Saturday, September 26, 2015

Terry Gibson - The Art of Elbow Wrenching

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18 years ago on this date of September 26th, Terry Gibson passed away at the age of 44. He was a Full Instructor of Jun Fan Gung Fu (as well as other arts I'm sure) under Dan Inosanto.

In memory of Terry Gibson, I'm posting an article he wrote to Quest Magazine.

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The Art of Elbow Wrenching
By Terry Gibson
Quest Magazine
Vol. 1, #1
February 1994
Pages 4-5

The elbow is a vicious close range fighting weapon. Its potential to do serious damage at a distance of as little as one inch is amazing. The elbow's slashing strikes to the face often cut and if placed to the chin or temple area can knock an opponent stone cold. The elbow can also be very effective as a strike into the body. As used in Thai Boxing, Jun Fan Gung Fu/JKD, Silat and Kali the elbow, when used properly, provides you with an awesome self defense tool.

On the other hand, the elbow joint itself is very susceptible to attack and injury given the right circumstances. Wrenching the elbow is itself an art requiring excellent timing, accuracy and sensitivity. You can wrench an opponent's with a slap of your hans, with your forearm, with your bicep, with the side or top of your shoulder, with your neck or head, with your knees or legs and even with your feet. Essentially, if you can at least temporarily anchor your opponent's wrist, you have a potential elbow wrench.

Click for larger pic

Click for larger pic

Let's look at a couple of examples. First, we'll visualize your opponent throwing a straight left jab at your face. Assuming left leads, you parry with your right as you slide in a left eye jab, grab his left wrist with your left hand and pivot, to your left. Use your right hand, forearm, bicep, shoulder or elbow to wrench his elbow. Apply the force right behind and above his elbow joint. Done with the ballistic movement of your pivot this will injure or break his elbow. Obviously when you are working out with your training partner you have to use controlled movement. Whether on purpose or by accident, you may sometimes find yourself inside your opponent's arm. This situation may occur if you've entered on the inside against a right hook because a second opponent has come into dangerous proximity. Assume you entered with a left arm cover and right elbow to the body. Control his right wrist with your left hand and use your right inside wrist bone-place it behind his right elbow and jerk it toward your body. This is a surprisingly powerful and effective elbow wrench.

There are many drills to work on elbow wrenching skills. Here are a couple: 1) Have your partner throw a variety of punches at you. Start at half speed or less, then build up from there. Work on closing the gap and controlling his arm. Also, work on a variety of tools (forearm, bicep, shoulder) with which to perform the elbow wrench. As you get better, have your partner pick up the pace as well as begin faking and the use of more foot work. 2) Filipino Hubud - This is a great drill for practicing close range elbow wrenching as you parry, trap and hit in the"flow" of the drill. Start applying the concept of how to wrench the elbow. Let your imagination go and see how many different possibilities you can come up with.

In case you missed the previous article by Terry Gibson I posted, you can find it here:



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