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Scope. Broaden it.

People often "specialize" as to what they think they are good at. They described themselves as strikers or grapplers. Strikers further sub-specialize their skills into being a puncher or kicker or even more finely segregated than that. We want to be good at something, so we train our strengths, downplay our weaknesses, and develop a "specialization" not developed by choice but by necessity. While this may make you hard to beat, it doesn't allow you to grow as much as you could, and makes you unable to teach different but equal approaches to combat. It also makes you an easier problem to solve, as your "syllabus" of mayhem is smaller and more easily understood.

I'm an ambulatory combat platform, or at least I strive to be. I can punch, kick, knee, elbow, bite, head butt, slap, tear, grip, wrestle, throw, takedown, submit, ad nauseum. I may not do everything equally well but I strive to have the optimal technique for each skill and then attempt seamlessly weave them into a horrific and painful net of offense and defense. Yes I have an "A-game" that I use when the chips are down and I need to deliver, but that game has an underlying expansive evolution, taken from a pool of developing technique, tactics and strategies that are trained when immediate victory can be sacrificed for longterm development.

If we simply break down "punching" and "kicking" into attributes, I believe that each has an edge on the other depending on how we are evaluating it:

Speed, vX
Energy, 1/2 mv2X

We know that upper extremity striking is faster and more accurate than lower extremity striking, the upper limbs are lighter and designed for faster and more precise movement than our legs. However the speed difference is made up by more muscle and bone in our legs, which allows us to deliver kicks with more energy than punches (but also costs more energy to deliver). Kicks can be delivered from further away, but sacrifice mobility as we must stand on one foot transiently to deliver them. Kicks can deliver to more levels than punches, although theoretically either one of them can hit any level of target.

The drills from practice last night including, kicking shoulder tag (keep your hands up!), kicking knee tag (tap lightly to avoid knee tragedy!), and anything to the belly (lightly!).

For our first round we fed: lead kick - rear oblique kick to the shin pad - lead hook - cross AND cover - rear oblique kick to the shin pad - lead hook - cross - lead hook. Next we looked at head kick variations, including the tiip, of some traditional combinations. We worked the levels, while attempting to make the entrance movements look identical, for low, middle, and high thai kicks. Lastly we worked body hook/body cross - lead/rear uppercut - rear oblique kick - lead head kick - rear head kick.

Next we worked on throwing, specifically hip toss variations. The traditional hip toss (o-goshi) you must displace your opponents hips with your hip, either by rotating in front of your uke or by side clinching and then stepping in front to displace their hips. They fall forward and over your hip because you wrap their waist (a low underhook), classic undertook, or wrap their head (overhook variation) while grabbing their opposite arm, pulling them and lighten them as your hips displace theirs.

The variations we covered were the inside leg reap (uchimata) and outside leg reap (haraigoshi). The key to both these is to remember that they are still hip tosses. Thus for uchimata the hip strikes medial to their near hip but just lateral to their midline and the leg reaps straight back, lifting their leg not backwards but laterally. You are literally sweeping their stabilizing leg by lifting their other leg so high that the angle created with the ground is greater than the angle that they can split their legs. If they can lift their leg higher than you can reap, ankle pick with your free hand.

Haraigoshi your hip fulcrum will be medial to their far hip but lateral to their midline. As your hip strikes and you pull forward with your grip, you lighten them enough to sweep their leg by placing your thigh "high on the thigh for harai" (courtesy of Shonie Carter).

Lastly we discussed escaping bad position, particularly the side mount. I've covered this before, but I'll reiterate the keys: Baby steps and make small corrections, if your "incorrect" it is lot easier to fix a small mistake. Second, move where they are not, thus if you push into them, push in the direction that they do not have a base. If you move away from them, move where they cannot stop you.

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