Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Worst Martial Art Techniques

After reading a post on Stephen Kestings site (which is well worth a look) entitled The Two Worst Martial Arts Techniques of all Time it inspired me to give my own thoughts on the subject.

Throughout time, there have been many techniques demonstrated that have completely baffled me. The reality of some of them actually having any chance of working in a real situation is not very likely.

1st Worst Martial Art Technique The first technique which I really don’t understand how anybody would ever want to use is the crescent kick defence to a knife attack. Just like in the picture, the person defends by crescent kicking the opponent’s wrist in order for him/her to drop the knife. Firstly if one is to kick the wrist there is always the chance that there kicking leg will touch the blade and all it takes is a touch and the leg will instantly be cut. Secondly a knife holder will not be holding the knife as far away from there own body as in the picture which will make it even harder to try and kick the wrist. Thirdly if the kick misses, which is likely, because the kick uses a swinging motion, it is very hard not to turn with the kick which will then expose your side/back slightly, allowing for an easy stab by the knife holder.

2nd Worst Martial Art Technique The second technique which I have never ever seen used effectively in sparring, competitions of any kind or on the street is juji uke (X block) There are two types of this block, one where you block upwards and one where you block downwards. From looking at the pictures, the first thing that one notices is that when blocking, you leave yourself completely wide open for counter blows. Your opponent can easily strike you as you block, with there free hand/hands. Also, blocking hard leg bones with weaker arm bones is never a good idea. Parries, covering up or moving out the way are better. Additionally, the fact that to block low kicks with your arms means one must lower there body by either bending at the knees, widening there stance or bending the back is to much wasted energy, and not very practical.

Practicality is always the number one aim when looking for techniques that are successful in competition or the street. Each one you learn and practise must be studied to see if it is useful. If you have any questions about anything you may be learning, never feel afraid or embarrassed to ask your teacher what you are learning and why you are learning it. That is what they are there for.

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Elias said...

The only time I've ever seen the Juji Uke block was against a shoot, and it worked pretty well. I can't think of another context it would work well in off the top of my head, mainly because I don't study Karate.

I'd have to agree with what you say about the crescent kick though.

Anonymous said...

In sparring competitions, the juji uke generally has no benefit, unless points are awarded for submissions or throws. It seems to me that the bunkai for the judon juji uke is to either set up the attacker for a throw or a submission.

On a related note the bunkai for the geidan juji uke seems to involve trapping the kicking foot after the block has been made. Again, by grabbing the kicking leg, the defender can now perform a kick of their own or throw the attacker to the ground through various other techniques.

MARKS said...

ELIAS - You know what, I never thought of that one, I suppose also, as your opponant shoots in, you can strike the forarms (as when performing the X block movement) to the back of the neck, whilst driving them downards. For self defence purposes, this could be very effective. As a block for strikes though, I really can not see its effectivness. Many thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

You neglected to mention the single most important reason not to use the crescent kick as a block against a knife: it's too damn slow and anyone with even half a brain will direct the blade into your leg, this will cost you the fight and very likely your life (depending on the attacker's intention or the miraculous intervention by a third party). On par as far as suicidality is concerned is the very same kick used to 'disarm' a gunman: this will not work, for the very same reason as above, and you will get shot. It should be made a crime to even teach these techniques, especially against such deadly weapons.

The x-block is indeed quite useless, however there might be on valid use for it: against an upward knife-stab provided the opponent isn't a trained knife-fighter meaning he'll fully commit and not use his other hand or feet for striking. Basicallly you block with the second hand on the biceps driving in (preferably some kind of strike to somewhat numb his arm) transitioning into a lock. It's certainly not ideal or my first choice but it might actually work. Against a downward stab it's suicide since you'll never be able to stop his downward momentum and he'll either cut through your defense or poke you in the eye. In any case it's generally not a good idea to use two hands/arms to defend just one attack: it's an all or nothing gamble since you'll have no defense left and if you fail you're basically done for.

Good comment on not blocking bone on bone, especially against kicks. In general I try never to oppose force with force and if I do block instead of parrying or evading it's with a harder bone than his attacking weapon (an elbow to stop a roundhouse for example) which means he'll get hurt, not me. I've always wondered why on earth you'd want to block a front kick head-on with a gedan-barai while retreating when the same technique can be just as easily used to redirect his attack and take advantage of his momentum going forward for the counter. I know redirection is common in competition-karate yet in kihon the gedan-barai is always performed with the arm slamming head-on into the attacking leg. I really wonder why'd you'd want to teach beginners bad habits or why training and application in fighting aren't one and the same. Unless you spend a considerable amount of time conditioning your forearms there's a very real chance you'll hurt yourself with this technique and this will be a liability for the rest of the fight.


KarateStudent said...

KarateStudent ("KS") on the "Best" of the Worst Martial Arts Techniques: Tang Soo Do '1-STEP SPARRING.'

This comment is a take on MARKS November 2007 Post, "Karate Basics (Kihon Training);" and January 2007 Post "Cross Training for All Martial Artists."

MARKS starts the "Karate Basics" post by talking about the 'uncountable' number of times people have told him karate is a joke, etc. At the "Cross Training ..." post, a commentator went on about how bad judo was for self defense, basically nothing about judo worked.

KS remarked, I believe in my comments @ MARKS TRAINING about '1-Step Sparring' with Tang Soo Do (TSD), that KS attended a kung fu school, which curriculm was, to borrow a phase from a black-belt in another style who also trained there, 'watered down.'

Nonetheless, that kung fu school's branch instructor was very negative on KS's experience in a Hard-Style karate, TSD. Frankly, KS felt that the branch instructor was competent in his criticism, though his motivation was clearly for marketing purposes--He had sole responsiblity for the school's P&L.

And here in this post, we have [very legitimately] people pointing more bad things about karate, martial arts. KS did this at the "Karate Basics" post regarding the infamous "X-Block;" later discovered that MARKS had discussed it here.

Frankly one big reason KS took up TSD was because of common opinions about how bad traditional karates were. And again frankly, KS admits that he found traditional karates are quite flawed and full of problem areas. MARKS, this is why I presented that 'tongue in cheek' criticism about the Wado-Ryu Karate drills.

Following on that, and the 'uncountable' (to MARKS) comments about how rotten karate is, KS ASKS is there anything good about, worth fighting with [Hard-Style] karate? KS's ANSWER: '1-STEP SPARRING.'

No doubt here, the 'put-downers' (MARKS on Anonymous in "CROSS Training") will come out in full force on the 'dumbness' of TSD and '1-Step Sparring.' These come from various groups. One boxer-type judged them as "...memorized, preplanned stupidity." To some traditional martial artists, they are boring, robotic and impracitical. Another group of 'advanced,' martial artists has gained skill far beyond, and no longer needs those '1-STEPS' for 'simpletons.' Yet another group has come up with new, modern fighting techniques that negate and replace traditional [1-STEP Sparring] karate training.

At MARKS September 2008 Post, "IMPORTANCE OF YOUR GUARD;" KS pointed out that the same POOR BOXING [karate-like?] form that cost Chuck Liddell his UFC Light-heavyweight title to Raschad Evans; in fact, won Chuck the UFC light heavyweight from then LHW Champion Randy Couture. Note, Chuck's championship win at UFC 52[?] by knock-out was the first time Randy Couture had ever been knocked out in his entire MMA career!

KS, at MARKS February 2008 Post, "Is Sparring Useful in the Martial Arts;" describes the very first '1-STEP SPARRING TECHNIQUE' he learned in TSD. Looking at Chuck Lidell's 1st knockout of Randy Couture, KS essentially sees the form (not exactly the training version) of that very first '1-STEP SPARRING' technique taught in TSD.

So, KS nominates TSD [Hard-Style] karate's '1-STEP SPARRING,' as the 'best' of the 'worst' martial arts techniques (TIC).

MARKS, Do you (other commentators) agree (or not)with KS's assessment of the Chuck Liddell 1st knockout of Randy Couture @ UFC 52 as traditional karate's '1-STEP SPARRING;' AND WHY OR WHY NOT?

Anonymous said...

i agree with the crescent kick, but i disagree that the juji cross block is impractical. not following with a counter technique is whats impractical. i wouldnt think youd just block someones attack and leave it at that. you can use both hands to grab whatever has been blocked and have more leverage and control. no techniques completely lack weaknesses anyway; this definately is a difficult technique to pull off, but the #2 worst technique ever? naah

Anonymous said...

You guys talking about worst techniques and how to avoid it but there is a one guy who works by it. Many years ago Tamerlan A Kuzgov is the man who first mixed ineffective elements from all martial arts made a system of martial art by his "concept of mixing the ineffective techniques". It includes only ineffective techniques.

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