Here’s what the Hombu is teaching this month.
It’s important to remember that the lessons linked to below are only a starting point, and that there is so much more great learning content to explore from all of our instructors.
March and September
Level 1 – Earth
“Hi-Cho” Kick Counter
Principle taught is interception – hit his movements hard as they begin. This more easily stops his movement. 1. Attacker swings a low right kick to your left leg. 2. Pull your left knee high and stamp downward on the attacker’s right shin or knee, shouting, “Stop it!” 3. Push aggressor back and throw a right kick to his left thigh or abdomen. 4. Push away and escape with defense-ready positioning – “Back off!” – Eyes on attacker!
“Ketsu-myaku” Rear shoulder grab (or choke) escape
Principle taught is to send your most powerful weapon against his greatest vulnerability at the time of his maximum unbalance. 1. Aggressor grabs both of your shoulders or your upper arms from behind. 2. Shift and flex your knees to regain your balance and look over shoulder to see if it is friend or foe. 3. Stamp down on attacker’s shins or feet, shouting, “Stop it!” 4. Reach out and drive elbows back, shouting, “Stop it!” 5. As an advanced application, practice against a rear neck choke.
Level 2 – Water
“Water” outward rolling low defense against kick or low punch
1. When attacker invades your space to punch/grab, pull back to Defensive Posture. 2. Shift back with outward-rolling low defensive hand-edge or fist hit inside attacker’s punch or kick. 3. Rock in with cross punch/palm to face or throat, or kick to his leg or midsection. 4. Shift forward with a leading hand punch or palm to the head or chest, and possible kick to his leg. 5. Resume guarded defensive fighting posture in preparation to flee or continue to defend.
Defense against around-the-waist bear-hug from behind
1. When attacker grabs you around the waist from behind, flex your legs and drop to wide stance for stability. 2. He grabs under your arms – swing elbows back at his head. 3. Strike down on the backs of his hands. 4. Step out to the side, between his temporarily parted hands. 5. Strike back at his head or neck and escape.
Striking Defense Against a Jacket Grab
Aggressor grabs your jacket with his left hand and punches to your face with his right. 2. Kick his midsection, groin, or right thigh with a left stamp and knock his right leg back. 3. Kick behind his left thigh or knee with a right lateral shin kick to knock him down. 4. Pull him backward to the ground with his left hand or step back and knock the hand away.
Level 3 – Wind
Wind Escape From a Wrist Grab
Recognize his grab when an aggressor grasps your wrist. We will respond from one of four possible grab relationships.
- Mirror-side high grasp – Shift back at 45 degrees and lift your elbow to come down on his grasping arm. Hold his fingers in place and lever down.
- Cross-side high grasp – Wrap around the outside of his grabbing arm and reverse your hand – fingers down and elbow up – to slip his grasp.
- Cross-side low grasp – Wrap around the outside of his grabbing arm and reverse your hand – fingers up and elbow down – and slice down on his trapped wrist.
- Mirror-side low grasp – Shift back at 45 degrees and shove your trapped hand towards his stomach in a flat horizontal circular motion.
- Adversary straddles you with one knee up or both knees on ground, and leans forward to choke you with both hands
- Reach across with your right to hold his left in place, trap-wedging his right in place as well
- Trap his leg in place with your foot
- “Buck” up with your hips and shove up with your left palm on his straightened right elbow.
- Roll right to throw him forwards on his left shoulder; quickly roll in the opposite direction to escape
Inward-Swinging Round Kick Defense
Attacker’s rear foot shifts in front of his front foot and his front foot swings around and in with toes or shin
- First defense is to get out of the way! Back away or angle away so the kick misses you, then crash back with a counter strike.
- A second defense is to drop forward inside his round kick (or big hooking “haymaker” punch)
- Elbow his chest to knock him back
Level 4 – Black Belt
“Ketsu Myaku” Blood Cut-Off Strangle
The secret – align his chin with your elbow for the most effective choke
Rear Strangulation Counter 1
Claw your fingers into his elbow, push back with your head, suddenly drop to your knee and pull him over your shoulder onto the ground.
Outside Turn Strangulation Escape
You begin to do the strangulation escape, but he blocks your drop. Instead, turn into him and trap his chocking arm.
Leg Sweep Strangulation Escape
If he follows your drop to your knee, scoop up his foot and shoulder his leg to the ground.
“Yubi Kudaki” Finger Break Rear Grab Escape
When grabbed from behind, step forward to straighten his arm and pull him forward. Swing the back of your fist into his ribs several times. Peel his gripping hand off your neck and pull him into an ura-gyaku inward wrist lock.
Finger Break Rear Grab Escape Variation
Pull down on his elbow if he stiffens his arm to try and counter you.
Finger Break Rear Grab Escape Continuation
If he blocks your control, suddenly reverse his hand position and take him down with an omote-gyaku outward wrist lock.