Sunday, December 6, 2015

Push-Catch (a review)

  There exist a number of “example” videos (on U-Tube and various personal pages) for the Tuite motion/technique that we call “Push-Catch”. It goes by several other names as well (“Palm-Fold” being the most popular). We have yet to see one that doesn't include multiple misapplications of this technique (and those motions being instructed as desired actions).

 Initially Ignoring the arguments that it (the application) is difficult if not impossible to achieve, (that subject is one that should be examined/studied separately in our opinion). I will address the most obvious of the witnessed misapplications being performed (if not "Taught"). This will be in regards to what and how the technique should be performed when the Tori's (initial) “grab” is successful (regardless of the accuracy of that grab).

  Beginning with the premise that the Tori's “grab”(of the Uke's pushing hand) is successful, those technique's and examples being shown contain numerous flaws (when compared with how we instruct students in their execution of the technique).

  The first of those, is in what is done with (what “we” refer to as being) the “support” hand. Other instructor's are inclined to utilize that hand as a “brace” for the “Grabbing” hand's actions. They (typically) do so, by "grabbing" the Uke's wrist. This creates several hindrances to the technique's execution. By creating this brace, the uke is (then) able to resist the technique's application. It then becomes a “contest” of who is stronger. As long as the Tori is (physically) stronger/larger than the Uke, the technique can be (forced) made to achieve a result. This subject was addressed on our “FaceBook” page (with a video) that discusses “Bridging”. In this technique, the “support” hand, should only be providing a fulcrum for the (Tori's) primary hand's motioning of the Uke's hand/wrist.

  The 2nd most popular mistake being made, is pushing the “grabbed” hand (of the Uke) directly rearward. This creates several undesirable results, first, it causes the Uke's (grabbed arm's) elbow to swing upward and forward (creating the possibility of it's utilization as a strike upon the Tori), and is (again) an attempt to “muscle” the technique (to achieve the desired result).

  The next most commonly performed mistake, is that they (the Tori) pulls (all) of the involved hands (ie. the entire application) to their own center (ie. “Away” from the uke). This is done (and we recognize) because people feel (and to some extent are) “stronger” when doing so. The “Problem” with this action, is that doing so, extends the Uke's arm, by doing so, they are making the Uke stronger, and more able to resist the application (this can easily be exampled).

  Also popular, is grabbing the Uke's hand or finger's, “Horizontally”, the contact of the Tori's hand can be initiated at (almost) any angle, but when the technique is (actually) being applied, it functions more effectively (when) at a 45ยบ angle. To attempt application (at any other angle) will cause the Tori to have to “force” (“muscle”) the Uke's hand to achieve a reaction.

 Next (on the “list”) is if/when the Tori is bending their own (Primary) grabbing hand's wrist (while applying the “wrist-fold” of the Uke's hand). Doing so defeats any of the existing leverage available for that hand's motion.

 It is also common, for the Uke to Grab onto the Tori's (grabing hand) commonly across the “palm” of the pushing hand. When this  occurs (besides turning the technique into a “who's stronger” situation), we will commonly “change” technique's. There are ways to correct this, but it is often easier (for students new to the application) to simply change the type of technique being utilized.

 The next most commonly seen version, will have the Uke's forearm (of their grasped hand) positioned vertically, then applying (or at least attempting) a downward pressure to the wrist rotation. Though a reaction/response can be achieved (I commonly use this method as part of my own application of this technique, hence I am very familiar with it's use), they are often only pressing the Uke's wrist straight downward, while maintaining the vertical positioning of the Uke's forearm ("that" being the incorrect part of this version of application). This will create the possibility for the Uke to “counter” the application (for which there are several available means to do so).

 In many variations, it is (often) evident, that the Tori is performing the action of “Premature Rotation” (incorrect “timing”) when the technique is being applied. Doing so (again) creates a situation of “muscling” a technique to achieve the desired response.

 The problem of “muscling” a technique (to achieve compliance) is being repeated in almost every example we've viewed, and is often done within every stage of the technique's application. We believe that much of that tendency, is from the emphasis being placed upon “speed” (of the technique's application). Though this is an obvious concern when actually needing to utilize the technique (In an “actual” self-protection situation), when students are practicing this technique, they need to understand how/why it does/doesn't work. If one only practices the application “fast”, it is (nearly) impossible to recognize the nuances of the technique's application.  
 It is (completely) possible to “slop” this technique, and achieve some level of “result” (though not necessarily the desired one). It is this tendency (to emphasize “speed”) that is being used (In our opinion) to cause (convince?) smaller students, to feel capable in/with the technique's performance.

 Only through the “slow” performance of the application is a student able to recognize the necessary motions to correctly perform the technique. There is NO requirement that the technique be applied quickly (for it to work). If/when that “claim” is being made, the person who makes that statement doesn't know how to perform the technique.

 Also evident are the “follow-up” errors (or maybe “presumptions”?) for how the Uke would react to the manner they are applying the technique. Many of the examples shown, have the Tori (literally) dragging the Uke to the ground. This is an (another) example of “muscling” a technique (to achieve a desired result).  
 We believe this to be based upon (the “belief”?) that the Tori has to force the Uke into compliance. This is an inaccurate assumption (ie. “Completely Wrong”). If/when one has to “force” the Uke to do anything, they are doing something incorrectly.

 When the technique is applied correctly, the “main” problem, is being able to “keep up” with the Uke's travel to the ground (which is when many people can/could “lose” their controlling ability). (Again) Though Slow practice of the technique, the student will become familiar with the changing dynamics as the Uke is re-positioned to a prone position (on the ground).

 Equally common is for a beginning student (when being the “Tori”), is utilizing incorrect footwork, which (often) leads to Poor (if any) “Force Efficiency”. The majority of those situations are correctable, but they often occur on an individual basis (making it awkward to provide a written prevention of it's occurrence).

 These (preventable) problems account for so many of the performed mistakes, that (for us) it's a relief to only have to deal with improving the student's “timing” (usually with the manner they perform the initial “grab”).

 Despite so many systems utilizing this “basic” (Tuite) grab, there seem to be innumerable problems with how they are showing it to students. When performed correctly, it's a valuable technique (for training, and for use). It is also regularly being dismissed as being a “muscled” application, and too difficult for most students to effectively use.

  We utilize it as one of, if not “the” training/example tool for understanding the 6 Principles of Tuite. They are all (easily) identified/exampled within it's application, and (from an instructor's perspective) it can provide obvious examples of possible “counter” capabilities, as well as the means to prevent them from occurring. 


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