The Tool to Dominate the Close Fight
I want to talk to you today about the use of the punyo, the little stub of the stick that protrudes from the palm. In arnis, it is usually 3-6 inches of the stick. It can generate push force, because of its closeness to the hand, and striking & tearing force for close quarter training.
Letís always keep in mind that the reason to have distance on a weapon is to keep a target at distance, and not expose yourself to close quarter when possible. You may be able to stop an opponent with one or two strikes at range. Arnis provides a lot of ability to control a close target and deliver force into it, but that doesnít mean you should prefer being in that range.
The reason, at close range you become vulnerable to things like eye clawing. Even a low force clawing attack to the eye can destroy that eye. Even a smile child can destroy your vision by clawing at your eyeball.
Another reason to prefer long is that a weapon striking at range and high speed is hard to see, and gets to the target faster. I just finished a shoot for an article in Black Belt magazine. Let me tell you, extra range on a stick makes a lot of difference in being able to deflect a gun before a trigger pull.
All that being said, when a match ends up close, you want to be able to dominate in close. The punyo helps to do that. The punyo has 3 basic angles of attack: an upward strike (much like a sideways uppercut), a right to left strike (delivered almost like an elbow), and a left to right strike (also delivered like an elbow). These can be practiced in the air or cautiously with a partner.
In an actual exchange, youíll find that many people will grab the stick if you try to punyo them close. So you need to create control the arm that will most likely grab you, before trying to punyo. You can also always just punyo the arm or hand trying to grab you.
Advanced Punyo Technique: Drag em Down
In each newsletter, I like to work a beginner level concept and a more advanced concept. For this, youíll need a partner. Stand in front of your partner. Grab your partnerís attack arm, and clear a bit downward. Take your punyo, move it downward and hook it behind the elbow of the attack arm. It doesnít matter if the attack arm is bent or straight. Pull gently toward you while stepping back. Let the attack arm role in your wrist. You should now have your partner in a forward drag. Itís great if youíve bent them over, but not necessary. The bent position can be encouraged by kneeing them in the abdomen.
You must either pull them to the ground or escort them. This is not a static lock.
The rule for partners is COOPERATION. The more resistant your partner is, the more speed and force youíll have to use. That means that both of you must be very skilled to avoid serious injury.
Guro Mikel Steenrod
P.S. You do these drills at your own risk. I can not magically prevent your injuries from a distance. Donít be macho. Care for your partners and you will have partners.
P.P.S. Buy the 99 cent guide. It will decrease your chance of experiencing injury.