Monday, March 19, 2012

The Practicality of Joint Manipulations

  I recently commented on a blog that I occasionally read. It's written by a “Brit”, who studies another style/system, so she has a little different perspective on things.
  Generally, her (written) interests are not my (general) cup of tea, but occasionally she'll throw a question or comment out that catches my attention.
  In this case, she was inquiring about the (validity?) usefulness of wrist-locks (and joint manipulations in general). Her argument being, that it was generally faster, and easier to strike someone, than to place them into a wrist-lock (or presumably any equivalent manipulative-type technique).
  Her attitude regarding the problems she associated with their implementation, were unfounded (IMO). Those concerns were the typical concerns that are (widely) voiced by most individuals who often encounter difficulty with that type of techniques implementation.
  As with most situations similar to this one, I am unable to show how those concerns should be addressed. Although I can write out (several) correctional variations, none will be as quickly understood as could be shown in person.
  Either way, this concern should be studied and understood how it needs to be addressed and corrected. There are individual's (and even systems) that state that limb manipulations are fine, but have no value in a typical (sic) confrontation.
  This perspective/attitude, is one that has come about (mainly) by/from individual's that (either) 
 A. Haven't seen the requisite motions to perform those manipulations, 
or B. Haven't acquired the requisite skills to perform those manipulations. 
  Both of which, can be rectified through the correct training program.
  The biggest disagreement seems to be on what (or who's, LOL) training program would be the best. This particular argument is one that gets numerous people into (sometimes violent) debates. It's one that “I” don't particularly care to engage in either.
  Different system's, utilize different approaches to (physical) conflict management. RyuTe is no different. The manner that RyuTe would implement a motion (regardless of what that motion is, a strike, a stance, a technique), will directly effect how and why the remainder of that confrontation will proceed.
  The way that student's are trained in RyuTe to implement and use those joint manipulations, is different than how/why they would be used in another system. This can often account for person's who study one system, disagreeing with another systems use of the technique in a similar situation.
  Principles and goals can dictate differences in technique execution, completion and/or conclusion. This is why I'm not fond of explaining specific technique execution methods here (too many variables between systems). 
  When I am face-to-face with someone, I have no problem explaining (or even demonstrating) a technique, and how we perform it. When I am (physically) present with someone, I am able to visually clarify any statement I might make, and I can answer the (many) questions that inevitably present themselves.
  Joint manipulations are a Major portion of the RyuTe system (2nd only to the over-rated “knock-out” neck strikes in popularity). In both my own experience, and that of my student's, those manipulations and the ability to apply them have served a far greater benefit to me than the majority of the striking skills ever have.
  When I observe (increasingly upon the Web) individual's performing what they call Tuite, it usually turn's my stomach. Very often I know where (thereby from whom) they have learned those motions, and I'm certain that the techniques were not taught in the manner shown.
  Being experienced in what the majority of those individual's practice (Ju-jutsu type techniques), I understand their enthusiasm when shown the Tuite (version). It is often vastly different. The difficulty in correcting anyone who is having problems with implementing these types of techniques, is that it can't be (efficiently) done via written correspondence.
  My personal opinion is one that favors the use of limb manipulations over those motions that are referred to as being impact techniques. Once understanding that strength should be considered an irrelevancy to a techniques effectiveness, the student can begin to concentrate on technique application.
  In addition controlling an aggressor (without necessarily having to cause/create greater injury) physically, doing so will provide the tori with a (more) justifiable defense when interviewing with Law enforcement afterwords.


Colin Wee said...

It's the kind of training a person gets. Hard stylists in particular have a huge problem incorporating the 3-6 months emphasis on the few basic handlocks into their usual bag of striking and blocking skills. When I trained in Taekwondo, I also took up Aikido many years ago. The first 6 months was horrible. I was all over the shop and couldn't do anything right. I kept on persisting and after 3-4 years I started to understand how to do things well. 15 years later I'm just starting to be able to incorporate those skills into a hard style system and make it work for me - in various situations. 15 years!

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Lee E. Richards said...

In your multiple choice section you forgot; c) Have never been in a real altercation

I hate continually playing the Police Card, since the mere fact that you are trying to apprehend somebody tends to change a few things, but damn near every single cop outside of Mayberry gets in regular fights and ends them with a joint manipulation. Cops shouldn't for obvious reasons try to punch their subjects into submission, and even if they did do that they'd still have to get some sort of wrist control tactic on the unconscious person to physically be able to put the handcuffs on them. Cops, particularly big city cops, get in far more altercations than your average dojo owner, and no, sparring doesn't count. Not at all, in any shape or way. Even if you throw out every rule in your dojo and fight your top student, you still know the fight is coming. Strap a gun on all your students, fully loaded, and randomly jump them as they walk into the dojo and maybe we are getting close.....but as usual I digress.

Simply put, if joint locks work in 99% of law enforcement encounters (when done correctly) then some merit should be placed in their execution in a non L.E. fight situation. Even in a one on one 'I got jumped at the bar and neither of us are cops situation' a straight punch and kick the party till they are unconscious mentality would get you on the wrong end of a law suit no matter who threw the first punch.

Kyusho and Tuite are on our patch which is a circular logo. I tell the students that Tuite flows into Kyusho as well as the other way. A joint manipulation sets you up well for that lovely neck strike or carotid restraint. An arm strike can cause them to grab you as their balance fails, which leads to the tuite, which leads back to a neck strike. The big wheel keeps on rolling. Take one part away and you limit your options in a fight and are left with half (or less) of an art.

And that's my two yen.

Anonymous said...

While I don't know Tuite (I'm a practioner of jujutsu first and foremost) I find myself agreeing wholeheartely with your post. Locks are very useful but they require a) a qualified instructor (this is even more important than in the purely striking arts) and b) a whole lot of training, pain and patience. Most people are apparantly missing at least one of those two requirements and as a result their locks don't work, the logical fallacy looming here is that they then often state that locks don't work period. Locks work but only if they're executed properly: you'd think this would be obvious but apparantly not for some people who'd rather blame techniques and methods that have been around for ages than themselves or their instructor.

I've practiced locks for about 10 years now and now they start to flow: during the first few years I completely sucked at them but after much training I got better and better. It wasn't until I started training with my current sensei that my locks improved vastly to the point I have complete confidence in them as a tool for self-defense: my first sensei was great at locking himself but, being old school, hardly explained them and left us to figure it out. My new sensei, the top student of my old one, does explain everything from A to Z and this is why even our lower belts are much more competent than I ever was at that point in my training.

One thing I'd say though: for people who are looking to learn basic self-defense skills and have little time to do so locking isn't the answer and I do believe one must have enough experience in order to keep a clear head and to be able to fight the effects of adrenaline on the body and mind. If you get mad or excessively fearful it's not likely your locks will work.

I must say I like your blog and will be visiting every once in a while.