Tactical Training : Part 3

Attention To Detail (Or How To Not Embarrass And/Or Hurt Yourself While Kicking Ass)

Since starting this article I’ve got a good deal of feedback about covering the basics of targeting your opponent. Today I’ll continue to cover my general principles on this subject and invite your questions. Also feel free to suggest some topics you’d like me to cover or expand upon for your combat training. The focus of this column is not a particular art or style but general training concepts that everyone can apply. I emphasis the real life and death application of combat training rather than the sport application because I believe there are many places to find technical information about your particular art or style. There is very little information on good overall principles to use in your everyday self defense applications.

So with that in mind here is a list of do’s and don’t for various grabs, holds, punches, and kicks:

  1. Grasping: When grasping, allow your hand to come to rest on the bodypart you wish to hold. Don’t try to hit and hold simultaneously or your hand will bounce off your target.
  2. Grasping: When grabbing clothes push the clothes up first, then grab the wrinkled area thumb down turning the thumb up as you pull in or push out. This enables you to really get a good hold on the clothing and control the attacker.
  3. Punching: Here’s a basic but VERY overlooked principle; When punching to the soft parts of the body use the hard parts of the hand. When punching the hard parts of the body use the soft part of the hand.
  4. Punching: When striking the kidney keep your palm down as it provides a far better force vector for that punch.
  5. Punching: When striking to the ribs you may extend the center knuckle, keep your thumb up. That knuckle strike is the difference between bruising ribs and breaking them.
  6. Punching: When using a roundhouse/hook strike to the jaw line use your middle knuckles as the striking surface.
  7. Elbows: When punching with elbows make sure to keep a tight fist and strike with the elbow tip. Hold the forearm in a vertical position.
  8. Hand/Wrist Leverages: Start the hold with your thumb down and turn your thumb up with his thumb away from his body. Use your other hand to reinforce the hold as soon as possible.
  9. Kicking: If you kick above your attacker’s waist he will bend backward taking about a step and one half back. If you kick below the waist he’ll bend forward and go back about a half a step (steps are based on the natural stride of the attacker).
  10. Kicking: When you kick move into the kick, not away. You want to transfer all your force into the attacker.
  11. Kicking: Don’t kick above your chin level if at all possible. High kicks take longer to land and stay in view of your attacker, giving him time to counter. If you want to kick your attacker in the temple, kick out his kneecap first, then the temple is very easy to strike.
Some of these tips may be familiar to you, but do you actually USE the information? This week apply one or two of them during your training sessions and notice what a little attention to detail does to your performance. Feel free to email me at seikenkarate@gmail.com with your feedback or questions.
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