Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Regarding the Practice of “Neck Strikes”

  Our student's were recently (allowed) to begin practicing Kyusho (type) neck-strikes. The initial reaction (by reader's), is that they would never allow that to happen (to them). This denial is usually made from the (mistaken) belief that this practice is done without any manner of restraint. If that were the case, it wouldn't be happening (in my class anyhow, LOL).

  We usually begin this (type of) practice with the use of neck-braces. These amount to the commonly seen neck support/braces that are found at local stores (Wall-mart, Osco etc.). Though these are initially insufficient to fulfill our safety concerns, the inclusion of additional padding (such as that found within the average forearm/shin pad) will usually suffice.

  Though the use of protective padding implies that one can repeatedly strike the protected area (with little concern for safety), this isn't the case. The use of padding only allows for the use of controlled strikes, and in limited number. Repeatedly striking anywhere (much less the sensitive neck, LOL) isn't a good idea.
  We do allow the more experienced student's (who can demonstrate control) to participate without the use of the neck-braces. The strikes themselves, are limited (in the amount of applied power/force). Even with this limitation, the strikes (though rarely resulting in more than a few second's of response) will clearly demonstrate the desired results.
  The purpose of this practice/example, is not so much to be able to do the strikes (that's the easy part). Their purpose, is to expose the student to receiving the strikes themselves (albeit, limited and controlled). This isn't done in the belief that one will build any level of immunity (you won't). Unless one is familiar with the results, they can't plan for how best to follow-up with subsequent techniques.
  The only way for one to know how a subject will react to these strikes, is to perform them on someone (and to of received them, themselves). Initially, this sounds a little psychotic. It's not (nearly) as bad as one would presume it to be. The use of the padding, both protects, and limits the level of impact immensely
  We also restrict the amount of force utilized with the strike itself. Though the potential for abuse is present, that potential is always present in a martial arts class (and in numerous commonly taught techniques). Obviously, the student's are only allowed this exposure if/when the instructor is comfortable with the individual student's ability level.
  These strikes amount to light, but solid impacts to the appropriate locations. Initially, these will be forearm strikes, and will gradually include individual hand (types of) strikes. The amount of pressure used is equivalent to that used when lightly tossing a hand-ball back and forth.
  Although padding is utilized, and the effects are temporary, the number of strikes performed must be limited (otherwise, bruising becomes a problem, LOL). The most common reaction (from one of the strikes) is a momentary (2-3 seconds) white-out with an equally limited amount of dizziness. After that time period, there are no sustained effects.
  The types of strikes utilized are naturally limited. Using a punching-type of technique (upon the neck) would obviously be irresponsible. The effects we wish to convey can be accomplished with simple/light open-hand and forearm strikes. These are easily controllable and will cause/create minimal impact trauma (especially at the reduced levels of impact that we're utilizing).
  On a lighter note (well, to me anyhow, LOL) as I was writing this blog, I received a solicitation from one of the “kyusho-peddler's” on First-Aid (presumably for their manner of Kyusho strikes). 
 I've already seen it, the “First-Aid” presented is 2nd rate (at best) and contradictory to much of what should be done. By following those given directions, you (actually) prolong the effects of what's been done (sad, really). For impressing your buddies (at how long someone can be made to feel like dog-shit) they're great, for recovering from the effects created by an (actual) kyusho type of strike, not so much.
 Go take an actual First-Aid Class. The knowledge gained will be superior to anything that will be learned from one of these literary pieces of nonsense.

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