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1.23.2006

GJ "No Man's Land"

Another great big practice, people must think we're another club or something =D First I'll go through our practice, we started with our new standard warm-up. We then split into groups of junior and senior students.
The junior students reviewed the basic "Goshin Jitsu Fighting StanceTM". The essentials of which are these
  • Start with your feet shoulder width apart and then drop your strong side foot back creating a box with your feet on the diagonal corners.
  • Light on the balls of your feet
  • Knees are bent
  • Hands are up in a good guard position, resting the triceps on the body, the arms and forearms covering the body from waist to head. Tuck your chin.
  • In order to step, move the foot closest to the direction your are moving in first. Never cross your feet, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (Sony Pictures) was a great movie but that's all it was.
Next we worked on establishing range with our partner. Starting from a jab "high five" one partner moves and the other tries to keep the range, intermittently checking the range with the "high five" jab. Next we covered the jab, cross, and reviewed the snap elbow:
  • With the jab we are trying to swat a fly, we need the speed to catch the fly, but we need the power to smash it. We use the body, that is, our hips to throw with power, allowing us to relax the arm and increase our speed. Thus our feet and upper body rotate 90o (loading the cross), extending the jab. The shoulder rolls up and the chin drops in behind the shoulder, protecting your jaw. This can be delivered with our index and middle finger knuckles or as a palm heel using the base of the radius and ulna (much bigger bones than our fingers).
  • The cross is loaded by the jab, this is a power punch, although still fast it is a fight ender. Use the return of the body, dropping the rear hip and knee into the punch, increasing the weight we load behind the shot. Again the shoulder rolls up and the chin drops in behind the shoulder, protecting your jaw. Either a fist or a palm heel can be used.
  • The snap elbows are also forward motion, delivered with the same mechanics as the jab and cross, except (1) the striking surface is the elbow (either cutting or bludgeoning) and (2) we must protect our head using the "rooster's comb"/"fixing your hair".
Next we worked basic street defense off a (haymaker) punch, having stopped the punch we can either insert our elbows, jab and cross, or we can overhook the punch arm, "praying mantis kung fu" hook the head setting up a side thai clinch. We take a half circle step away, pulling the head down for knees. Remember, getting attacked is a scary, frightening thing. We need a simple solution that covers the majority of attacks and sets up our reaction. We also need a tool that is initially minimally damaging in case we want to change the encounter. We also covered three levels of aggression using the wrist grab:
  1. Someone grabs your wrist, free yourself and assess, is this an attack or a friend trying to get your attention. Work against the thumb, using one or more directions if necessary. Using a step toward or away to increase leverage.
  2. Wrist grab with pull. Again free yourself, but create distance and be ready to "throw down", this person wants you somewhere, the best reason not to go!
  3. Wrist grab with punch. Forget the wrist grab the strike is the threat now and a serious one at that, return to basic street defense.
And always remember if you cannot remember the technique: Hit one or all of the following: Eyes, Throat, Groin, and Knees.
The senior students started on the Thai pads working leg kick defense (with many profuse thanks to Jeff):
  1. (Lead) Leg Cover Three (CHC) and (Lead) Leg Cover Thai (CH Rear Kick)
  2. (Lead) Leg Evasion Three (CHC) and (Lead) Leg Evasion Kick. The lead leg either comes to be in-line with the rear leg or goes far enough back to cause a lead change, the rear leg does not move. I try to use the step back to explosively return my reaction. I'm struck with the possibility of putting a tiip in here to good effect. Will try and get back on this.
  3. 'Shopped Heisman...doing Muay Thai(Rear) Leg Cover Three (CHC). For an outside kick to rear leg, cover with rear leg, and lean forward with lead hand extended (think Muay Thai Heisman except the opposite hand is extended) and fall into CHC reaction.
  4. Finished with working kicking angles.
We transitioned into throws, working several variations of uki-waza or "floating throw" ("Kodokan Judo" (Jigoro Kano) pg. 93)
Uki-waza
Control the same side with an over hand grip on the elbow, other hand is in a half hug. Sit into a modified hurdler stretch (one knee bent shin across partner's foot, one leg extended calf across their other foot) away from elbow control side, your butt should be outside their leg. Confusing as it may sound, pull forward and up as your sit down. Extend bent knee as a hook. I have often used this "throw" from the ground as a sweep. If they come down on top of you, that is their motion is not over your extended leg, lift with the bent knee and twist them to the opposite side.
Uki-waza variation
Cross hand grip on wrist, same side hug. Sit on partner's foot, extending one leg between theirs, pull them down and over your hugging side shoulder. Use extended leg and turn it into a hook to lift inside their knee.
Reverse uki-waza
From a side clinch position, sit down and extend one leg behind both of your partner's feet. Use the body lock and head pressure to pull them backward over your leg, not onto your body. The objective is to trip them, not blow out their knees with your ponderous derrière. This works well off a hip toss attempt, where your partner steps in front of you.
Sit through uki-waza
Again from the side clinch, but this time you are going to sit through to the opposite side. Thus pop under partner's arm pit, extend your foot to partner's far side, and sit, dragging and extending your other leg behind you. Use the momentum and extended leg to trip and throw to floor. This works well off a punch, the bigger the better.
I had everyone work off the street punch attempting these throws. A key caveat, people do not always fall "nicely" but if they fall down you did something right, just maybe not the technique you were trying to do. We finished with seven rounds of sprints.
The striking no-man's land of the GREEN combatant for two fighters of the same size and relative abilityI've been talking about "no man's land" for a bit on here, so I thought I'd give it a more concrete definition. No man's land is the space that is strategically inferior for one fighter, the area within which your reaction time is too slow to pick up your opponent's action. It is not a constant range, but a function of space and time. It is also an unavoidable place that a fighter must sometimes pass through, the point is not to stay there. Within a striking game we can almost describe "no man's land" as a Venn diagram. Obviously the "no man's land" will be approximately the same for two fighters of the same size with variability accorded for differences in physical and technical ability (see SPECTRUM). The green fighter can decrease the "no man's land" effect by angling both offensively and defensively as well as strongly attacking and then leaving the area either by clinching, taking down, or exiting. Think of a street fight, the two fighters stay within each other's "no man's land" exchanging until the luckier and/or more powerful fighter dishes out more damage than they take. In striking, the "no man's land" is largely a function of reaction time, if the green fighter is inactive within a range to short for green's reaction time to pick up red's attack, no amount of training in the world will work defensively.
The striking no-man's land of two fighters of different size or abilityMore often, especially in a self-defense situation, two fighters will not be equal, differences due to size and/or ability come into play. Green's "no man's land" is (largely) unchanged while red has a much greater area where green's offensive capability outweighs red's. However, control of RATTLE variables as well as definitive offense with a solid exit strategy can defeat this advantage. The point is that a fighter must minimize the amount of time exposed within "no man's land", if you are on the losing end of each exchange, a change of plan is required, a "remapping" of your respective borders is necessary. Methods for doing this involve:
  • Solid, bursts of offense with an answer for the end of the offensive flurry.
  • Drawing and baiting, provoking and testing the limits of your opponent's "no man's land".
  • Reaction/counter action allowing your opponent into their "no man's land" and then punishing this indiscretion
The shot's no-man's land of two fighters of different size or abilityI think the "no man's land" concept can be extended to throwing as well as grappling. For example, in taking a shot there is an optimal time and position depending on your opponent. A taller opponent allows a shot from a greater distance, the sprawl is a reaction and larger bodies will, in general, move slower than smaller ones. The downside of course is that should a larger fighter sprawl they have more weight and length to spread into the sprawl, but they should be easier to catch in poorer sprawl position. Conversely it is easier for a smaller fighter to pick-up on a shot attempt, although they are still have to deal with a larger opponent's mass and strength. However, the "no man's land" concept holds, there is a spatiotemporal "area" that is suboptimal for defense of the shot that is dependent on fighter size and ability. Your job is to recognize how it varies with different partners and adapt accordingly.
The reap's no-man's land of two fighters of different size or abilityA counter example can be shown with reaping throws such as osoto-gari (larger outer reap), harai-goshi (hip sweep), or uchi-mata (inner thigh reaping throw) ("Kodokan Judo" (Jigoro Kano) pg. 64, 74, and 75). In such cases the smaller fighter has a much greater "no man's land", they can be reaped from further out than a larger one. Again ability is a mitigating factor in this construct, a more able smaller fighter can defend a larger competitor's reap, but can still be thrown not due to clean technique but due to a stature discrepancy. Throws have a unique variability, granting different threat ranges i.e. "no man's land" depending on the physics of their execution. Thus, we can structure our game to the physically most advantageous throws and work defenses first against those throws we are most vulnerable to.
Grappling no-man's land of two fighters of different size or abilityJust as striking and throwing have "no man's land" grappling also has its components of strategic vulnerability. Larger competitors have larger holes due both to anatomical factors and psychology, i.e. strength over technique (why, because it works...initially). The length of a thigh or the distance between the arm pit and hip are quite immutable, and a smaller person can escape through these holes, especially when poor technique is used. The weight and size of a larger fighter can often defeat the smaller competitor by wearing them down, but the "no man's land" to escape position and set up attack is greater for the larger person, a talented smaller fighter can literally slip through their fingers. Think about how hard it is to arm bar or choke a stocky person with short limbs and (essentially) no neck. It's a similar level of difficulty as it is when you try to sweep someone who is long limbed. The stocky person is more easy to sweep than submit while the the taller person is often easier to submit than sweep, largely due to physiological differences. Thus they have vulnerabilities or "no man's lands" of different aspects of their bodies. They can more easily defend one than the other. The solution is to tighten technique to shrink the window that allows for escape from position, submission, or reversal.

1 comment:

Joker said...

Jack mentioned yesterday that Bruce Lee had (already) discussed the concept of "No-Man's Land" when teaching his students. Per Jack this is covered in Wing Chun Kung Fu Jeet Kune Do: A Comparison (William Cheung, Ted Wong).