Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Limb Striking

Think back to when you where a child and you and the other kids at your school used to give “dead legs” or “dead arms” to each other. Im sure you can recall that the pain in the limb that was struck was sometimes unbearable. Or maybe the first time you received a shin kick to the thigh with power. Hitting the limbs can sometimes be more painful then a hit to the face or solar plexus.

If you have not felt any of the above, firstly you’re very lucky, and secondly, to get a taste of the pain, try hitting yourself with slight force in the bicep, or the inner part of your calves. The pain is felt straight away and when hit with full power it can even make the whole limb unusable for a certain amount of time.

Limb hitting is unexpected and very useful. In the street if someone has grabbed you or you are engaged in grappling a hard punch to the bicep or an elbow to the forearm can cause momentary pain, which could give you enough time for follow up strikes or to flee the scene.

Mauy Thai fighters use the knee to the inner and outer thigh plenty of times when clinched. These strikes rarely stop the fight, but repeated strikes to these sensitive areas can take its toll to a fighter and after a few rounds of taking these blows, the fighter will have trouble using there legs to mount a decent attack.

There are many vital points through all limbs and hard strikes, grabs and pinches to these areas are very effective for gaining the upper hand in a fight. For this reason it is something that should be carefully studied.


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Anonymous said...

Limb-striking or limb-destruction is one of the key-components of Panantukan (as you may know the unarmed part of kali/escrima/arnis) and the one feature which makes it stand out, even among other types of street-kickboxing. Panantukan was derived from knife-work and from it it borrowed the concept of ‘defanging the snake’: if an attack is thrown it’s far safer to first attack the incoming limb/hand than to try to immediatly go for vital targets. In essence you remove his ability to fight with that limb by taking his weapon away.

Where with a knife you’d cut his biceps (or other targets of opportunity) in unarmed combat you’d use the exact same motion but this time strike using the knuckles. The result is rather painful, I can assure you: at the very least it’ll take his attention away for a moment (in which you can follow up with standard boxing-combinations, elbows…), if you hit a nerve his arm could be temporarily paralysed and you wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.

The single most effective block I’ve ever seen is what they call the elbow-gunting: basically you guide his fist into your elbow with a scissor-like motion (gunting meaning to scissor), shattering his knuckles.

Kali is truly a warrior’s art and Panantukan is without a doubt one of the most brutally effective empty-handed systems in existence. Their techniques and training-methods (flow-drills are amazing and will increase your effectiveness dramatically) are simply superior and if I ever had to fight to the death, with some time to prepare I would train nothing but this art.

It combines the hitting-power of boxing (which it greatly influenced btw) with a nearly impenetrable defence and a devastating close-combat system (hubud-lubud or the Filipino-version of trapping), enhanced with elements of dumog (or Filipino-grappeling) to off-balance and multiply the effectiveness of strikes.

I feel very lucky to have discovered this art and to receive training in it (if only 2 hours every two weeks, I cannot train more as I have classes in the evening). It’s loads of fun and my effectiveness as a martial-artist is already greatly enhanced. Try it sometime and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

PS: since you're an experienced karate-practitioner, what would you consider the most effective techniques in karate (offensive or defensive)?

MARKS said...

Wado Ryu Karate and Judo are my first practised arts and for the last few years I also train boxing, submission grappling and Muay Thai. I dont beleive it is possible to say which techniqes are the most effective ones. It always depends on the situation. Weather its sport or street fighting, weather your fighting a short or tall person, one or many, someone with weapons etc. Its not possible to say that one technique is better than the other.

KarateStudent said...

KarateStudent ("KS") on MARKS Choice of Marital Arts Styles.

KS knows this is a post on a particular fighting technique, but KS wants to comment on your (MARKS) choice of martial arts styles, here the latter ones.

KS has been studying up on boxing [still not a convert]. KS thinks that MARKS choices are well considered for applied fighting, and are particularly well suited for success in MMA.

KS understands MARKS position that the fighter, not the style, makes the grade. I just want to point out that the boxing skill and Muay Thai style of Shogun Rua caused many to award the UFC fight against the previously unbeaten Lyoto Machida, to Shogun, though the MMA judges saw it differently.

Your (MARKS) longtime backgroung in traditional martial arts adds another dimension that most MMA fighters don't have. Have you considered coaching or teaching MMA?

MARKS said...

KS - Wado Ryu Karate was the first style I started learning before I then went off and trained in other arts and too this day I train at that same wado dojo I started at.

If I was to teach martial arts, it would not be MMA (sport based) completly, but I would consider teaching Wado, with extra training for sport (MMA style) if required by students.

Simply becuase, wado ryu really is in itself a Mixed Martial Art but for Self Defence. It contains striking, clinch work throwing and grapling, which also includes weapons training at an advanced level.

The problem is, only a few schools teach such techniques, and rarely allow them to be practised in sparring situations. Fortunatly I have always benefitted from such training (which is probably why I stuck with Karate as my base art)

KarateStudent said...

KarateStudent ("KS") on MARKS WADO-RYU Comment:

I know you (MARKS) don't like to say one martial arts style is better than another. KS, though, points to your sentence three, where Wado-Ryu has blended grappling and striking techniques in order to present a well-rounded style. I can't help but think that this would be one of the better traditional martial art platforms for MMA training.

From time to time, MMA announcers will say that it's difficult to find karate training partners or a karate style oriented to MMA; so training the traditional martial arts for MMA can't easily be done. These MMA commentators have directly said this regarding Lyoto Machida and Shotokan karate.

Besides reading up on boxing (re your prodding), KS ran across articles saying that historically there are two Shotokan karates: a traditional, kata-based version and a 'modernized' sport, kumite-based version. I don't want to write a term paper here as KS has been guilty of, but this is a huge precedent for adapting self-defense karate for sport and competition.

KS acknowlegdes you (MARKS) have your preferences and that Wado-Ryu is for self-defense. Still, and as you have pointed out, Wado-Ryu training could have an extra curriculum supporting MMA.

What got KS thinking about all this was your July 2009 Post on the, "Muay Thai Clinch - What NOT to Do." KS will have additional comment at this post.

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