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8.24.2006

GJ Crowding

No I'm not talking about the bumper crop of rookies at practice tonight. The official count was 62 people training this evening, that's ricockulous. However I'd like to discuss crowding within the context of fighting. Force is generated by mass and acceleration so when we strike we use the change in distance, i.e. the extension of the arm, in the fastest time possible along with "putting our weight behind it" to maximize our force. As the biomechanics of our muscles is most powerful in a limited portion of our range of motion, the generation of maximal straight striking force occurs from a flexed (cocked position) to an extended position. To often however in striking from the street to the ring we shorten the distance too much in an effort to inflict more forceful blows. We delude ourselves into thinking that closing the distance will allow us to generate more power even though we are shortening the pathway of maximal contraction that would create the greatest accelerating vector. For example, if you were to bench press from a hyperflexed position you would be able to lift less and mess up your shoulders because of the biomechanically unstable starting position. However a good bench press works within the maximally efficient ROM that targets pectoral contraction, the objective of the exercise. A punch is similar. Try punching a bag with your fist touching it versus at a longer extended range, the second punch should be more forceful.
In practice we ran through an abbreviated standard warm-up before talking about the SPEAR psychology and physics of self-defense. We ran through the basic concept and thought process behind the SPEAR before showing its more universal applicability to common street attacks. We added the option of entering different arsenals, particularly highlighting a Thai style using simple elbows (vertical/"fix your hair" and horizontal/"scratch your shoulder") and knees ("touch your hand with your knee")
We then demoed grappling, Thai boxing, MMA, and two simple self-defense scenarios, especially our infamous gun self-defense ("they take the money, you run").
We worked three rounds with the advanced guys on the pads, but working on striking on the ground for 3 minute rounds:
  1. Ground Kicking
    We worked three kicks, (1) the roundhouse from the guard, working on the hip follow through to throw a strong kick on the ground, (2) the ground "tiip" or up thrust where we use one hand post to drive the heel into the pads, and (3) the stand-up roundhouse post on the same side hand and foot as your throw a head kick, spin through and stand-up.
  2. Extension punching
    Based on the concept of crowding we opened the distance in the guard to rain down three rapid extended punches. We did this both popping up from the arm control position as well as from a standing position.
  3. Flow Drill
    We worked three forearm/hammer fists to the far pad from the side mount, take the mount three punches, get bridge and rolled to the guard for 3 punches, cover the hook and take back, three punches to the thai pad posted on the triceps. Repeat.

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