Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to execute a Block, Punch and Kick properly?

Uke waza (blocking techniques) , Tsugi  Waza ( punching techniques) and Geri Waza ( kicking techniques) form a major part of most martial arts. Techniques can be learnt but if not properly executed they are of no use practically. In my many years of experience I have seen many students of martial arts blocking, punching and kicking during class only by placing the hand or leg the way it has to be. Most don't execute a punch or block or kick the way it would be needed to be executed if one is required to use it on the road to defend themselves. No technique is executed properly if we do not focus our body, mind and spirit in executing the technique. We have to become one with the technique only then is it executed to its optimum potential. Am just amazed at the brilliance and profound knowledge of the great masters who have designed Martial Arts. They have covered all the aspects of life in these forms. From self defense to physical health, from increased immunity to healing powers  for internal and external injuries or ailments, from disciplined lifestyle to ideal characteristics and personality traits, from development of mind to spiritual growth. No wonder Martial Arts are called - "A WAY OF LIFE."  


Uke or block is very very important. It is the first and most important thing for self defense. It is a block that is used first when we are attacked and only if we block well can we counter attack. While practicing blocking techniques we must make sure that the block covers the area it intends to block and usually ends outside of our body. Always practice by blocking with full force as if you are actually being attacked. In most forms of Karate the face block or Jodan Uke can be modified a bit to make it more practically applicable. The Jodan Uke usually ends above the head in a slightly slanting position. I feel it could be moved outside so that we can continue to counter attack by holding the hand or stick or whatever we are being struck with on the head. Every block has to be scientifically designed so as to ensure that once we have blocked in a certain manner that particular attack is not only rendered useless but also cannot be modified into a new attack. 


Tsugi or a punch can be a very lethal blow if and only if it is properly executed. The punch is actually very scientifically designed using body mechanics and physics. Often practitioners only move their fists out without using the proper movement so the effect will be much less than 50% of a proper punch. To punch properly one should twist the body from the hip upwards. A punch generates more power if we implement a bit of physics to it too. Say we are punching with our right hand, if we pull our left hand into our armpit with great speed and force and twist that same force will multiply many folds as the right hand punches out. This is based on a simple physics principle " Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." Only amazing part is that a punch was designed many centuries before the great scientist who proclaimed this law of physics. A punch is usually executed by extending  the hand completely. Over a period of time the elbow could get injured due to completely straightening the arm with speed. Moreover an extended arm is an easy target for an attacker to break by striking on the elbow. I personally feel that a punch should be very very slightly bent at the elbow. Try it, when we punch in this manner the punch still has the same power in it but the elbow moves downward so making it impossible to be attacked or broken by an attacker and since the elbow is not totally extended there is no chance of injuring the elbow.     


Geri or a kick is a good form of attack if wisely and properly executed. It enables us to keep our attacker at a distance and yet strike him with a powerful blow. A kick is a lethal weapon but also can prove to be a weakness if wrong habits are set in. Very often I have seen practitioners rising up on their toes with the other leg while kicking. This is totally wrong. If we do rise up on our toes while kicking we are resting our whole body on the toes giving the body virtually no balance or firm grounding. A slightest sweep from the attacker and we will have a big fall. Never lift the other foot from the ground while kicking. The other common mistake I have noticed is that the kick is just extended with speed so it lacks the ability to give the impact it is designed to give. Unlike a punch a kick is more lick a whipping action. If we are holding a whip and just move the hand forward the whip will move but will lack the zing to it. Now if we thrust our hand with speed and pull it back the whip will lash the way it is supposed too. Similarly a kick needs to be executed by thrusting the leg forward with our hips with speed to get the whipping effect it has been designed for.

I hope that the above suggestions are put into practice and if there are any doubts or suggestions do write in to us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Self -defense against a grab from the back

Today we are going to see one  technique that we can use to defend ourselves from a grab from the back.

Suppose you are walking down the street and someone grabs you from the back with his right hand. Turn towards your attacker from your left side and strike the attackers right arm with your left shuto ( knife edge strike) and hold his arm. Then with your right hand punch him in the solar plexus and let your hand move to his right shoulder. Pull his shoulder in a downward action and strike with your knee either to his nose or to the solar plexus. 

For any attack there are numerous techniques, we just show one of the possible ways to defend yourself from such an attack. For better understanding the techniques are shot at a slow pace. It is with repeatedly practicing the techniques that a person will be ready to face a real attack on the street at a much faster pace.