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Thread: To tuck, or not to tuck...

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    Default To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Tucking one's chin was briefly mentioned in another thread and it made me realize that slight nuances that can mean the difference between the success and failure of a technique are sometimes overlooked.

    I'd say for the most part, as an instructor, one "knows" these nuances and executes them when perfoming a technique at a subconcious level... but are we conciously communicating this knowledge to the student?

    I know I'm guilty. Even in the world outside of Kenpo we often assume that because we accept something as common knowledge or simply common sense that others do as well. Not true.

    I prefer the saying "Practice makes permanent" rather than "...perfect" due to philosophical reasons. But regardless, I think we'd all agree that the way in which you practice will be evidenced in the way you execute the material. So..if you leave something out in practice.....or practice incorrectly... I know I tend to get long winded, but you see where I'm going with this?

    So, on the topic of tucking the chin: Do you stress this in class? Do you think it should be stressed?

    I do, and here are some of the reasons why:

    1) Whether standing or grounded, it protects your throat (a soft target) from strikes and attempted chokes by obscuring it and covering it. It provides an obstacle to attacks to the throat.

    2) In regards to striking, by tucking your chin you expose more of the top of the head (crown.) This is the hardest part of your head. If your opponent is going to strike you in the head...give them the "hardest" target to hit. That way you increase the chances of the opponent injuring their hand if they make contact and therefore less likely to use that same weapon against you again.

    3) If you are taken down (swept, tackled, etc) by having your chin tucked to begin with you reduce the risk of hitting the back of your head and causing injury when you impact with the ground (your back and shoulders take the brunt, not your head.)

    Do you think this is a subject worth stressing to students? Why or why not? What do you feel are some advantages or disadvantages to keeping your chin tucked? What are some drills you practice to stress this concept?

    =)
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    We cover tucking the chin when falling, rolling, or defense against a choke.

    Tucking while standing? Please elaborate. Why would you want to move your head closer to your opponent? So his hand hurts. I'm reminded of the karate Kid when Mr. Miyagi says, "lucky no hurt hand" when Daniel-san has a black eye.

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Keeping your head down, or chin tucked while standing and striking is an old bare-knuckles brawling tactic.

    You don't actually move your head closer to your opponent by doing this. you simply lower your chin which serves two functions.
    (1) It serves to obstruct and protect your throat from strikes. If contact is made, it is made with your chin (a hard target) and not your throat (a soft target.) You can more easily recover from a strike to your chin than you could a strike to your throat. Though I'd reccomend trying not to get hit in either one! LOL.
    (2) It limits accessable targets. By positioning your head in this manner you not only hinder the attacker from targeting your throat, but you also expose the hardest part of YOUR head, the crown. The upper area of the forehead is the hardest part of your skull (why soccer players use it to hit the ball ). IF you're going to give your opponent a target to shoot for concerning this area of the body, give them one that will cause THEM injury if they strike it. Many a boxer broke their knuckles because of this tactic. I hope this helps! =)

    BTW: One of my favorite quotes: "If you don't keep your hands up the only trophy you'll bring home is a black eye." Your "Karate Kid" quote reminded me of that. LOL =)
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    From a broader self defense position, tucking the chin like a boxer can limit awareness. If your prefered range is at a boxing distance, I can see how you might see tucking the chin a good habbit; however at close range or with multiple opponents it may show that a boxing rules and regulations allow for a tucked chin.
    Sean

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Could you elaborate on how one's awareness would be affected by tucking the chin? I don't think it's ever hindered me..especially at close/grappling range. My field of vision, including peripheral, has never been affected by this slight repositioning, nor do I know anyone else that may have been adversely affected by doing so. An example perhaps?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by gakusei
    We cover tucking the chin when falling, rolling, or defense against a choke.

    Tucking while standing? Please elaborate. Why would you want to move your head closer to your opponent? So his hand hurts. I'm reminded of the karate Kid when Mr. Miyagi says, "lucky no hurt hand" when Daniel-san has a black eye.
    That's pretty much it for us too. I spend a LOT of time trying to keep students from doing just this when they're standing. It takes the head out of proper alignment and can mess with balance, body mechanics and targeting with the eyes. "Even though it looks like your kick is going higher, keep your chin up and it will go higher."

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Keeping your head down, or chin tucked while standing and striking is an old bare-knuckles brawling tactic.
    Yes; but, I try not to brawl. I'm to good looking.

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca
    That's pretty much it for us too. I spend a LOT of time trying to keep students from doing just this when they're standing. It takes the head out of proper alignment and can mess with balance, body mechanics and targeting with the eyes.
    How so? It's a minor adjustment to make; ie nuance. I hope no one is assuming that the suggestion is to use your full range of motion and look down directly quite literally touching your chest with your chin. There's a big difference.

    Are you saying it's better to lift your chin up? This exposes your throat and exposes more or your head & face to protect in effect maximizing your targets instead of minimizing them. Test it out, tilt your head back and just look up. =)

    Think of it this way: When you're in a fighting stance do you stand with your arms and legs spread wide exposing every vital target you have, or do you tuck them closer to your body in order to more effectively cover the vital areas from attack?

    You have failed to convince me that by slightly tilting your head forward you sacrifice anything and gain nothing. However, I look forward to any continued efforts to try.
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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Shoulders to chin not chin to shoulders.

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Interesting topic.... hmmm- I will have to think on that a bit, but here is a quick quote sorta like what the "Crippler" said:

    "Practice doesn't make perfect, PERFECT practice makes perfect."

    Pretty self-explanatory I think..

    Have a great night everyone!

    james
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger
    Shoulders to chin not chin to shoulders.
    Good point.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    How so? It's a minor adjustment to make; ie nuance. I hope no one is assuming that the suggestion is to use your full range of motion and look down directly quite literally touching your chest with your chin. There's a big difference.

    Are you saying it's better to lift your chin up? This exposes your throat and exposes more or your head & face to protect in effect maximizing your targets instead of minimizing them. Test it out, tilt your head back and just look up. =)

    Think of it this way: When you're in a fighting stance do you stand with your arms and legs spread wide exposing every vital target you have, or do you tuck them closer to your body in order to more effectively cover the vital areas from attack?

    You have failed to convince me that by slightly tilting your head forward you sacrifice anything and gain nothing. However, I look forward to any continued efforts to try.
    I'm not talking about leading with the adams apple. What I'm talking about is keeping the head level because it can have an affect on your balance. A fine point, or nuance? Yes but it does make a difference.

    Try a forward snap kick with your chin tucked and one with your head held level. Get in a fighting stance and do a few moves with your head in both positions. Try a crane stance starting with your head level and then move is around a bit and see how your body responds. If you're not convinced, so be it but it does make a difference in my movement and it has made a difference in every student I've corrected.

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    Post Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Whew an I relieved. I was searching through older threads and initially feared this was gonna be about crossdressing.

    Just adding my .o2 cents to an old topic.

    Tucking the chin is good, providing you understand the difference between tucking your chin and leaning forward. As an old gymnast, I know where the head goes, the body tends to want to follow. As someone who's had punches thrown at my melon with serious intent, I know keeping one's chin up, increases the likelihood of being knocked out. (Don't press me on exactly how I know this one, gang) There is a delicate, but walkable line that allows you to tuck your chin, without an exagerated leaning forward. It's important to maintain your centerline, but protect your chin.

    A related, topic...why do you suppose you rarely ever hear pro-kickboxers, or mma fighters kiaii? Aren't most all of us trained in the benefits of the Spirit Yell? Open mouths also lead to knockouts. That's why KOs are far more likely to occur as the fighters become winded and begin mouth-breathing. While there are arguable advantages to kiaiing, in terms of the rapid exhalation of breath, the added focus, and tightening of the diaphram, you seldom see pro fighters make the sacrifice and take the risk of getting knocked out.
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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    The first thing we are taught in a choke situation is to tuck the chin away from the choke. Gotta keep breathing to win right? As to the striking aspect, is it just me or do a lot of MMA strikers hunch their shoulders and tuck their chins?

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    Rounding the back and letting the chin fall naturally (as it will if you do it correctly) braces the neck properly and reduces the occurance of knockouts. It also makes it more difficult for high kicks to strike squarely.

    It's also possible to bring the shoulders and chin a bit closer together to better protect your head. If you're standing a bit less square, tucking your chin and keeping one hand high and one low can provide a good all-around defensive posture. Tucking against choke attempts is a different technique entirely.

    This can present some problems if you tend to lead with your head. You need to be able to move and issue force from this posture. There's a misconception that you need to take very specific postures in order to move properly, when the truth is that you must learn to move dynamically, from many different postures. This is a bit hard to describe, but has to do with adding the motion from moving from a rounded to a linear posture to the sum of forces that contribute to a movement.

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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    I hope no one out there "leads with their head."
    That's one target I think you'd want to keep as far away from an opponent as possible. You can take a shot almost anywhere else and stand a good chance of continuing to defend yourself, but if you take a good shot to the head.....it's over.
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    Default Re: To tuck, or not to tuck...

    I used to compete against a guy who always lead with his head. He was always so easy to pick off with a hook kick and he never saw it coming. It was funny because at tournaments when lining up, some events just made two lines and and the person across from you was your first match as long as they were not from your school. Guys would shove each other out of the way to get this guys as their first match at those events. The only dangerous this was if he did hit you, you were probably looking back up at him from your butt or back.
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