Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cover Motions

  RyuTe often utilizes arm motions that intend to redirect an aggressor’s limbs. These motions are often made whether the aggressor has made the (specific) attempt yet or not (as they additionally serve other purposes as well).
  Though it would be easy to categorize these motions as (being) “blocks”, to do so would be misleading. Their intent is not to Stop (“block”) anything, they redirect.
  If you were to call them anything (else), a parry would be closer to being properly descriptive than anything. The only fault that “I” have with that name, is that it tends to give the impression that the motion (only) tosses away the aggressor's strike.
  The motions that we call “Forearm Strikes”, are what most systems call “Blocks”. Those motions are taught to our students for use as striking methods upon an aggressor's (attacking) limb. Though some will argue that this is a (boring) matter of semantics, accurately descriptive verbiage makes a difference (in how something is perceived).
  The motions that are taught as Cover Motions, come in two flavor's, Inside and Outside. These could be described as being Clockwise and/or Counter-Clockwise (which IMO, are more accurate, but are a little burdensome). Much like how our forearm strikes are distinguished, Inside, refers to being towards the center of the body, and Outside refers to being away from, or Outward from the center of the body.
  These motions begin at the performers side (arm hanging naturally). The motion begins with the hand crossing in front of the tori's groin area to the opposite hip, and then rising until it is at chin level, it will return back across the front of the tori's face/chin and then lower (returning to it's original position). The entire motion (initially) is done with only moderate flexion of the elbow being done (keeping the hand extended, and forward of the tori). These circular cover motions are used in forward, and reverse/rearward applications as well.
  As well as providing the user with arm momentum for redirecting and suppressing an aggressor's strike attempts, these cover motions are easily transitioned into striking and/or grappling applications.
Preferably, as/when contact is made (with an aggressor's striking arm), that contact is made as close to their shoulder as possible. This allows for the tori's hand to (both) motion the arm away from it's intended target, and to slide down the arm towards the wrist/hand (for manipulation purposes). 
 Keeping this contact in mind, it's important that the tori not "swing" their arms (widely) to either side when initially making these motions. The tori's (deflecting) arm will raise straight up/forward (towards the uke). motioning to either side, is the equivalent to "winding-up" (and serves no purpose).
  I have mentioned before that students are often stopping (freezing) during their technique practice. Part of that, comes from the use of limited motion techniques (strikes/blocks). The student only concerns themselves with making the attempted strike (not what they will do afterwords). When doing so, they often have to (consciously) think about what to do next (and therefor letting the arm lazily return to it's prior position).
  The use of these circular cover motions, allows for constant motion to be made (difficult for an aggressor to keep track of), and greater opportunities for manipulation and counter-striking applications to be performed.
  As well as providing greater opportunity for technique, these motions allow (if not mandate) the user to be relaxed. By being relaxed, greater speed is available to be utilized (a necessary ingredient in any defensive tactic).

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