Join Date: May 2007
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Escrima hand checking
In my grappling/MMA class, yesterday, the main instructors were out. So, the boxing instructor gave us a free class. He was also versed in the arts of Kempo and Escrima. A concept that he showed us, which really caught my interest, was the usage of hand-checks to open up more time for counter attacks or closing distance. Mind you, this concept applies only for hand attacks aimed at your head.
If attacked by a straight punch, he would have me first declect the punch like in boxing. Rather than cross-blocking ( reaching across my body to block his left with my left or vice versa ), we would use the hand on the same side of the oncoming blow (from defender's perspective) and pat the outside of the attacking forearm to the inside. A body lean and slight sidestep are to accompany the deflection. This motion alone redirects the punch adequately. It's nothing special, and nothing that someone with boxing training hasn't already seen or learned.
Now, the second part of this overall technique is what most will find more alien. Remaining LOOSE, you then move your other hand ( the one that hadn't parried) in a brief circular motion. It will go down, so as to pass below the punch, then raise back up to check the arm. By driving the second hand against the elbow and pushing it across the opponents body, you secure that arm. The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is that the checking hand has to do its job within a split second after the parrying hand. If you're too slow, the whole thing is pointless.
But, on the other hand, I'd like to talk about the results. If successful, and you're practically pinning their hand across their own body, you gain over a whole second of time to do whatever the heck you want. While their arm is checked, they can't shift their shoulders/hips for a second punch, they can't drop levels and shoot... They're essentially imobolized for a brief instance.
There's also a variation for wide hooks/haymakers. Rather than moving to the outside, like with a straight punch, you step to their inside and cross-block. So, if a haymaker hook is coming for your left, you use your right to block. Similar to the previous situation, the opposite one will come under and check the attacking limb. This one seems less versatile, though, as all you seem to be able to do is unwind a backfist, then follow the motion into a cross with the checking hand.
Considering the intricacy of these movements, being loose and quick is obviously key -- that and timing the body positioning, footwork, parry, and hand-check to work in harmony.
Anyway, I was just wondering what people thought, and if anyone had seen any of this stuff before.