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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 1998 5:18 am 
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Ok - we've broached the subject of practical self-defense moves here and on other forums - for a woman, some techniques come easier than others. We all agree (don't we?) that the fine motor skills and techniques will not be effective under the stress of an attack - and it is better to rely on other more basic skills that have been ground in to respond to a pre-programmed mindset to kill or be killed! As women we need to focus even more on techniques that may actually work under the stress of an attack - especially an attack somewhat specific to a woman (perhaps more of a grappling nature?) - although the first response of many women to think that they can rely on the old "knee to the groin" trick may have them under a false sense of security!

Two techniqaues specific to our art - shoken and sokusen - serious stuff! And it is agreed that they are both very effective when properly developed! Unfortunately - they are both very difficult to attain - and I feel this may be even more so in some ways for women. I know that I didn't feel like I would ever have trusted a shoken in a real situation until around shodan level! Sokusen are very difficult as well! Though now I wouldn't hesitate to use them, it took a long time for me to feel like I could use them in a way that they could be at all effective!

As for the shoken - well - we've studied/read/heard quite a bit about where to place that -

So...what do you guys think about the sokusen? Where would you put it in a real life situation? And where would you suggest a woman drive it in? Other than the obvious defensive front toe kick to the groin - what else might work well? Any ideas?

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 1998 6:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 181
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Lori San:

Where one places a technique is probably more a question of relative size and terrain than preferrence, but since you asked...

I actually don't recommend the groin as a primary target for a kick. If you have your foot up that high (not an easy task in street clothes, though I am told it is much easier to perform in a long tight skirt, while wearing high heels than while wearing jogging attire, though having limited experience with jogging attire, but I digress) I believe the pelvic girdle is a much more effective target than the groin. Anyone who has suffered, or known a person who has suffered, from a fractured pelvis is well aware of how compromising such a fracture is to one's mobility. And, from a sparring partner's experience, it is surprising how little force it takes with a well placed kick to cause a pelvic fracture.

I suppose my concern with any attempt to translate a technique such as sokusen, into a self defense technique is the question of how often one practices the technique while wearing cowboy boots, or sandals, or dress shoes, or roller blades, or ....

One of my self defense instructor friends would spend the first class going over myths and notions. One of the notions she would explore was the ability to run away from an attacker. She asked the students to bring sandals or high heels or whatever kind of shoes they normally wore to this class. She would ask them to run in these shoes. Needless to say, birkenstocks make poor getaway shoes. I am not sure how well designed they are for kicking, either on the kicking foot, or supporting the kicking foot.

My friend would also run one of her classes out on the street. She would explore with her students issues of road composition, elevation, soft soil, roots, street lighting, etc. It turned out that one could feel remarkably stable on a dojo floor, yet find one's balance impaired by gravel on a roadway.

Sorry to digress so much from the original question. By the way, my original instructor suggested the best target for the toe was the anal passage. He suggested a well placed toe kick, travelling partially up this opening, would have the effect of reducing the vigor with which one's opponent would continue to pursue attack. No one ever volunteered to allow him to demonstrate though, so I just pass it along as a theory.

Peace.
Robb in Sacramento
(A selflessy dedicated public servant, attempting to provide the finest bureaucratic services available, in this price range, to the citizens of California.)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 1998 6:18 am 
The sokusen:

I think that Robb has excellent points on what shoes you wear will affect what you can do

However, simple running shoes can make a weak sokusen very strong. I had a double two by four makiwari out in my backyard. One of the things I conditioned for the roundhouse kick, other than my main concern -- shins, is my toes, simply because if they step back the toes hit them. Anyway, I had kick this thing pretty good with my toes and a roundhouse kick, one day I was working out in my running shoes and decided to try a few roundhouse toe kicks on it. I found the extra support given by the shoes great. So great that I was bending it right over and finally snapped the back piece off at the bottom. So, the right shoes make the sokusen a good real life use.

What you wear on the street can help or hurt what you can do. A good thing to think about.

Rick


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 1998 9:45 am 
Hello Rick

Many kinds of footgear (except maybe flip-flops) offers some kind of protection for the feet. I remember non-Uechi-types looking down their noses at the toe-kick as being inferior to ball-of-the-foot kick until it was pointed out to them that the point of the shoe (especially cowboy boots -- I was out west at the time) offers superior penetrating power.

Also the added weight really helps-out when you get that thing moving.

<HR width=50% align=left>
Hello Lori


Most people of medium stature or above can develop adequate stopping power. However, those of light stature can kick someone else all day and it either makes them laugh or it ****es them off. A good sneakered toe into the knee at high-speed can momentarily stun an attacker, a sakusen angled-up and into the floating ribs or the kidney area are choices. I saw a particularly effective sakusen right up under the jaw between the chin and the throat once. Seems the foot forms a 'natural' angle and fits well at that height.

A couple of guys scrapping using footgear could be problematic in court (the term 'shoden shoe' or 'shoden foot' comes to mind) because it can be considered a weapon the same as a bat or a tire iron.

Allen

<FONT COLOR=RED>ASIDE.</FONT> This is a pretty neat text editor which automatically 'colors' some words (Where's my First Amendment rights?) to become unoffensive variants. I typed the words "pi..es them off", the REAL words, and the editor AUTOMATICALLY replaced them with "****es them off." I like it! Now if it could only flag typos...

[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 12-09-98).]


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 1998 11:11 am 
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Posts: 2075
Location: Boston, MA
Lori,

In practice, one can and should "target" the kick. In a real situation, I think the only rule of thumb is to kick no higher than groin. With the toes of the shoe, especially dress shoes (minus high heels), anything you hit solidly will at minimum get serious scrapes if not painful bruises. Yet, I would not count on the kick(s) alone to stop anyone. Though these can in some cases, many more times they don't because of the adrenal rush. I witnessed a friend (a uechi dan student) kicked an opponent THREE straight times in the groin. While the guy felt it, it didn't drop him like "magic" as we are sometimes led to believe...

Rather than thinking about (and perhaps being overly reliant) on any one specific technique, people should practice techniques as part of a continous attack in which the distance between the defender and the attacker closes and the techniques employed changes accordingly, e.g. you go from a low kick(s) to punches, to knees and elbows and, maybe, even to grappling. Basically, you try to give as many hits as you can. going in on the opponent in a totally committed, "offensive" mode. The idea is to not rely on any one specific hit (or technique) but on the cumulative effect of numerous hits to overcome the opponent's adrenalized state.

While targeting is important, I think sometimes it's possible that too much emphasis on the this leads to a programming of "single technique/attack) in the body's memory. I think it is more preferable to program the body to launch continuous array of techniques. In the latter, the kick is launched at any (low target) available -- shin, thigh, groin, knee, hips, whatever -- to be followed by another kick, punches, etc. There is not a lot of time in a real situation. You take whatever you can get in, even if it is less than the ideal target.

The exception to this will be when the opponent has an edged weapon. (Of course, the first and most peferable option here is to RUN!!!) If you have to, then here you want to target a bit more and hold back from rushing in (to a slashing/cutting/stabbing counterattack). But, once the knife is "passed", you grab or hamper the knife hand and go into "coninuous" mode with your other hands, knees. At this point and range, even if the opponent were to get his knife hand free, you must keep hitting with everything you got. Stepping back is to invite further injury and, perhaps, death.

I know the kyusho folks will advocate "targeting". It don't necessarily have to be "either/or". Work on your targeting in practice but also your "continuous" attack. On the street, just don't stop until the person is down.

david


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 1998 3:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 203
Location: Florida
Lori:

As has been alluded to already, the classic groin kick while launched with just your kicking power may miss or be ineffective. About the only way the male attacker's groin can be compromised by most women would be a close in attack(hush now - no giggling) which grabs the attackers shoulder/shirt with both hands and pulls the attacker down hard while driving the knee into the groin to get enough dual power to be more assured of incapacitation. In training, getting this to the max and coordinating the pull down and the knee drive up can take a while to perfect ...

A nice follow to this knee action while still holding the left shoulder with the right hand, would be to turn into a right side thrust kick to the hara or solar plexus
area and drive the foot hard with more mass power than penetrating power to drive the attacker away from you while you let your follow through carry you even more in the opposite direction to escape!

You could strike first from mid range with your strongest leg with a thigh blow with the shin to get him to double over a little, follow with a roundhouse or big toe to the pelvic or kidney area, to get him to really bend over , move into the knee/pull down strike and follow with your strongest roundhouse as described and hope you have done enough disabling to get away. Always multiple strikes, finish strong and finish with a blow that distances you from your attacker. I would never rely upon nor assume any 1 or even 2 blows would suffice. Never.

Just my 2 cents worth.


JohnC

[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 12-09-98).]

[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 12-09-98).]

[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 12-09-98).]


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 1998 4:15 am 
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Posts: 875
Hi guys -

I'm with you in that wearing shoes makes a big difference as to the effectiveness of a toe kick - given the disparity and strangeness of some of the shoe styles out there today - I don't think that any "formula" is really possible...

How about barefoot? I mean - realities aside - (that's on another forum anyway!) as far as our "art" is concerned - where are the best spots for a toe kick? Some hold to the belief that anything above the waist is a "waste" but wouldn't a well-trained focused toe to the throat be effective?

Actually - being barefoot can be more of a "reality" than you might initially think! There's always the beach scenario - and also there are so many "stupid" shoes out there that can impede running away or fighting back effectively it would be advisable for women to kick them off at the first indication of having to defend herself or run! So what are the best targets for an "unshod" toe kick? Kicks to the knee sound good - but I would shift to a side kick and not a sokusen for that...

As David aptly points out - too much dependence should NOT be placed on the single technique - while I feel that everyone should have their "repertoire" (perhaps even just one!) of favorite or comfortable techniques - the "flurry" of anticipatory/counter-attack is of primary importance - the toe kick alone is not enough - I just bring it up here to explore one of infinite possiblities...

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 1998 6:48 am 
Barefoot? You must be a beach person, eh? Interviews with subsequent follow-ups do occur on the beach. Keep your toenails sharp and painted red so the assailant doesn't pass out when he sees his own blood on them (I remember reading a passage about why the cannon decks of the USS Constitution are painted red -- and this is your cannon).

Lotsa toe conditioning for the eventuality is required.

Allen


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 1998 10:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Boston, MA
Lori,

Beach? I would use my toe to kick sand in the person's face and then pound him while he is distracted. The toe in the throat should only be applied when he is down but not out.

semi serious,

david


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 1998 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 181
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Lori San:

OOPS! Forgot you were in Florida. Barefootin' around a bit are we?

While I still believe there can be no clear formula for how or to what target a technique is applied, I would be very concerned about advocating a kick to the throat. Assuming a person had the speed and the strength to pull it off, it would still leave one balancing upon one leg for a considerable amount of time. Essentially, I believe such a technique actually opens oneself up too much to counter attack.

Today, more than ever perhaps, given the number of folks on mind altering substances, I believe it is important to deliver techniques that make it physically impossible for the attack to effectively continue. Sand in the eyes would fall into this category. Taking out the knee, the hip, the lower back, the shin, the instep, etc. also fall into this category. As others have observed, the groin can take several hits without stopping an attacker. An attacker on drugs might never be stopped by a kick to the groin. Meanwhile, fracture a supporting bone, or dislocate a joint essential to mobility, and the attack will be rendered less effective.

What one targets should be the most viable and effective target available in the situation. AND, if that is a kick to the throat, then go for it. Peace.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 1998 3:57 pm 
Not to get off the sakusen techniques, Lori, would carrying around a canister of pepper spray or a set of keys on the beach be a viable option? -- Allen

[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 12-11-98).]


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 1998 5:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 55
Location: Portsmouth,NH,US
Knee, Knee, Knee.
Ditto Sensei Moulton.
Hello to you all. Sorry to be an occasional contributor, but I do my best.
Michael (or with misplaced fingers, ,ovjsr Image


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 1998 12:04 pm 
Michael.

You must have a Knighty Knee! My first sifu said once "wherever it fits" meaning whatever fits too. You love the #^% keyboard too? Image

<hr>

Anthony, right under the jaw seems to be a good place for a big toe -- or even a shoken (Make a Frog Croak).

Allen

[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 12-12-98).]


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1897
Location: N. Andover, Ma. USA
Lori San,

Targeting, is essential, but also the hard part under the stress of conflict. None the less it is possible and will definately help. As I mention alot in seminars, if you consistanly target a point on the head you are more apt to get it, and if you miss you still have a punch to the head, whereas if you don't target a specific weakness you won't get it.

That said, on the inside of the thigh one hand width up from the knee is a point that lays between the two muscles. The correct angle and direction here is essential, (a detail later in this post), but not unobtainable even under durress. A toe kick angled straight into this area will weaken the leg as it strikes the nerve, to the point where it will drop an opponent. This drop may come fast enough to place such quick weight change as to also damage the knee structure. If you miss the point, just the angle of the kick goes to the weaker structural base of a leg. In other words, kick them in Liver 9, (Sorry J.D. couldn't resist).

Now the story alluded to earlier. This past weekend I was working with a Uechi Godan on some Kyusho and this Liver 9 point mentioned above came up. The individual stated that they conditioned the inner thigh alot and could take the strike wherein I explained that the conditioning was directed to the surrounding muscle groups and actually missed the point in question. However when we went over the same attack with the toe kick at the 90 degree angle needed the individuals leg buckled and he explained never feeling that kind of pain before. this point is not easy to get to on a Uechi practican due to Sanchin Dachi, but the typical Martial Artist (Tai Chi included) have wide open stances that would allow this with ease. The "regular people (untrained in the Arts), almost always stand with their legs turned outward just in viting this kick. A knee at the correct angle will also be very effective, as will a Shoken if in a downed position.

Evan Pantazi


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 1998 2:54 pm 
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Posts: 1897
Location: N. Andover, Ma. USA
A Sokusen to the Bracial Plexus inbetween the Bicep and Tricep on the inside of the arm will disable the arm completely for a long time. An easier way could be a Shoken or placing the Seisan elbow smash in there. Follow up with the backfist to the TW-17 (otherwise know as the 7th Cranial Nerve), for the KO (very Dangerous) and if you miss Shoken the Carotid Sinus (St-9) area, Posiible Fatal if all connects, Sorry for the digression Lori San, I just got to thinking.

Evan Pantazi


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