Teaching Yellow Belt Techs - Input Needed

Discussion in 'Kenpo - (EPAK) Ed Parker's American Kenpo Karate S' started by alphamartial, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. alphamartial

    alphamartial Guest

    Hello,

    I've been thinking about the yellow belt techniques and teaching them to new students. 2 techniques that I keep coming back to are "Grasp of Death" & "Atlernating Maces". I'm hoping someone here can expand my understanding and help me teach these techniques more effectively.

    Does anyone have a good explanation for why a beginner should let go of the wrist at the end of Grasp of Death to execute the right punch? IMO the wrist offers new students better control than relying on the left hand (until they have learned to establish a good solid base).

    In Alternating Maces it can be difficult for new students to deflect both arms with the initial block. I have also found that switching hands and applying effective checks can be difficult for many novices (and some advanced students!). Anyone have advice on how to make this easier for students to understand and execute?

    I posted on this forum b/c I would like to stay within the framework of the EPAK techniques. I am not trying to change the techniques in a big way (small adjustments okay). I may be leaving a concept out when I teach these that will help a beginner "get it". Some of you may have found more effective ways to teach these techniques than I am using. Please share! I look forward to your input.

    Respectfully,
    Chris H.
     
  2. Bill Lear

    Bill Lear Brown Belt

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    The answer you're looking for in Alternating Maces is kinda cool. Don't try to block both arms. The biggest mistake with this technique is that practitioners try to block both arms with the initial inward block. Instead the focus should be put on blocking the left arm which will redirect your opponent's body and his forward momentum off center. If done correctly his left arm will either bump into his right arm, or cross over/under it.

    As for switchin' the checks... that takes practice. The switching of these checks is simlar to rolling the arms (one over the top of the other), although the motion in the technique is a little more exaggerated (to include the punch and back-knuckle strike).

    I hope this helps. :asian:
     
  3. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    To me, the key in teaching this with some degree of success to a new student is to have them work a little on the timing of the block. The way I learned it, we step back into a left neutral bow as the push comes in and execute a right inward block above their left elbow. Some new students tend to fear or at least are not familiar with allowing someone to invade their personal space and will attempt to execute the block too soon. I try to teach my students to work this slowly at first to build trust between partners and allow the push to come in to you as you do the step back. Also to me this is a perfect opportunity to discuss with them the use of torque on the right inward block. I think it should not be taken for granted that a student will know how to block. It is a good idea to have them drill this block using blockers at first because it takes away any fear of hurting others to start, as some new students initially fear hurting their partners. If they have prior experience and show no signs of difficulty than the drill may not be necessary. Aside from avoiding the push the purpose of this block is to open a target on the opponent's body. To help with the fear factor, I first demonstrate for them on an experienced student how to open the target with a solid block and then I do it to them so they can feel it, and then I allow them to work it on me if needed. If they can't open the target after the block we rework it, and usually they begin executing more solid blocks fairly quickly.

    This is how I teach it anyway...I hope this helps :)
     
  4. KenpoTess

    KenpoTess Sr. Grandmaster

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    Stances are very important in all the Base Tecs.. Alternating Maces works nicely as we now pivot from the Neutral Bow to the Forward bow and back to the neutral bow. The Important aspect in the pivot is teaching the student, to 'Settle their stance', using their hips/pelvis for torque. Also affirming their blocks are in position utilizing the 3rd and 4th Yellow belt sayings.

    Grasp of Death- after the initial moves.. get air, pin,right step, pinch.. (after stepping thru with the left foot, cancelling their height both by rolling their tricep with the forearm and taking their right knee out with the forward step keeping it in check, and then use a pinning check with my left hand to the opponent's elbow (their arm is pulled down past my right hip (anchoring) Freeing my right hand to do the punch.

    :asian:

    ~Tess
     
  5. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Oh my god, I think I agree with you. I like to think of this tech as you are a bull fighter and the push is the bull's horns; where as, you kind of want to step off the line of attack while using right inward block to "drive him off center". You then patiently wait with your left while your right hand pushes the arms to your right and down, exposing targets and canceling zones. The right BK is the hard part. You really shouldn't be in a forward bow upon its execution. Jeff Speakmen addressed this issue at that vegas camp a few years back. (but it was with parting wings now that I mention it... SAME DEAL) :asian:
    Sean
     
  6. c2kenpo

    c2kenpo Guest

    First Alternating Maces

    (Assuming Your Students Know Delayed Sword)

    If your students are having problems with the initial "movement" in Alternating Maces go back to Delayed Sword. The block is the same the movement is the same.

    Now the trick is start class with Delayed Sword. Then simply change the attack from a right punch to a 1- handed push and tell your students to do Delayed Sword. Then have the attacker insert the left arm in for the push as well (remember it says "low push" not hips but the ribcage is where the push should be occuring. Ever see someone bend over to push you??)

    And have students do Delayed Sword. Block is the same no matter a right punch left punch or a push 1 or 2 handed. Once the block is comfortable and they can see there is no difference between them. Then get them to practive thier pushdown blocks but practice while moving into the forward bow. (Forget the left hand) The trick here is no need to move my arm. Keep it anchored right from the block and by simply pivoting form neutral to forward my arm will cause my opponents to move further down his height zone opening up my target. Now just teach timing of hands and feet. The backnuckle is easy once you get this. Jut makc sure they are not swinging open the door and actually striking with good whipping.

    Master Keys to Alternating maces are Anchored Elbows, Forward Bow Hammer Thrust and Whip

    For Grasp of Death, the reason for letting go of the wrist with your right hand is simple. Proper weapon to fit the target with maximum body alignment and back up mass.
    Try to strike the target with your left hand look adn feel the results then strike with your right. KIAYH!! By doing this you are using the pricinples behind the technique.

    Hope this helps.

    David Gunzburg
     
  7. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Launch and be neutral aren't bad master keys either :uhyeah:
    sean
     
  8. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    You must have been posting while I was working on mine. I like the way you describe the block it is what I visualize when I think of this technique and what I show to students when I teach it in terms of opening the target. :)
     
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  9. sumdumguy

    sumdumguy Green Belt

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    Since alternating maces has already been answered many times, I will attempt to offer some suggestion for "The grasp of Death".

    I am of the opinion and practice that the right hand should only let go of the opponents wrist when proper "manipulation control" is aquired. This is accomplished by pulling the right arm back while executing the forearm strike/push (leverage) (keeping it simple) to the elbow/tricept of the opponents right arm, forcing them into position with the step-through. When the right arm reaches the pull back position, with full rotation clockwise, turning the opponents arm over to expose the elbow, the left arm pressing against the elbow creates a class 2 or 3 lever depending on application and location trapping the opponents arm against the right and left thigh. At this point we can release the grab and execute the reverse punch to the back of the head (target of choice). Try it, or not....

    Just the way I do it.
    :asian:
     
  10. Bill Lear

    Bill Lear Brown Belt

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    Welcome to light side of the force. :ultracool

    Your explanation of a bullfight is pretty damn good Sean, I think I'll borrow it. :)
     
  11. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    Rotate from the FB-Punch, back to the neutral with the BK. It gives you torque through counter-rotation, and extension in case your punch not only bends him (sorry, some MIB-2 commentary) forward, but also drives him back.

    At least that is what I was taught, and later read.

    -Michael
     
  12. Bill Lear

    Bill Lear Brown Belt

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    That's my understanding. :asian:
     
  13. alphamartial

    alphamartial Guest

    First off - thanks for all of your input. A lot of good stuff has been posted.

    In Alt. Maces I understand and teach to block the left arm. The problem may lie in not redirecting the left arm far enough across the attacker's body. I think having students focus on bumping or crossing the arms will help. I was more focused on teaching the "alternating" part of the technique (hit, check, hit).

    In Grasp of Death I understand that the right punch is tailored to the target. I also understand that it is possible to maintain the arm bar with only the left hand (controlling the right wrist with your body). Is it realistic for a white belt to do? Some, but not all in my experience. How do you answer the beginners question, "Why am I letting go of this perfectly good arm bar I've got?"?

    Thanks again everyone for contributing!

    Sincerely,
    Chris H.
     
  14. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    We create the arm bar similarly to what's already been described. Stepping in with the left we pin their right wrist to our right hip with our right hand and use our left forearm to roll their right tricep (bending them over) as they begin to go over you begin going into a right forward bow toward 4:00 for the takedown. Then as they are falling you quickly begin unwinding toward approximately 2:30. At this point you begin switching hands on their right wrist sliding your left hand up their arm. Your left hand grabs a hold of their right wrist securing it, and as you are doing this you begin to drop your weight by bending your knees in a squat and deliver a right punch to their head just before their head hits the ground. Holding onto the wrist and dropping your weight gives you more control for the punch.



    This is just the way we do it. Try it and see if it works for you.



    MJ :asian:
     
  15. XtremeJ_AKKI

    XtremeJ_AKKI Green Belt

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    Personally, I think it gives the beginner an excellent start to switching hands, going ahead and killing the frequent habit of " one-armed Kenpo " before it even begins. Besides, at that point in the technique, the left hand is checking the opponent's arm which, if the movement is performed efficiently, will be somewhat pinned ( at the elbow ) against your abdomen.

    It's mostly in both the angle of the block and it's retraction into the punch ( I'm assuming you're teaching the " RH block, LH horizontal punch, RH backfist " version ). Place the inward block at the proper 45-degree angle from the body ( blocking 4-10 rather than 3-9 ) and as you transition into the punch, retract the right hand block into the check by rounding the corner ( off of the initial contact with the opponent's arms ), as if taking a knife ( short-held ) and stabbing yourself on the left side of your stomach; note however that, for this to take care of both arms, there should be no pause or corners between the block and the retraction. Try it at speed sometime, you should see what I mean. Salute.
     
  16. TwistofFat

    TwistofFat Green Belt

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    Grasp of Death: Great input. I would also add that as you slide out (head) and apply the arm bar, you violently move your opponent with your hip in concert with the armbar as you step in. This causes him (or her) to plant their left hand on the ground for support as you 'lock out' the arm bar (preventive motion).

    As I shoot the right punch into the appropriate target, I pull his right arm with my left hand in and down (away from my right leg) as I punch - but do not release his arm (if a heavy Gi, it is easier than some drunk, shirtless SOB that has been sweating...). (The book calls for you to "Control the opponent's right elbow with your left hand, pivot into a left forward bow...). I like the white belts to get used to aggressively moving the attacker as soon as they can.

    Thanks - Glenn.
     
  17. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

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    In'ersting, since I teach the technique to drop into a low horse when executing the right punch... this is mainly to keep the elbows tight during the takedown and to stress the rotational force of the hips during the stance change from left neutral to right forward. If this is done right, the would-be attacker is now lying with his head between your feet and best addressed by punching straight down.

    the left forward bow would be a what-if (or "oops" move) if the takedown is not done tightly, and the attacker is now lying further away from you...

    but then again, i ain't never read the book... so we may be doing something a little dif'erntly... there's just as many right ways to do a technique as there are wrong ways!

    pete.
     
  18. Storm

    Storm Green Belt

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    I use a forward bow as well, as reversing your motion allows you to put in the right punch harder - you can utilise torque with the forward movement which I dont really feel with a low horse stance. (which I just tried out of interest)

    As for the book, have got it, have read it but not that technique for a while, just do it how it flows now.
     
  19. kenpo tiger

    kenpo tiger Senior Master

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    I agree with Pete. In my opinion, if you have a beginner learning this tech, the forward bow sometimes allows for bad habits to set in - like leaning forward toward the attacker to punch him and thus compromising yourself: opening yourself up to be grabbed and taken down, allowing the attacker to possibly punch your face as you lean in, etc. Better to establish a stable base and punch downward -- again, assuming no oops in executing the tech. KT
     
  20. rmcrobertson

    rmcrobertson Guest

    At that angle, omitting the forward bow teaches terrible body mechanics, and denies a beginner a chance to learn fundamentals of generating power, body fusion, marriage of gravity, forward and reverse motion, and about fourteen other things.

    Moreover, that forward bow appears in other yellow belt techniques, such as Attacking Mace, and later in Grip of Death.

    Teach the forward bow with the punch.
     

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