Thursday, October 16, 2008

How to Defend Against an Armlock in Tai Chi Chuan

Step 1:
Allow your opponent to take you by the right wrist, twist it inward and place his other hand atop your elbow. This is a basic armlock, the arm should be held behind you and off to the right. Your opponent should exert sufficient force on your wrist and elbow to make you want to bend forward to alleviate the pressure. In this position you would not normally be able to fight against your opponent. Moving will be difficult, as your body is off center or off balance you will not be able to get any leverage to work your way out of this hold using intuitive or conventional means.

Step 2:
Obtain leverage by centering yourself. What to do this you must straighten your legs and try to align your hips with them. It will be against your instinct, but you must straighten your lower back as well. Try pushing your pelvis forward to help with this. By doing this you prevent your opponent from being able to press down on the joint of your elbow. It also repositions your lower arm so that the majority of the force your opponent is exerting is on bones of the hand rather than the wrist itself. While this may still be painful, your opponent can do virtually nothing to you by holding your wrist in this fashion.

Step 3:
Take a few steps forward. By doing this you keep your opponent from holding your limb close to his body. This prevents him from using all the leverage he can muster from his body. Only the muscles of his lower arms are being used now.

Step 4:
Take a half turn to your left while pulling your right arm along with you. Either your opponent will release his hold or allow his arms to be extended as they go along with your body. If he holds on, his right arm will extend, elbow outward to you.

Step 5:
Cup your left hand over his elbow and continue to turn, using the force of the pivot to push him backward as hard as you are able. In doing so you have successfully defended yourself against an armlock.

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