Saturday, 6 September 2014

Self Defense With a Chair

artial art tradition often involves turning anything close at hand into a weapon. You might be having lunch in some dusty tea place by the roadside in China a hundred years ago, and between mouthfuls of noodles think –

“OK, if I were being attacked right now…what would I use? These chopsticks, of course…this bowl, probably. But wait…what about this bench I’m sitting on? The corners are nice and sharp and can be used to stab or strike with. And the legs. I can also block or strike with those.”

Today, I'd like to follow up on a previous post where I first introduced the idea that the chair you're siting on can become, quite literally, a formidable weapon of self defense especially against another weapon.

Let's begin with the basic position. In the photo above, Sensei Hubert holds the chair directly in front of him, close to his core muscles. This position allows for maximum protective coverage. Also, along with his coiled stance, he's poised to block or strike against a wide variety of angles.

We deliberately chose an awkward type of chair - patio furniture built to enjoy the view not to defend your life with. The legs curve outward - and to add to the sense of imbalance - the back of the chair is extra high.

So the first thing he does is to grasp the seat of the chair at the centre, swinging the back of the chair off to one side where it can protect him without getting into the way. He's used to working with weapons, so by controlling the centre, he's immediately able to sense the weight and balance of the chair along with its advantages and limitations. Being a trained martial artist, he, without boasting, can - and must - be able to do this within a fraction of a second. In self defense, anything more is lethal!

Notice as well the gap between the chair and his body - not too far away, and not to close. The way he has the chair positioned, allows him to "thrust" an I Chuan push, a Shotokan reverse punch, etc. He can strike with his legs behind him (notice how close they are to the chair); he can use his hips or his stomach; he can even push with his chest.

The next photo (above) features a straight on view of the chair with the legs pointing directly  at us. I first came across this while studying the Moi Fah spear from My Jong Law Horn. Right at the beginning of the form, the spear performs two quick - and tight - little spirals, the first in a  clockwise direction and the second counter-clockwise. One of the many reasons behind these two movements, is to coil and snap away an opponent's weapon.

That's exactly what Sensei Hubert does to Sifu Magwood's knife - engage, contact and spiral it down and away. Whether your chair has four or three legs, that's a lot of spears you can use at one time!

In the photo above, Sensei Hubert employs another spear technique. After twisting the knife aside, he thrusts one leg forward, directing it into a pressure point. Notice again his stance. It provides him with speed, power and flexibility.

Here he attacks the groin. As with another weapon – Kung Fu’s three sectional staff – he can thrust forward with one leg and maintain the other legs of the chair in a defensive mode.

Staff versus chair…Sifu Magwood’s downward strike is blocked – and trapped – by the chair’s legs.

Twisting the staff aside, Sensei Hubert counterattacks. Notice how he's pushed the left side of his body forward in support of the attack.

Real self defense is always fluid and unpredictable. One of the best ways to prepare, is to practise with a variety of what I call “everyday weapons” – chairs, keys, pens, cell phones…the list is endless. Practise, until the movements themselves become flexible, finely tuned and as natural as entering a restaurant and sitting down to enjoy a meal.

1 comment:

  1. I always feel back pain and thy pain sitting on a chair for gaming.BUt indoor games are my one and only fashion and way of recreation, so I can't leave it as well.So that I chose ergonomic chair for gamers .


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