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GJ "I...have...returned"

After a month of being the nighthawk I finally have gotten back to a normal schedule and have to opportunity to teach my class and train with my team once more. So we started with a really light warm-up to hide my acquired decrepitude. We transitioned from basic core warm-up (squats, jumping jacks, push-ups) to full body dynamic stretching ("Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training (4th Revision ed)" (Thomas Kurz)) to functional skills warm-up using shadowboxing, pummeling, shrimping, rolls, and falls.

At this point we highlighted the two primary purposes of rolls and falls, i.e. the ball and book phenomenon. Rolls (be the ball) are primarily an exercise in converting the vertical downward vector of your body's momentum after a throw into a horizontal one. This is done to decrease the amount of energy and ballistically release it by rolling out. That is increments of your body connect with the mat and absorb a fraction of the energy before the next increment makes contact. Falls (be the book), on the other hand, attempt to decrease the force per unit area by maximizing the surface area that makes contact with the mat. The human instinct in a fall is to reach, thus trying to stop all of you on an extremely small surface, namely your hand and hence your wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Proper judo/jiu-jitsu falls spread the large muscular areas, e.g. the gluteus maximus, thighs, latissimus dorsi, and trapezeus muscles, across the mat and increase the area absorbing the force of your fall. Drop a book on its edge versus the cover and notice how much more damage is caused when the book hits the small area (the edge) compared with the large area (the cover).

Next we worked into the leg lever a simple throw that use the concept that you can run a lot faster on two legs than your opponent can hop on one. Basically, attack the lead leg and lower your level by bending your knees. Grab one hand at the ankle, pull upward and toward your hip as you push at the hip, laterally.

This was then applied to a caught kick, where you step with the kick and wrap at the ankle, followed by the leg lever above. I also showed two transitions the first if the lever doesn't work. Use the thigh near the leg to "hold" the leg momentarily as you underhook the leg and tilt the person over their base leg. The second took advantage of if your opponent place the leg between your legs. Pinch with your thighs, secure your arms around the leg, make a tight spiral and fling your opponent laterally away from their posted leg. If they are too "resistant" switch directions and go for the double leg.

Next we addressed some striking combinations with both sides switching off using in gloves and shin pads:
Alternating (fundamental) style combination
Typically we think of striking as left-right or right-left, chaining our strikes and using the simplest biomechanics granted to us by having one axis of symmetry. For this we used J-C-LH-C and Tiip-J-C-LKn-push-C-LH.
Permutation style combination
The advanced group worked on the permutation combination, taking the first three strikes of fundamental combination and doing "whatever" at the end. This builds gamemanship and crafts individual combination approaches to sparring.
Same-side switch up combinations
Since the alternating combination is so ingrained, it is often useful to set-up opponents by using a same side switch up especially if the same side combination can be delivered with similar speed and power as a more traditional alternating combination. The examples we used here were J-RK-RKn-pull-LH-C and J-C-LK-LKn-push-C-LH.
Next we covered knee combinations, specifically:
  • Curve knee, same side straight knee
  • Curve knee, opposite side straight knee
  • Straight knee transition to side thai clinch straight knee and throw.
It is important to use good curve knee mechanics our base leg should move allowing the weight of your body to drive the curve knee. The straight knee should be thrown by allowing your body to lengthen. Feel free to continually tug on your opponent's head.

Using these skills we did 2 x 2 minute rounds of tag team knee play, where one person continually switches off with their partners, never being allowed an advantage moment or rest. It is important to use your entire body in this drill, conserving as much energy as possible.

Ah its good to be back.

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