Thursday, 9 August 2012

Self Defense - Takedown #4

My apologies re: blurred face...she moved in fast, and hard!

or some reason, I’ve recently started referring to this self defense technique as the “sentry takedown”. Possibly because the technique works well as an approach from the back.

And at the point where you do secure the opponent’s head, you can do a lot more than just take him down, which is obviously crucial in a life and death struggle.

When I first started Jiu Jitsu, the technique was referred to as the “rear takedown”. But we learned to apply this takedown from all directions.

Other martial arts share the same technique. Just off the top of my head I can think of the famous Karate routine Seisan, right near the end. Interestingly, I was taught the technique followed by an immediate 45 degree pull back followed by a 45 degree snap in the opposite direction. That’s more than just a takedown!

The Goju Ryu Karate routine Seiunchin employs the same takedown, also right near the end. The “fire fist” from Hsing I Kung Fu has a particularly nasty version of the same movement.

Hsing I Kung Fu's fire fist


All these martial arts – and more – place their own distinct stamp on this takedown along with an incredible amount of follow up variations.

You can tell, just by investigating one or two of these variations, that old time martial arts practitioners played for keeps!

Let’s follow along with the photo at the top –

1.   Approach the opponent from the rear. (As you approach, turn your body slightly sideways. If the opponent retaliates, there’s less of you to hit. Plus your groin – an obvious target – is turned to the side).

2.   Bring your hands quickly from behind out in front of his forehand, pulling back. (I prefer covering the forehead, eyes and nose. The impact and degree of control is stronger – plus the element of surprise and feeling of helplessness is increased).

3.   At the same time as you wrap your hands around the forehead and face, push hard into her back with your elbows. Both forearms are at an almost perpendicular angle from the floor. This breaks her balance, and also prevents her from spinning around.

4.   Maintaining your hold, guide him down toward the floor.

As usual, I suggest practising the approach from the rear first. Ask your practise partner to remain still until you’ve become used to distance, timing, breaking his balance, etc.

Then, I suggest approaching from other directions, even from the front. Your partner remains standing.

Next, try the technique against various attacks – slaps, punches, bear hugs, chokes, from all directions and angles. Please go half speed to start.

You’ll need to integrate the takedown with your other self defense techniques. For example, if your partner attacks you with a bear hug from the front under the arms, you might slap his ears with both hands, push your thumbs into his eyes, knee him in the groin, etc. Then only – once your arms are free – do you step behind him in order to perform the takedown.

Please practise…but at the same time be careful of your partner's neck. The neck is a delicate area of the body and can easily be hurt!

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