Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Self Defense Against a Punch

Sensei Langevin pushes the punch aside with his left hand

he technique for today - chosen and demonstrated by Sensei Terry Langevin - features a defense against a front punch.

Terry uses a parry to one side to redirect the punch, entering the attacker’s space just on the outside of the attacker’s arm. Terry recently ran a seminar on entries, and I like his approach to securing the attacker’s limbs from a variety of directions.

Let’s take a closer look at this technique -

1.  Terry’s uke, Sensei Murray Mahoney, starts with a classic Karate type of punch with his right fist. Using the palm of his left hand, Terry guides the attacker’s punch to the right. I see this block/parry manoeuvre throughout the martial arts world. It’s time-tested, and it works!

Left palm strike to the face

2.  Next, Terry strikes the attacker’s face with his open hand. You can also substitute a palm heel strike, a finger attack to the eyes, a claw strike, etc. You can also parry with the left and strike with the right at the same time.

An open hand strike to the face can have all sorts of effects on the attacker - it can stun him momentarily; by covering his eyes, he’ll lose track of where you are; or - as with iron hand strikes - a palm strike to the head can knock the attacker unconscious...or worse.

You might be surprised to find this technique in Yang Style Tai Chi (brush knee and step). Then again, Tai Chi Chuan is a highly effective martial art!

Sensei Langevin crosses his hands
3.  Please notice now how he crosses his hands, both trapping the attacker - and pulling him toward his chest. An important movement, seen throughout the Kung Fu world. (Bagua Kung Fu performs some amazing torques with this technique). One of its most practical references is found in versions of the Karate routine Heian Go-Dan (also known as Pinan Godan)

Once the attacker is trapped, you can pull him toward you

Now strike with one of your hands

4.  Very smart - once the attacker is trapped, you can strike him with one of your hands. It’s just such a natural movement. By the way, each step of this technique doesn’t require a lot of muscular strength. It can be accomplished by using a “sticky” type of relaxed power, often seen in Wing Chun Kung Fu, Filipino Kali, etc.

It's seems so natural now to encircle the attacker's neck

5.  It seems so natural to encircle the attacker’s head with your striking hand, pulling him in. This is a favourite movement in Jiu Jitsu - and can also be seen in the Karate routine Heian San-Dan (Pinan Sandan).

Pull the neck up and in

6.  Lastly, pull the neck up and in. This can be used as a basic headlock, a choke…and in the worst case scenario, a neck break. You can also couple this with a knee kick.

Terry’s techniques are smooth, relaxed and always well thought out. I like his approach to martial arts. He’s open minded, training in everything that he can. He never criticizes other systems, or other instructors. He just wants to learn - and share!

A sincere thank you to Terry and Murray for sharing this technique with us!

If you’d like to contact Sensei Langevin, you can e-mail him at 2terrylangevin@gmail.com or phone 613 478 5173.

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