Showing posts from September, 2012

Practising locks safely

I've had it suggested to me that in order to practise locks safely, it might be necessary to vary them slightly. A specific example given to me was that which I have previously covered in relation to the ikkyo projection , namely that application of pressure on the tricep rather than the elbow. It was argued that while this is not effective in unbalancing and holding an opponent, it might nonetheless be a viable training method because it precludes injury – injury that is all too easily inflicted on the elbow joint. I hold to the view that there is no merit in this position. In fact, I would go further and argue that it is positively dangerous to apply this or any other lock incorrectly "for safety". Why? First things first: I don't believe it is ever a good idea to train to "miss". I've previously covered this issue in relation to punching/striking/kicking , but the same applies to locking and holding. If you train to "miss" your l

The ikkyo ground pin

I have previously written about the ikkyo "projection" and how it compares to the throw or projection one finds in, say, xingyi (as an application of pi quan). In that article I noted various methods of ikkyo that I considered to be "mistakes" – and ways of making the projection more efficient, regardless of your school/style. However aikido practitioners will be aware that what is called "ikkyo" has 2 facets, namely the projection and a ground pin . It is the latter that I propose to cover briefly in this post. Before I go any further I want to make it clear that I am not averse to students learning the traditional ikkyo ground pin; it teaches some valuable lessons about locking the elbow, including the need to keep pressure at a point just behind the joint, perform a correct twist of the wrist and maintain the correct angle of the arm to the body. As a "first step" it isn't a bad lesson at all. However it is important to note that

Single whip: Part 2 - general applications

Introduction: the "real world" vs. "attack of the zombies" In Part 1 of this article I dealt with only one defence: against the "sucker punch". I am unapologetic about this: learning how to survive that first "surprise" punch should be a priority in martial arts instruction. Instead it isn't. It is usually buried in a mountain of combinations against " zombie attacks ". You know the kind: slow movement, arms outstretched, no response to your own counters, etc. – countered by a series of wishful strikes that pay lip-service to predictability and that give "overkill" a new meaning. In this article I propose to deal with other, more sophisticated, applications of single whip. And there are many more than those I propose to cover in this article. My goal here is simply to illustrate the general relevance of the sequence: how its movements are congruent with efficient biomechanics in response to common attacks; ho