Entrance to the Barn Dojo....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Not the dreaded arm bar!?

Once and a while I'll come across a video link that someone sends me. Like this one:
The dreaded arm bar! What's wrong with that? To begin with, who initiates with a front kick?

But suppose they do. What's the purpose of the left hand tucked under the elbow of the right arm as it blocks the kick? Then he says, " Let's assume that he's not going to punch me...but he's going to grab my right arm." Now there's a pretty convincing assumption! And not just with one hand to deal with a potential threat but a grab with two hands. The way to get free of this two-handed grab--what the kata presumably shows--is to use the support of that left hand under the elbow to wrench this around in a circle and back up to kata position. Seriously? The whole operation is unrealistic--takes too much time and too much strength. Would any of this work against a non-compliant opponent? And why wouldn't the grabber let go immediately?

The next step is to apply the dreaded arm bar. After switching to a grab of the grabber's wrist, the defender steps around, punches the head with a hooking punch for good measure, and then locks the opponent's right arm up. (If I'm able to attack the head of a seriously threatening opponent, why would I go on to attack a single arm?) In the meantime the opponent has been good enough--and good natured enough to play along--not to punch the defender in the head with his left hand, or to simply flex the right arm by dropping the elbow to nullify the arm bar. And, while we're on the subject of bunkai (to analyze kata), Mr. Hill employs "chin na (qinna)"..."all the way from China," we are told. Is the Goju technique that we are supposedly applying somehow insufficient? The last part is to step back around and slap the attacker in the groin.

Now, from what I've seen, this is a fairly widespread interpretation of these moves in kata--dare we say, the standard bunkai interpretation. But for a million reasons--some of which I have already implied--it seems completely unsatisfying. How did this come about? Is it because it's safer? Sometimes I think that all of these bunkais were developed so that very brutal and dangerous techniques could still be practiced in partner drills in the dojo. Afterall, it would not be very helpful to injure one's training partners, always going after an opponent's head.
Seipai kata

But that said, what about this? Perhaps the first "block" of a kick is not a low block of a kick but a punch. The left hand blocks and the right hand punches. This brings the opponent's head down. Then...maybe the grab of the opponent's wrist is a grab of the attacker's head, which has already been brought down as a reaction to the block and punch. Now I can step around and put the dreaded arm bar around his neck, driving up against his windpipe with the left forearm and pulling the head down with the right. Then, finally, I can grab the chin, pivot, and twist the head off. Afterall, if I'm being attacked, let's assume that it's a lethal attack, intending to inflict grave bodily harm, otherwise I'm going to walk away from the encounter altogether...as fast as I can. But remember: Don't try this at home...or in the dojo apparently!?

1 comment:

  1. With all respect to Tom Hill I think that's is stupid and even dangerous to teach a technique that's end on the ground. The street is so unforgiving. Doing that it's an invitation to a kick to the head made by a friend of the attacker. People forgets that MMA is a sport and they have rules. Those MMA techniques are worthless in the street