Thursday, 30 August 2012

Hazing, part 2

            Somewhere in my place there is a magazine with an article on becoming a professional bodyguard. The one thing I can remember from this article is the advice to wear sunglasses. Sunglasses make it harder to see what the bodyguard is actually paying attention to. It is also mentioned that they protect the eyes from anything that might be thrown at them.

            A few days ago I wrote about the tactic of Hazing and some of the threats that may be directed against the eyes. Eye protection is mandatory on most shooting ranges and for many sports. US soldiers also now use shooting goggles in combat. Given this trend it is perhaps surprising that protective eyewear still hasn’t become standard for police and prison officers. It is hard to think of a group of people more likely to be subjected to various assaults to their eyes.  

Devil in the Details.

            I was watching a video of a well-known knife-fighting instructor and one of the sequences he showed reminded me of Long Har Ch'uan. That really wasn’t that surprising since LHC drills are designed to teach the essence of efficient defence. What really caught my interest was that I was struck by a sudden nagging impression that something was wrong.

            The sequence was as follows, and is illustrated assuming the attack is coming from the foe’s right hand. You “give a little wave” –make an outward parry with your left hand. Take over the defence against the right with an inward parry with your right hand. You then perform a “dip and slip action” on his right hand that takes you to his outside gate on his right side.

            If this had been a Long Har Ch’uan drill it might have been as follows. Parry the right with an inward parry with your right. Take over the parry with an outward parry with your left. Use your right to make an outward parry on his right arm and take you to the outside gate.

            The two sequences seem similar but “the devil is in the details!” On the second parry the knife-fighter is turning his right flank towards his opponent while his right hand is occupied with the right. He is on the inside gate so there is nothing to stop the enemy using his left hand against any available target. In the LHC sequence we started off with an inward parry while on the inside gate but immediately switched to an outward parry with the left, freeing the right hand for further action. The right hand was used to move to the outside gate but it could have been used to defend against any attacks by the left hand if necessary.

            If you parry an enemy’s attack he may not leave his arm there for you to manipulate. A fairly common reaction will be to withdraw the parried limb and make an attack with the other hand. Thus in LHC we are taught to have the other hand ready for other actions when making an outward parry and to convert inward parries into outward parries to free up the other hand.  An even simpler LHC sequence in the above example would have been:- “give a little wave” –make an outward parry with your left hand and simultaneously smash your right palm heel into his face.

            For more on the principles the training drill of Long Har Ch’uan can teach please read the section in my book or consult the older compilation of Erle Montaigue’s works edited by myself.