Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Arm-Bar (I need a Drink)

  I just finished watching a person demonstrate (their version) of performing an arm-bar. That was the most pathetic excuse for a application, much less the ground-pin (using an arm-bar) that I've ever seen. The various methods of application that he taught (for applying and using one) were equally pathetic.
  Of the collection of tripe that he piled on the technique, I only saw 1 application that had any merit (at all). What he spent 10 minutes demonstrating, we teach in about 5, and ours will work (unlike his).
  He had his uke demonstrate how easy it is to escape (his) version of the (straight arm) arm-bar application, yet (evidently) didn't know how to correct his version to prevent the escape from occurring (sad).
  I found it particularly interesting that he was using data from nearly 20 years ago, on how to apply an arm-bar. First off, he was attempting to apply it with the suspects arm bent (at the elbow). I believe that he thought this offered the tori the ability (for some unknown reason) to move the suspect/uke around.
  This isn't the purpose of an arm-bar. It's main (and most would argue only) purpose, is to lever the suspect/uke to the ground. For L.E. Applications, this is usually to apply handcuffs, and sometimes temporarily restrain the suspect/uke.
  I found it equally interesting that he indicated that pressure upon the triceps muscle (?) was what (he believed) was forcing the suspect/uke to the ground. I suppose if your big enough, that might be a reasonable assumption (though not particularly practical, or effective).
  Of course I'm already aware that arm pressure points don't work (at least according to this individual, LOL). But this guy also promotes the use of TCM in his form of martial arts (huh?, whatever). Evidently he doesn't know that much about that aspect of it either. 
  As I stated, he does use 1 particular ground pin/lock that we utilize (except for how he hold's the suspect/uke's hand). Beyond that, his information of what the uke is capable of doing, is a shining example of how poorly he's able to apply a basic floor pin.
  In our practice of the application of an Arm-Bar, we begin with the uke having their arms at their sides. The tori will approach the uke, and place both hand's on either side of the same shoulder/upper arm.The tori will then slide both hand's down the uke's arm until both are grasping the uke's wrist.
  The tori then releases their hand that is closest to the uke (if the tori is on the uke's Left side, it would be the tori's Right hand). That hand will raise up the uke's arm until positioned slightly above the uke's elbow. The back of that hand's forearm will apply light pressure against the uke's upper arm.
  While the close hand is positioning, the hand which has hold of the uke's wrist will circle away, then to the front of the uke. The held wrist will motion the thumb of that hand into the groin (area) of the uke. As the uke's arm is placed against the uke's body, the tori's near-hand (which is laying against the uke's upper arm) will maintain pressure against that arm (as if pinning the uke's upper arm to their side).
  The tori's hand which is grasping the uke's wrist, will then be raised using their arm (that is pinning the uke's upper arm to their side) as a fulcrum. The arm being raised, is (obviously) the lever. What is more commonly (and incorrectly) done, is the person will attempt to apply pressure to the back of the uke's upper arm (in the attempt to force them to lean over).
  As long as the tori is larger and stronger than the uke, they might be forced over (though doubtful). Additionally, the uke will usually only bend forward at their waist. If the tori's pressure is insufficient, They will often stand right back up. When applied correctly, the uke's knee's will buckle (further assisting in a controlled take-down).
  As I've stated before, this is the most miss-applied technique performed by our (new) students (who happen to be) Law Enforcement Officer's. It also happens to be the most used control manipulation used by every officer that I've ever met and/or trained.
  It's not that it's a bad technique, only that the training officer's really SUCK at teaching their officer's how to apply it (as well as not realizing themselves what it is, that they're doing wrong). I've noticed of late, that it's become popular (amongst L.E. Officer's) to participate in various “physical fitness” programs (“P-90” being one that comes to mind, my son the K.C.P.D. Sargent has done that one). These programs do make the officer bigger and stronger, but that doesn't mean that poorly performed techniques will work (regardless of how big/strong the officer becomes).
  I find it (somewhat) amusing to see how (training) things come full circle. In the 70's there were minimum height/weight requirements to even get on the average P.D. The techniques that were taught to officer's back then were often based on the premiss that the officer would be bigger/stronger than the majority of suspects.
  Those height/weight requirements have been radically reduced, so now the officer is rarely the largest person in a confrontation. This should dictate a more stringent adherence to proper training methods, but alas, I only see Bigger instructor's being placed in those training positions.
  When those same instructor's use the kind of methods that I've described above, their job is going to be much more difficult (and the officer's much less safe, and/or efficient at their job).

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