Martial Arts: Survival Techniques

Have you ever wondered how the various martial arts differ and what practical use they provide? Often we hear them being lumped together like they are some magic soup. But each has a different structure and different applications. Some separate disciplines are aikido and karate. These disciplines are very different, but both are very powerful. Think of karate as the use of the wedge. Karate strikes are knife-like and the blocks too are like slicing the opposing strike. Both are wedges. By contrast, when you speak of aikido, think of it as a circle. Energy comes into the circle and is redirected by the circle. A person grabs you and with smooth circular movement you place stress on the assailant's joints. Vulnerable are the wrists, the elbows and the shoulder. In this essay we will focus on the martial arts: survival techniques. These are some of the advantages of learning martial arts self defense.

We start with karate. Here we work with blocks and kicks in different combinations. We start with the snap kick. It is very fast, so fast it is virtually impossible to catch or trap. Point the knee where you want the kick to land and SNAP! Then there is the thrust kick. This is a more powerful kick than the snap kick, but not quite as fast. For a split second and upon contact the kick is focused. That is all the muscles of the striking leg are tightened and this gives the kick terrific force. Now the same principles can apply to your arms in punching. You may use very fast unfocused movements or focused punches or strikes wherein you tighten your striking arm on contact. The use of focus or non-focused alsoapplies to blocks. The practical use of the focused kick is its power. Imagine an assailant rushing toward you andjust as he is about to reach to grab you, you step slightly to one side or the other and deliver a thrusting kick into his rib cage. Done correctly, the focused kick will shatter the rib cage. And this may be enough to discourage further attack. These patterns can also be used in combinations. For example, if one punches toward your face, you can step back and at the same time using a rising block to block the punch and then you are in position to counter with a kick. So you may use either a snap kick or a focused kick. The snap kick is good for a groin attack. This is fast and does not require lots of power. On the other hand, if you want to do maximal damage then counter with a focused kick and aim for the belt of the assailant. As I said before, you can take out a rib cage with a strong focused kick and if you hit lower at belt level then the shock will transfer to the groin area. You don't have to have a direct hit to the groin to disable the assailant. But if you are grabbed unexpectedly, you may have to use a close range technique. A hooking strike to the assailant's temple could be lethal, for there is an artery running through the temple so a strong strike in that area could cause a hemorrhage and put pressure on the brain. If you are grabbed from behind, you can use your elbows, striking backward and moving your body from one side to the other. In extreme cases, you may opt for an eye attack. An eye attack is not the usual clawing movement. Rather, it is a forward and upward movement with the fingers slightly parted ...just relax the fingers and the nose of the assailant will separate the fingers. This is very quick and it does not take much power to use an eye attack. In using karate as self defense, your advantage is in distance fighting. Avoid clenches or close range fighting unless you are trained in boxing or wrestling technique. Take advantage to the distance the kick gives you and the power a kick can deliver. If you allow a tie up, you may be forfeiting the advantage of Karate. Often, the assailant who has had some boxing experience will stumble toward you, cover his face with his hands and lean against you, giving the impression that he is hurt or is acquiescing, but beware; it is a trap. At any moment, he will spring into action, breaking the clench and striking you in retaliation.

Remember the Circle: Martial Arts Survival

Now let us consider the use of aikido for self defense. Most of these survival techniques are based on the premise that someone has grabbed you and depending on where and how they grab you, one can move that grab through a circle and either pin or dislocate the assailant. The dislocations could be in the wrist, the elbow or the shoulder. If the assailant wants to avoid the dislocation then he often has to allow himself to be thrown. The power of the circle transmits the power of the attack back to the aggressor and the energy has to go somewhere and often it will result in the assailant being thrown. In learning aikido, one works with a partner and this gives one the opportunity of playing the role of the assailant and then switch to the defensive role. One has to be able to go with the joint twisting technique and go into a falling circle, a kind of somersault.

To summarize, aikido is primarily a defense against holding, while karate is a wedge that blocks oncoming strikes and responding with strikes. In aikido you are penetrating the opponent with stikes; in aikido, you are using and redirecting assaults coming into your space and the energy is doubled back on the assailant. One may wonder, however, how the training is conducted so that injury is minimized. One way is for the pattern to be practiced and known in advance. Another way, using full contact, is to use martial arts clothing, including padding. It is not a matter of which one is best; it is dependent on the kind of attack that is oncoming. Both disciplines require intensive training and technical practice. Timing is essential. The techniques must be automatic and done with confidence.But when the techniques work, they save lives and they are a thing of beauty.

These specific manifestations and styles are all related via the energy that is called Chi. It is an energy of incredible force and demonstrated with board and brick breaking. Some manifestations are: kyokushin karate, northern karate, karate sparring, martial arts self defense, martial arts clothing and martial arts softwear.