Wednesday 21 May 2014

Class notes: Get your shirts off

We started off by discussing clothing in a street fight. In Martin's experience, getting rid of at least the coat if of great importance. If they are bigger and longer they can really mess up your movement potential and base. Martin also discovered that the classic wing chun punch does not work against this type of attack as your angles and range are all jammed. He said it took him 3 failed wing chun punches before he realised to turn the shoulders and start throwing right crosses.

Getting your shirt off: So don't be shy about bravado as this will give him nothing to hold onto. Especially the coat. It is almost one of those things that seems so obvious yet never taught or spoken about. This was the first time I had ever heard of going bare chested as a viable strategy. Last night when I got home I began to watch street fight videos on youtube. Most of them are clips of brutal KOs but when the scuffle happens, so does lots of grabbing. So it makes perfect sense to not give them that option.

Fighting with grips:
So what do we need to do if he does have hands on us?
Firstly, try to feel the strength of the grip as he can't have a tight grip and throw heavy shots with the other hand. This is mechanically very hard for the body to work in opposition like this. Conversely, if he has a loose grip then assume that heavy shots will be coming your way.

Hand under the knuckles: Get under the of fingers of the hand that is on you and bend the wrist with your free hand. We looked at going into DWL and striking with the elbow.

Striking from a gripped situation: chin down and feel.Have your palm on his chest as this will give you a gauge of his distance and movement. Hit on the counter by coming under or over the grabbing arm.

Grabbing at the centre: pull the wrist into and on your chest so that the back of his hand will be against your chest with fingers pointing up. You other hand will be controlling the head or neck in a clinch.

Here are a few fun clips of hitting and holding at the same time. Whilst our situation might end up looking like this, I do doubt it as

Hockey fight

A classic between Don Frye and Takayama

3 drill: on their chop forward, pull on the elbow along its powerline and step into head and hip control. Keep the head on the back of his scapular and weight on him.
From here backfist to his face, he covers, you snake the arm over the back of the neck for the wrist to elbow lever. Head on his ribs and throw knees to the face. Again keep heavy pressure on him, let him carry your weight whilst worrying about what is happening to him.

Striking on the break: As he starts to escape, which he inevitably will, and fight for space you need to decide when it is time to let him up and attack. It is too late when he has escaped as he will be better set to attack. As you let him out charge with HQ footwork and throw hands. This will be tremendously difficult psychologically for him because he is under constant pressure from your grappling then striking attacks. Hopefully someone under this pressure is reacting instead of pro-acting.

Breaking the hands risk: A very real fear and concern of mine is my little boy hands and inability to land sustained blows to the head of an opponent. Martin did say that there is a good chance the hands will break when hitting skull and facial bones, regardless of conditioning or hand size.

Even the former heavyweight champ of the world breaks his hands in a street fight:

Martin said that the option is heel of the palm or punching the jaw. Jaw is the fist target. Knuckles to skull will hurt you more than his head.

Pummeling then using the 4 attacks - DWL, head and arm, arm drag, neck and shoulder clinch.

Thai clinch - defend - pull in for head and hip control

Lots of pummelling with everyone. Turning and extending to find the gap in the pummell. Rotate around the spinal axis.

Boxing sparring rounds and incremental development:
Jab catch the ball jab counter

Jabs to the body only, both sides

Throwing the punches and the other simply moves and defends but always thinking about returning fire

Attack with any punches and only defend with movement and the jab

Striking to clinch vs anti grapple and counter striking.

Really loving the sparring and how it is developing. The concept of the protective shell and being defensively minded, accurate in your movement and timing. I feel so more confident and precise since my time in MMA. All the tools I learned in that system are being refined and improved. In addition we are learning a lot more strategy and i find this helps m too. Thinking about strategy prevents me from feeling like a fish out of water. I am interested to see how the sparring will develop in terms of it becoming incrementally 'harder' and lesson to be learned in there.

On a final note, I passed on some wisdom from the class last week to my own students (8/9 years olds). We are currently getting ready for our class assembly and during practise this week I told how important it is to practise really well rather than hoping it will ok on the day. Martin mentionned this last week; in training we should always be trying to perfect our movements as that is what we are there for. Should we need this stuff, how effective can we be if our practise has been poor?

Hope you enjoyed the cartoon violence in the YouTube clips!

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