, it was about what angles and leverage did we use.

- foot step - grab the jab and left hand to the back of the head, step up and in balance and stomp kick to his knee, sweep with the heel, control his fall and land with knees. Nice straight spine so the knees land heavy and you are in a safe structure position.

- Miss the foot and go deep and using the left to go high to protect you from his right, adding the knee to get him folding his structure.

- 'Come on then' posture: Crash in to control his left with your right, your left smashes into his collar bone taking the single Thai grip, sweep the foot then continue with knee stomps and takedowns. To get the sweep correct they must be on the back foot first then you lengthen and shorten your stride. By doing this you are dragging his base long to put you in a better position as his structure is now very weak.

- Headlock defence: strong positive spine posture, reach around and grab his shoulder and use this as a lever. Pull him around and not back on the shoulder. Your shoulder will also act as a brace point to pressure his shoulder. Turn towards him hip to hip (perpendicular) and affect his structure with a scissor action (forehead and base of his spine). From here we looked at several options to get the job done - elbows to the chest, neck crank and nasty fook sau guillotine. The new detail on the guillotine was using the thumb bone - folding to base knuckle - sitting flat on the hand and lifting into the centre if his throat. This was very painful and very fast yet it feels like nothing when you are doing it. The difference between a tight one and one you believe you can escape from is the elbow. The thumb arm is the same shape as a fook sau. Your elbow is against your torso and this small distance automatically gives you range to prevent him from taking the hips. When Trist had the thumb up it was horrible but when he had it all in the fook sau shape it was horrendous and I was tapping instantly.

In closing it was great of Andy to give his time to us tonight and show us his perspective on the martial arts. There was a real buzz in the class and a good turn out too. A huge thanks to Ayyaz for being a most excellent demo dude cos we were glad it was not us.

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