Monday, November 18, 2013
Something that is (apparently) difficult for students to accept, is that when they are closer to an opponent, that person becomes (physically) weaker. This is something that is often realized, but not accepted (in one's defensive capability's). This premiss goes back to our student's study of Range-of-Motion (R.O.M.) study.
This is (initially) illustrated with a “cocked” (shoulder) punch. When the aggressor's arm is pulled-back(up) to their shoulder (in preparation to strike with it), by simply placing one's hand upon it, the strike can be (easily) negated. Once that hand/arm begins to be extended towards it's target, it becomes (progressively) more difficult to defeat any forward progression (though it can be diverted to either side fairly easily).
It should be remembered, that a punch is an (arm) extension. People (commonly) confuse this motion with a grabbing action (in which one becomes stronger/more stable as they are pulling towards their own body).
It's under this premiss, that Oyata taught that one is safer, when they are closer to an aggressor. A strike's maximum potential, is available (only) during the final 1/3 of it's extension. Prior to reaching that distance, it is (comparatively) weak (regardless of the aggressor's size/strength).
I've had numerous individual's claim that (any) strikes performed upon their arm's, will cause no (serious) damage (or at least sufficient to deter any further use of them).
This is most often “demonstrated” by them extending their arm, and allowing someone to (often repeatedly) strike that arm. This is a bogus “test/example” (and proves nothing). An arm in motion, is a completely different animal, than one that is “locked-out” and fully extended.
Most any (singular) strike, from (most) any direction, will create little if any effect upon an arm (in that situation). The individual's that think this way, (also) believe that their elbow is their only (serious) concern (defensively).
The (mistaken) general thought being, that though possibly becoming vulnerable (prior to a striking attempt), it's rarely in (any) serious danger (until completing a striking action) and then, only if the arm becomes (completely) extended. Any experienced combatant, will rarely allow this to happen. It's during it's delivery, that the arm (as a whole) is actually most vulnerable to being damaged.
When the arm is in motion, the muscles are being contracted. In order to contract a muscle, a nerve has to deliver that message (from the brain) through the tendons, to the muscle-body (“belly”). I've discussed “activating” nerves previously, in this instance the aggressor is doing so themselves (in order to perform their desired action).
The defender should capitalize on this factor, and perform their own strikes upon the active nerves within the aggressor's arm (the tendons being the most vulnerable). Using only rudimentary anatomical knowledge, this can be (easily) practiced during one's class time study.
Beginning students (and the majority of “doubter's”) are rarely familiar with, or understand the location and function of the tendon system (throughout the body). Many of the (supposed) “kyusho” locations are where the tendons are vulnerable (if/when being utilized).
These locations (IMO) should be more accurately considered to be Atemi points, but whichever name you choose, it's the reaction/effect that is more important to know. It is when the aggressor's arm is in motion, that these locations are the most vulnerable (and susceptible) to being damaged.
The muscle-body is also “susceptible” (to being struck), but will (rarely) cause/create an equivalent reaction (to the tendons being struck). It's not uncommon for muscle-body strikes to be taught initially (to students). As they become more familiar with those locations, they have a better reference for the tendon strike locations.
In addition to being “active”, the nerves located within/near/upon the tendons, will be closer to the bones (of the limb). In essence, there will be less “padding”, and a harder surface (the bone) will be available to strike them against (requiring less physical effort on the part of the defender).
There are of course directional considerations that have to be considered. Depending on the muscle/tendon being considered, the direction of the impact can be either across, or in-line (towards or away from the muscle belly) with the tendon being struck.
Either manor of impact will cause a muscular reaction. When struck (the tendon being stretched), will be inclined to cause a contraction of the muscle. Any unintended contraction (of a muscle), not intended by the individual will often cause a muscular strain (sprain ore spasm).
At the very least, this in turn will cause a hesitation to use that limb. Though not (commonly) causing any permanent damage, these manor of technique are very applicable (and legal) for defensive situations.
The majority of systems will tend to focus on performing “body/head” strikes (in the attempt to disable an aggressor). Though sometimes being valid, they can also become liabilities if/when dealing with law enforcement (and/or lawyers).
Oyata taught us that it is more practical, to only disable an aggressor. This will allow for either to effect their own escape, or provide the ability to restrain the aggressor (to allow L.E. Officials to deal with them).
This "distance" situation (of "strong" vs. "weak") is also relevant when dealing with the application of tuite. There are additional interconnections that exist/become apparent when applying tuite applications as well. But that will be another blog.