Hitting People with Sticks
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Disarms, basic and advanced – eskrima

Tony led the warm-ups last night, putting us through a combination of laps, yoga and stretching.  It was a good solid half-hour workout.

We worked on disarms for the entire class, and as usual, they’re wicked fun.  The first move was more of a KDM disarm, involving grabbing and controlling your opponent’s thumb with your live hand, then hooking his stick with the butt of yours, held parallel to the ground, and finally stripping the weapon out of his grip with a circular motion.  This one was intricate, requiring precise body positioning and a good understanding of how to control your opponent’s thumb and wrist.  I liked how at the end of this disarm, you maintain control of your opponent’s hand.  You could throw him if you had to.

The second disarm was more basic, a dequerdas technique.  Coming off a block of an angle 1, you shoot your live hand forward to snake around your opponent’s arm, twisting it and trapping his stick.  Once you’ve got the position right, all you need to do is push (towards your opponent’s outside, to maximize the lock on his wrist) with both your stick and your live hand.  When done right, his stick goes flying.  The only bit I didn’t like about this one was that when you’re finished, your stick and live hand are stretched out straight in front of you.  If you’re not fast in recovering from the move and your opponent is, you might be in big trouble.

The final disarm was more of a lock, and we also got to see the reversal for the technique.  It comes off an angle two, blocking with a reinforced block, grabbing both sticks with your live hand, then folding them together so that the tip of your stick is pressed against your opponent’s thumb.  You then dip the sticks down towards your opponent’s stick hand, then reverse and trace an arc in the other direction, locking out his wrist and pinching his thumb between the sticks.  If he doesn’t let go and you don’t take it easy, you can easily break his thumb.

The reversal of the move (meaning you’re the one getting your thumb pinched) is to catch your opponent’s wrist as he’s dipping the sticks down, keeping him from turning around into that wide arc that binds up your wrist.  Since your opponent is moving in that way anyway, it’s a snap to keep him moving that way, take control of the maneuver, even give him a good hip check and maybe land him on the ground.

In all, an excellent class.  I’ll be interested to see if anyone tries to pull one of these off in sparring.


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