Monday, August 19, 2013

Vunak's Top 50 Combat Secrets Ch. 8

Chapter 8 - The secret to intercepting !

For me the epiphany that enabled me to stop kickboxing and start intercepting, happened in the office of the old Kali Academy at about 2 in the morning with Larry Hartsell, drinking dark beer and watching Bruce Lee sparring footage (this was our routine, every Tuesday and Thursday night). When Bruce Lee sparred, the way he moved forward and backward, was not the way he described it in his books. In his books, we hear about a step and slide forward, backwards, and then slide step forward and backwards, etc. The very first thing that stands out, when watching Bruce spar, is this freaky shrimp like movement that he would do, that would project him, backward about 10 feet! When the normal person wants to go backward, they do a step and slide backwards, when Bruce wanted to retreat, he would do the shrimp like movement and is called piking. When one pushes off, their front leg and pikes backward, this move is reminiscent of a shrimp (piking is the opposite of arching).

I’m a firm believer, that this was just a natural idiosyncratic gesture of Bruce’s freakish athleticism (I seriously doubt that he knew consciously that he did this, and I can tell you for a fact that it was never memorialized in writing). Now imagine Bruce’s opponent throwing some strike at Bruce, he retreats with our shrimp move and all of a sudden he would be at the other end of the room. The opponent would obviously encroach, chasing Bruce, and Shazaaamm ! The interception would take place. This is when it hit me, I jumped up into Larry’s arms, screaming like a little kid. I got it, I got it, rewind. Bruce wasn’t intercepting punches or kicks, he was simply intercepting the opponent perpetually encroaching on him ! And the whole reason why the opponent, continually encroaches on Bruce over and over, boils back down to our shrimp movement. The opponent would encroach, Bruce would back up, the opponent would attack again, Bruce would back up again. Usually somewhere around the third time, this frustrated opponent, would launch in again, and bingo interception. From this point on, I understood the secret to the stop hit. And to put it in a nutshell, one’s footwork must be reminiscent of Mohammed Ali, perpetually going backward (however using the shrimp), and not like Joe Frazier continually moving in.


After I understood Bruce’s shrimp movement, I tried to pass this concept on to my students. In those days my most athletic student with alot of hard work, would finally understand this movement after, about a year or two. The average student, would take 2 to 4 years. And some just simply, could never ever integrate it into their sparring. After about 5 years of sweat tears and blood, trying to teach this movement, one day Inosanto caught my consternation out of the corner of his eye. He approached me and said, “Vunak there is a much better way to teach this movement”. Then he went up to my student (who was no Michael Jordan), pulled out a knife, and took a slice at the student’s stomach, and I watched the most athletic, agile and precise shrimping movement that I have ever seen. Dan shived his knife, looked me in the eye, gave me a wink and walked away. In conclusion, the secret to intercepting is you do not intercept the strikes you intercept the opponent encroaching on you. Number 2, the best way to ensure that the opponent encroaches on you, is the shrimp. Number 3, the best way to teach a shrimp, is to slash angles 3 and 4 at your students. Until next week !

Please check the Table of Contents for links to other chapters of this Online Book.



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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps