I like kicking and punching as much as the next person, but that certainly isn’t the only tool you and I should have as martial artists. To optimize our abilities to defend ourselves and others we need a continuum of abilities that are effective at all ranges. An important part of that continuum is joint locking.
In traditional karate we use tuite which has it’s own unique flavor just as jujutsu, aikido, etc. have flavors of their own. Whatever particular style you study, incorporating some form of joint locking is highly recommended.
In order to make joint locking a valid part of your self defense skills, you can’t rely purely on base-level technique walk-throughs. You need to improve your ability to apply locks on the fly and in harmony with striking using “touch reflex”. Touch reflex is a term that describes your immediate ability to know where your opponents body parts are when you make contact with him or he makes contact with you. Furthermore, it describes being able to sense how resistant or distracted your opponent is, thus making the right moment for a joint lock ‘jump out’ at you.
Please check out this video demonstrating how to move your joint lock training from base level to applicable:
It’s critically important to know how to use joint locking in harmony not just with strikes, but with takedowns, trips, kyusho, and any other aspects of your art. Alone each of these elements suffers from vulnerabilities. For example, trying to joint lock a resistant opponent without distracting or injuring him usually results in a muscular struggle as well as adrenaline fueled punches to your head. But when each aspect is used at the proper time with the proper flow the destructive qualities of the whole are significant.
In today’s video I’d like to explore the tonfa. Although the tonfa never made it into the pantheon of Ninja Turtle weapons (weak), it still enjoys a healthy amount of popularity. In fact, tonfa are one of the few classical weapons that are actively used in our current police task force.
Although you’ll rarely find tonfa-like items in your day-to-day life, the core ideas that make them effective are a valuable asset to any martial artist’s ‘playbook’.
Check it out as I explore the different ways of holding and striking with the tonfa (and engage in a little freestyle randori at the end).
Don’t try that last drill we did without expert supervision. It’s a valuable part of kobudo training, but people can get really hurt if they don’t have years of experience learning how to control the weapon with exacting precision. This is especially true for the spinning aspects of the tonfa.
The kama is a very intriguing weapon. It behaves differently than both bludgeoning and slicing weapons, but contains a little essence of both.
In today’s video I provide a tactic for using the kama properly. Historically speaking the kama were used in pairs, and as such benefited from the ability to cross and uncross in order to cover zones and close distance.
Check it out as I explore a little bit of the weapon’s history, a breakdown of how crossing/uncrossing works, and finish with a little bit a good natured randori to put the weapons into action.
It’s important never to underestimate the role of distance and timing in a combative engagement. When using weapons, even the slightest slip up can result in serious injury. When using a short range weapon, you have to place mobility at the top of your priorities, and utilize techniques that have built in fail-safes. Crossing and uncrossing is very valuable in that regard.