Short Weapon Training

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Short Weapon Training, which is what we worked on in class this week, was a blast! For those of you who are unfamiliar with our curriculum (Street-Safe Combat Training), Short Weapon Training is Level 4 of our 7 advanced arenas of combat knowledge where we focus on knife and Dula-Dula (palm stick) tactics. One or two times a month, Sifu will visit this unique training segment in our beginners’ class to break the mold, and push the students a little further into the skills of “random concept integration”.

This week was our first in the new school at 5 Star Hall. I love it already. We’ve gone from training a little over an hour per class to 2 full hours. It’s funny, it seems that class went by faster, despite it being almost twice as long. I figure this is an illusion due to the fact that we didn’t have any time constraints causing you to constantly look up at the clock to make sure we were fitting everything in. Instead of orienting the class around “Father Time”, we were able to really explore the intricate concepts found within each drill.

Perhaps this is why I had such a great time in Short Weapon Training this week. Instead of just focusing on one advanced passing drill for 20-40 minutes, we were able to take that one drill and break it down into 4 other drills for almost 2 hours, enabling us really focus on each core concept found within each segment. I LOVE IT!


Breakdown of Knife Flow Drill:

To Start:

Closed Stance
Partner throws a #1 knife strike with the rear hand

Counter:

1-to-1 ratio
1) Lead>Open-Hand “Passing” Check, Evasive weight-shift into back leg/slight step back
3-to-1 ratio
2) Rear>Jam/Spring-Loaded Style, Flat-Knife Pass
3) Lead>Pak-Sau
4) Rear>#1 knife strike

And your partner repeats the above, and around in circles you go.

With our old schedule, it would typically take us two days to go through our fundamental knife skill drills. But this week, we got through them in the first class! What was great about having the extra time, is that for our second class, we were able to focus on just this advanced passing drill! And even better yet, Sifu introduced the Dula-Dula last night by slightly modifying the drill! I love the Dula-Dula! So the drill changed to this:

1-to-1 ratio
1) Lead>Open-Hand “Passing” Check, Evasive weight-shift into back leg/slight step back
3-to-1 ratio
2) Rear>Dula-Dula strike to the forearm
3) Lead>Pak-Sau
4) Rear>Dula-Dula strike to the upper arm/shoulder

Sifu broke the above drill into 4 separate drills:

2 Beat Drills

1) Counter’s 1 & 2 vs. Rear #1 Knife Strike—Concept Focus: “Evasion to Explosion”, Waist Power, Forward Momentum, Sensitivity, Sticky Energy, Proper Distance, Efficiency/Economy of Motion, Precision in Striking

2) Counter’s 3 & 4 vs. Rear #2 Knife Strike—Concept Focus: Proper Directional Force & Displacement, Waist Power, Forward Momentum, Sensitivity, Sticky Energy, Efficiency/Economy of Motion, Speed & Power Development, Precision in Striking

3) Counter’s 2 & 3 vs. Rear #2 Knife Strike—Concept Focus: Proper Internal Body Mechanics, Waist Power, Evasion, Forward Momentum, Efficiency/Economy of Motion, Speed & Power Development, Precision in Striking, Maintaining Defensive Integrity

3 Beat Drill

1) Counter’s 2, 3 & 4 to a Rear #2 Knife Strike—Concept Focus: Evasion, Waist Power, Economy of Motion, Defensive Integrity, Proper Power Generation, Forward Momentum

You’d be surprised, even after breaking the original drill into 4 distinct pieces, it was still hard putting all four parts together—but it was easier, and much clearer in how to fully accomplish the end goal.

Self-Defense Concept Focus


The “Concept Focus” mentioned at the end of each drill is not an all-inclusive list. There are certainly numerous other concepts that could be focused on. The concepts mentioned above are assuming a certain level of base skill. It may be enough, if the beginning student is just starting out, to follow through with the movements, as they begin to build their Internal Body Mechanics, understanding their distance and knowing where to put their hands. But as the student gets a good base, they should be focusing on the above concepts mentioned.

Another note about the concepts mentioned above, these are just a few concepts that these drills shine the spot light on. These concepts are not meant to be a finite list, but more a guideline of what to emphasize and where to focus your mind.

Core Concept: Distance

One of the core concepts that this drill, or any Short Weapon Training for that matter, really makes you aware of is DISTANCE. As Sifu was explaining in class, there are 2 types of distances: Yours & Theirs. And when it comes to short weapon, especially knives, you better really understand BOTH! Sifu had a great lesson talking about proper distances and strategies for an effective defense against a knife.

One thought, to really make yourself aware of your distance when it comes to just being out of range from a knife attack, is to take the drill slowly. Even, take a moment and ask you partner to stop once they get to the “point-of-contact”. Get in the position of the “Open-Hand Passing Check” and see where exactly you are, while being out of range AND in proper structure. Where exactly are you in relation to the knife. Are you comfortable? Are you uncomfortable? Just how many inches is your face away from the knife? I’m willing to bet you don’t realize just how close you can be, while still being out of range.

Distance is not an easy concept, and takes practice to really fully comprehend. There are a lot of other factors, like power, sensitivity, quality of point-of-contact and evasion that all depend on this one concept. If you don’t get your distance right, it can and very likely will throw off your whole defense. Other than timing, Distance is one of the “keys” to unlock the “treasure trove” of self-defense skill success. Short Weapon Training is important to train in so that you may get a new perspective on Distance and Timing! Hopefully you are training with a knife and/or Dula-Dula to these personal benefits in self-defense skill.

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