Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Throwing and grappling.

Having studied Japanese Martial Arts and not being a big fan of the Gay Porn that gets shown on television each time an MMA match is on I want to start this chapter by saying that I regard grappling as a means to subdue a relatively harmless opponent. Being mainly a survival- orientated style- Wen Hisu Quan does not allow its exponents to become involved is a lengthy love scene of hugging and holding. If an opponent cannot be subdued by a simple throw or joint lock and he persists in fighting you, you should go to maim and kill!

The above is also in accordance with Dr Jigoro Kano's principle of "Minimum Effort Maximum Effect" which the Chinese know as "using four tahils against a thousand katis" and which somehow got mistranslated to the Western World as "Screw Technique and Just Do A Lot Of Weight Training To Win With Brute Force". Don't ask me why, but it's just the way it is.

If you are really interested in learning the different kinds of throws and joint locks that exist you can contact me at In this post I'd rather explain the principles which govern all grappling techniques in Wen Hsiu Quan.

These principles are:

1. Make yourself immovable, so that the adversary may be moved

2. Maintain your own balance while unbalancing the opponent

3. Use most of the opponent's movement against him

4. Do not rely entirely on the opponent's movement

1. Make yourself immovable, move the adversary
The sketch at the top of this post shows the movement of a downward slash using the Japanese katana. Just below the man with the katana another man, an exponent of either judo, ju-jitsu, aikido or any similar art (there really are quite a number) employs the same movement to throw his opponent. If stance is important in striking techniques it is absolutely crucial here. This is the ultimate test of how well one can sink his qi and how firm one's rooting is. Good force training for grappling is form practice with weapons like the wooden sword or staff.
As a general guideline- rising movements in these techniques are accompanied by inhaling and raising the qi. Descending movements are accompanied by sharp exhalation, sinking the qi and hardening the muscles of the torso. Regard a throw or a joint lock as you manipulating a weapon. You are the user, the opponent is the weapon. Use your qi to move him. Keep your movements as short as possible. You will not be able to accomplish anything with straight arms.Get in close and bend your arms. The opponent is in a ton of trouble if his arms are straightened!

2. Maintain your own balance and unbalance your opponent:
The requirements of a good stance have already been explained in previous posts and I will point out again that grappling techniques are an excellent test of stance. While your stance is firm and secure you will seek to unbalance your opponent by breaking his perfect posture. This can be done by a sharp elbow to the midriff, a hard stomp on the foot, a sweeping kick to the leg or even a jab which causes your opponent to lean back.

3. Use most of your opponent's movement against him
Kindly note I said "most of". Although I have seen demonstrations during which the attackers just rush in to get sent somersaulting across the floor, your adversary on the street is not going to give you that much to work with and I still say that his jaw should be broken if he is not the type of person that you can subdue with a throw or a joint lock. The two sketches below the katana sketch shows two basic types of throw- the first being a dragging throw and the second being a pushing throw. Generally a dragging throw is used against an opponent who is moving towards you. A pushing throw is used against an opponent moving away from you.

Let's take a closer look at the two thorws:

1. Dragging Throw: The opponent is throwing a jab towards you like shown in the sketch above. Letting the jab slide past you, you enter your opponent's defenses, block and grab the straightened arm. Unbalancing him by shooting your hip into his lower body you twist your body, holding the arm close to you and pulling it over. The opponent's body can only but follow!

2. Pushing Throw: This opponent is pointing a gun at you at close range. You saw the gun being raised in time though and immediately moved yourself past the gun and grabbed the opponent's arm. The opponent realises what is coming (probably an arm bar) and starts bending his arm and moving backwards. Instead of strugling with him to keep his arm straight, you allow him to bend his arm and pushes his arm towards him and past him, twitsing his wrist as you do so and applying pressure on his hand with your palm. Carrying this movement through you unbalance your opponent and he soon finds himself on his back!

The names of these throws do not really refer to any particular throw, but rather to an approach taken in a set situation. For a more detailed discussuin on throwing techniques, send your questions to

That concludes the chapter on Technique! Next up- Tactics!

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