Apprentice class – 05/05/2010

Last night we began with a simple exercise – unbalancing the opponent prior to a takedown.  In previous sessions, it has become obvious that people have trouble with this most very basic notion of breaking structure.  To make the point, I asked them to grasp their partner by the shoulders.  Then, they were asked to unbalance their partner in the 8 basic directions of movement – front, back, side to side and along the diagonals.  This was to be accomplished by taking a slight step in the direction they wished the Companion to move, simultaneously using the shoulders as levers against the spine and breaking structure.  The result: unbalanced partner.

Keeping with the notion of breaking structure, I played with using locks/keys to unbalance in a specific direction, in this case diagonally back and right.  We began by applying a simple wrist lock, forcing the partner back and to the right.  Taking this to its logical conclusion results in a takedown.

Collapsing distance ever so slightly, we can then apply a “two-handed” ligadura mezana, cupping the elbow and forcing the partner back and to the right (your right, not his).

Once again collapsing distance, the ligadura mezana is applied, once again unbalancing the partner back and right.  Stepping yet closer yields the ligadura soprana, figure four lock – and yes, you guessed it, we go back and right.

The class ended slightly early on this note to pave the way for the Companion Challenge – more on that in the next post…