Friday, September 25, 2009

Walk The Line

Great class last night. Lots of stick, knife, silat, and Jun Fan.

Reviewed our basic Jun Fan/Wing Chun trapping, and some important points came to light.

1) Trapping only occurs on a straight line
There are no circular traps. In every case, we stay in a very linear path along the centerline.
One hand will pin/trap both of the opponent's, and the free hand will seek the shortest distance contact point. This is always a straight line blast along the centerline aimed at the opponent's chest, throat, or head. Even trap 6, which uses a circular fake, only does so in order to draw the opponent off of the centerline so we can use it. The slap is fine if it connects, but it is not the real objective.

2) Going Forward
Trapping is a close-distance art. We will always be stepping forward with each hit, closing distance as we go. Just like a tennis player rushing the net for a smash, there is no stopping halfway. Once you have made the decision to trap, you must get in as directly as possible and finish the fight. Many traps include stepping on the opponent's foot to keep them from backing up.

3) Elbows and hips
Elbows stay pointed straight down, and punching power comes from the large muscles of the back, the triceps, and the hips/forward step.

4) Targets
The main trapping targets are the face/head, chest, and throat. Usually we will be punching or using the open palm, but the throat and eyes can be attacked with finger jabs.

5) Low Line
The trapping can be done on both high line and low line. For the low line, the opening attack is to strike the groin. For the high line, the opening attack is a finger jab to the eyes.

6) Ghost Kicks
Although trapping is mostly thought of as striking, low line kicks are often used to disrupt the opponent's balance, distract his/her attention, sweep legs, and attack knees and groin.

7) Timing
Trapping is done on one-count timing. That means the block and counter MUST EXECUTE SIMULTANEOUSLY.
There is no "block-strike" timing. Once the first trap/hit is on its way, the movements should continue in a chain until the opponent is on the ground and the fight is finished.

Finally, it is important to remember that the trapping drills should teach economy of motion.
Do not try to move too much; stay on the centerline, and go forward. GET IN. Trapping is like a chess match, and you want to be several moves ahead of your opponent, confident that you know what the most likely responses will be. This can only be done with a LOT of training.

That said, trapping is a great system to have in your arsenal, and very effective in close where it belongs. Do not disregard the importance of training your trapping skills.

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