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A Useless Technique
that is Strangely Useful


Dear Arnisador,


I want to talk to you about a maneuver for downing an opponent that, when I first saw it back in ’94, I thought was impractical.


This impractical move was a repetition of a lesson that I have learned many times over the last 30 years.  Some things seem effective in theory, some in controlled drill, and some in free form situations.  These areas may or may not overlap.  In free form, this move is great.


I assume that you have a safe training environment, equipped with proper mats and you are wearing the proper gear.


The Technique.


With your stick held normally in your right hand, place it behind both legs of a willing partner.  It should below the groin, just above mid-hamstring.  Now, with your left hand, grab the stick and pull forward and upward.  When you get the angles and forces right, the legs of your partner will be jerked out from underneath him.


Its Use


There are some obvious problems with using this technique:

  1. It has an elaborate set up.
  2. It involves shifting the stick behind the person—difficult to do when facing the person.
  3. It is slow.


These are all problems if you are facing your opponent and executing after a strike.  Its best use is executing in the clinch.


Much of Kombatan shines when a stick has been grabbed or there is a close exchange.


It is very natural for people to grab a stick that is being swung at them, and most times the reflexive grabbing will be correct.  By that I mean they will grab the stick near the hand and avoid breaking their own hand with the impact.  This ends up with 2 armed people jostling for control.


During this jostle, 1 person will often shift to the side.  For this down you want to be that person, and you want to move to your opponent’s left.  Let’s also assume that you have freed your stick, but your opponent has gripped you in such a way that you can not exert any real strike force against him.


Seems like a lot of assumptions, but in free form sparring or matches this occurs all the time.


Drop your stick into position behind the person and pull.


Please enjoy this addition to your free form work!



Warm regards,


Guro Mike Steenrod


P.S.  Remember, safe means you can keep practicing.


P.P.S. Please forward this article to other qualified arnisadors.