Monday, June 30, 2014

The Influence of Physical Contact (During a Confrontation)

 I'm certain that (many) individual's read the supplied "title" (to this blog) and thought that I had somehow changed my feelings about "sparring". Well no, I haven't (this is a different aspect of "physical contact", LOL). 

  Students will often negate the importance that physical contact has, in relation to the reactions that it can/will create. Too often their emphasis is only in regards to the results attained from “strikes” that are being attempted (and whether those strikes are successful or not).

  Much “to-do” is made of late, regarding “kakae” strikes. Oyata (eventually) had us incorporating them into nearly every kata motion. They were often described as being “extra” strikes, but they more often only made arm motion that wasn't being (defensively) productive, to now serve a purpose in one's defensive tactics.

  Much of this is a result of students having the “Left (then) Right” mentality while applying their defensive motions. Oyata emphasized the use of both arms for defensive applications (simultaneously).

  The new student will commonly believe that an impact (punch/kick etc.) will cause injury (pain, or possibly even damage) to the location of that impact, and “that” will be the summation of the “results” for implementing an (any) impact/strike. The Problem with this belief, is that it is an extremely limited perspective. To expand that perspective, we have students perform the “Finger Pressure” exercise. This exercise is only used to demonstrate the relationships between different area's of the body, whether those areas are being directly (IE.”physically”) effected or not.

  The Tori should assume a “fighting” stance, with one leg forward and will then extend one arm forward (commonly the opposite arm from the forward leg, IE. A “reverse” punch). Holding their “punching” hand stationary (and extended), the Uke will then gently press against one side of the Tori's (extended) “fist”. The Tori should attempt to maintain the location of their extended fist (while the Uke is applying this pressure).

 As the Uke is applying this pressure, the Tori should note the locations over the entire body, that respond to that pressure (in order to resist it).  
 These locations will change, as the (Uke's) applied pressure changes (in regards to the direction “top/bottom and either side”of the Tori's extended fist). There will also be variations in those responses, depending on where the (Uke's) pressure is being applied upon the Tori's entire arm (inside/outside, upper/lower, above/below the elbow, ETC.).

  This exercise is intended to raise the student's awareness of the physical relationships that exist throughout the entire body (although we may not be aware of them at any particular time). Through that awareness, the student will become more attentive for which locations would provide greater results through their utilization. Many of these could (mistakenly) be considered to be “kyusho” locations, but more accurately they should be considered “Atemi” points.

  One of the more common arguments presented (in regards to the utilization of these locations/points) is the ability for them to be struck during a confrontation. Obviously this is a legitimate concern, and requires practice for their utilization during a confrontation.

  One of the things that Oyata showed (to aid in this), was the practice of multiple contact. When one hand is in contact with an aggressor (anywhere upon their body), the second hand will be more accurate in it's attempt at achieving it's intended contact location.

  This can be demonstrated by having the tori place one hand (anywhere) upon the uke (their body, arm, anywhere). Then have the tori (quickly) “place” (not “hit”) their knuckles (of their striking hand) upon the uke in the desired location. This subliminal “reference” will make the tori's attempts successful (more often) and with far greater accuracy (than when no additional contact exists). This is commonly taught in regards to Oyata's tenet of “2 hand” technique application.

  Being that what is commonly being practiced is a (very) “physical” skill-set, it is easy for a student to fall into the belief that “strength” is the dominant factor in deciding the success or failure for an application.  
 Whether one (actually) has a strength advantage (during a confrontation) becomes less relevant when the natural strengths and weaknesses of the body are understood (and it is understood how to exploit them to one's advantage).

  The more relevant factor for these locations, is in regards to the direction of the strikes implementation (upon those locations). That (of course) is yet another “branch” of Oyata's methodology and a student's study/research. 


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