Saturday, 16 July 2016

A brief comparison of throwing techniques from different styles


I really loved Judo when I was younger. Reason for this was mainly because it was not karate. Back in the 80's and the early 90's everyone knew what karate was. It was so bad that even kungfu got called karate and I think basically every town in the country had a karate club. Judo, however, was not that well known. We did not have a Judo club, but we had a library.

That is where my study of Judo started. Learning the throws was fun and seeing how a relatively small person like me could topple larger opponents was even more fun. Still- what I did not know at the time- Judo was not meant to be a complete fighting method. Well- it could be, but the Judo we get taught is mainly meant for a sports setting where your opponent does not come at you with a kick or a weapon and Judoka seem oblivious of things such as combination punches and the like.

When I started learning karate I actually learnt a very important lesson in throwing- the importance of stance.
In karate we do not wrestle. We don't engage by grabbing hold of each other's gi. We mainly kick and punch, but we get the chance to throw at times. When we do- we do not want to roll around. Opponent can lie down- we want to remain standing.

I took these guidelines with me later on as I learnt techniques from Jujitsu, Aikido and later on- Kungfu.

When Wenhsiuquan was being developed throws and joint locks were certain to be part of it for mainly this reason: It was to be a martial art not only meant for life and death situations, but for basic self defence where non-lethal responses were more called-for.

And rightfully so. Not everyone that shoves you, points his finger at your chest, swings wildly at you or who tries to grope you/ kiss you necessarily needs to get their larynxes crushed. A well- executed throw often diffuses these situations and gives these not-so-dangerous assailants the chance to see the error of their ways.

In spite of the valuable principles I have learnt in books, however, this is what Judo has to offer: 

https://youtu.be/LTjNC5TST0I

I really wish these guys would learn Taiji... I also think that- if Professor Kano was here he ould agree with me! The truth is- I see more manifestations of his maxim "Minimum Effort, Maximum Effect" in arts like Taijiquan and Aikido than in the "soft" martial way he had developed.

Compare what you have seen in the above link with this now:

https://youtu.be/YZRuzsDOAdM

I love Aikido. Believe me- that's just a basic technique shown there. The day you can stand in an actual fight, be it free sparring or an actual self defence scenario- get an opponent off balance before he can launch any follow-up attack and get him on the ground with that level of efficiency us the day you can celebrate having mastered one of the essential aspects of traditional martial arts. 

Well... From the well-known "throwing arts" to Karate:

  https://youtu.be/GjVNMhcBdm4

I think Judo throws were initially meant to be like this before the competition rules and developments according thereto have led to the wrestling we see on the mat nowadays. These throws are actually easy to teach and work for just about anyone. 

Last we have Kungfu-

This does definitely not even remotely resemble wrestling.  

https://youtu.be/FfH1R8rxJDc 

You may hear a lot of talk about "using the opponent's momentum against him" and redirecting an opponent's force. Thus far I have seen the most applications of this principle in Kungfu. What I will add, however, is that a strong rooting is essential and that you will not be able to send your opponent flying by just yielding. The effort used in making these throws work can be seen and although it is not all soft- we can still see that it is controlled and efficient.

What I have learnt only much later in my life is that a lot of our Taolu/ Kata contain throws. See if you can find them. :)

Throwing and being thrown is really an awesome part of martial arts training and I strongly recommend that you include it in your training regimen if you are not already doing so.

Stay well and enjoy the weekend!




3 comments:

  1. If I were to start out all over again, I should probably consider Hapkido, if I were going to consider one of the more external arts (although it definitely has its internal aspect, also). It's probably the most broad spectrum external martial art I know of, incorporating percussion techniques, throws (and, equally important, how to recover from them), pressure points, you name it.

    But all Kung Fu styles incorporate at least some aspect of Chin Na, which may vary from Aikijutsu type joint locks to skull smashing techniques of the unsuspected Ba Gua.

    Some of these are definitely not for public release, and only to be passed on to a student you have come to know well, after many years of teaching, that has gained the level of self discipline never to take them lightly.

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    1. I am so glad you mention Hapkido! It is a really well-rounded art that is more combat ready than Aikido and also has more advanced grappling techniques than Taekwondo. Two famous Hapkido exponents were of course Angela Mao (Lady Whirlwind) and Ji Han Jae (Game of Death).

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    2. I am so glad you mention Hapkido! It is a really well-rounded art that is more combat ready than Aikido and also has more advanced grappling techniques than Taekwondo. Two famous Hapkido exponents were of course Angela Mao (Lady Whirlwind) and Ji Han Jae (Game of Death).

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