Thursday, October 8, 2009

Locked arms are useless

If you have somebody coming at you, or you are moving toward someone, it is only natural to lock your arms at the shoulders and elbows. This is essentially turning your arms into two sticks.

When you are doing chisao or fighting, people lock their arms all the time. It might work fine if your sticks are strong enough and the other person doesn't do anything else, but they probably will. Most likely the other person will lock their arms as well so you might be all right.

But there is a better way. Your arms should be completely relaxed when you do almost ANYTHING. Locked arms prohibit you from doing any delicate activity like drawing, playing music, and especially fighting.

Of course, it's completely natural to lock up. You are trying to protect yourself and hold the person off while you figure out what to do. All it really serves to do is lock you out from the interaction. You want to let the person in so you can beat them, not hold them away.

If you commit to keeping the arms from locking up, you will probably find that they won't keep your opponent at a good distance and completely collapse. That is because your attention isn't big enough or in the right place. I will deal with that issue in a future entry.

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