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Thread: Dead Hand in Kenpo

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    Default Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Topic for discussion:

    • What is a dead hand?
    • Can you name an example in a technique or two.
    • Do you train this and if so how?

    Let's chat
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    Question Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Would'nt an example be the left hand in a technique like, Delayed Sword?

    1stJohn

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    The three I was taught are... Thundering Hammers, Sleeper and Dance of Death.

    The rear hand is left in dangling or "dead position".

    I used to ask the question, is that actually a check or left there on purpose to guard a specific area.
    "You can't account for everything, but you should account for the reasonably probable. Unfortunately for the unknowledgeable, those never ending 'what if's' will choke your thought process to death with useless information." - Doc

    "To hold and fill to overflowing is not as good as to stop in time. Sharpen a knife-edge to its very sharpest, and the edge will not last long." – Loa Tzu

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Whoops... Martin,

    I should have asked, were you asking for beginners, advanced or blackbelts?
    "You can't account for everything, but you should account for the reasonably probable. Unfortunately for the unknowledgeable, those never ending 'what if's' will choke your thought process to death with useless information." - Doc

    "To hold and fill to overflowing is not as good as to stop in time. Sharpen a knife-edge to its very sharpest, and the edge will not last long." – Loa Tzu

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    I don't think so .. .the left hand in Delayed Sword should be providing a mid-level cover. Although, anytime anyone mentions that, the discussion turns to checking the aggressors hand with a grab or pin.

    The dead hand is what happens when we do not cock the 'off-hand' weapon with our first move. We see this in 'Thundering Hammers', 'Sleeper', and 'Dance of Death'. In each of these techniques, our initial move is a step forward and out with our left, while executing an inward block on the outside of the aggressors' weapon. Our right hand does nothing; it just hangs there - thus, 'Dead Hand'.

    In the mentioned techniques, we strike from that dead hand position along the low, middle, and high lines.

    By contrast, when we execute a technique like 'Flashing Wings', we cock our right hand weapon at an appropriate place for the glancing inward elbow strike. And when we execute something like, 'Flashing Mace', we cock our right hand high, with the upward break. In these techniques, our right hand is active in our defense.

    I probably have said too much already, eh?

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Works for me. Good way of putting it.
    "You can't account for everything, but you should account for the reasonably probable. Unfortunately for the unknowledgeable, those never ending 'what if's' will choke your thought process to death with useless information." - Doc

    "To hold and fill to overflowing is not as good as to stop in time. Sharpen a knife-edge to its very sharpest, and the edge will not last long." – Loa Tzu

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    Default Devil's Advocate

    Since everyone mentioned the Right Dead Hands any takers on the left side for category completion?
    James Hawkins III, SI
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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    OK, there is a "technique," or more aptly a "method" in some CMA's where you use a "dead hand" in order to relax the arm and bring power from the core. The feeling in delivering a strike from this "dead hand" is the same as what I get from 'Thundering Hammers', 'Sleeper', and 'Dance of Death', where the arm actually hangs.

    The "dead hand" in CMA's is simply to drop the hand at the wrist, thereby restructuring the arm. Take a left neutral bow with guard up. Take a minute and note how the right (trailing) hand, arm, and shoulder feel. Now, relax and have someone gently pull your right index and middle fingers down. The only movement you should have is in the wrist. Relax again- the right arm should be much more relaxed now. Note the feeling in that right arm.

    Now strike a target, starting with the tantien and carrying power outward like a wave. Pay attention to how this feels.

    Then do 'Thundering Hammers' and see if the right arm doesn't feel the same as you strike across his mid section.

    What do you think? Maybe some of you with more experience could shed more light on this?

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    OK, there is a "technique," or more aptly a "method" in some CMA's where you use a "dead hand" in order to relax the arm and bring power from the core. The feeling in delivering a strike from this "dead hand" is the same as what I get from 'Thundering Hammers', 'Sleeper', and 'Dance of Death', where the arm actually hangs.

    The "dead hand" in CMA's is simply to drop the hand at the wrist, thereby restructuring the arm. Take a left neutral bow with guard up. Take a minute and note how the right (trailing) hand, arm, and shoulder feel. Now, relax and have someone gently pull your right index and middle fingers down. The only movement you should have is in the wrist. Relax again- the right arm should be much more relaxed now. Note the feeling in that right arm.

    Now strike a target, starting with the tantien and carrying power outward like a wave. Pay attention to how this feels.

    Then do 'Thundering Hammers' and see if the right arm doesn't feel the same as you strike across his mid section.

    What do you think? Maybe some of you with more experience could shed more light on this?

    Dan C
    nice post! I was going to simply say that there are no 'dead hands' in kenpo - that everything has purpose/is doing something even if it appears to be static to the observer.

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    ..um....
    Are you refering to "dead motion deception" or more precisely tye "dead motion principle?"

    A deceptive maneuver that is purposely designed to give your opponent the illusion that a portion of your body is totally inactive (seems dead) and can do them no harm. For example: Your opponent doesn't realize or telegraph a strike occuring until it is too late because, from the weapons position, does not anticipate or expect it.
    "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: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    nice post! I was going to simply say that there are no 'dead hands' in kenpo - that everything has purpose/is doing something even if it appears to be static to the observer.
    Thanks. It obviously does a lot of things to us (as in CC's post), it's just that this seems the same to me and is a bennifit that we might easily overlook.

    I really came back to stress one thing- it is important that when pointing the hand down, you actively point with the index and middle fingers. Point with either one but not the other, and you'll feel a lot of tension build up in the arm. Structurally, movments are very specific. Or, as Doc says, "everything matters."

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Hey Cippler, from where I stand as he person being struck, I would call he dead hand strikes as being from the Obscure Zone. Dead motion principle always seemed like a strike or kick that happened while in plain sight, but, happening in a non sequiter type of movement. The saying that you can't talk and hit at the same time, not true is it? lol

    Clark

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    OK, there is a "technique," or more aptly a "method" in some CMA's where you use a "dead hand" in order to relax the arm and bring power from the core. The feeling in delivering a strike from this "dead hand" is the same as what I get from 'Thundering Hammers', 'Sleeper', and 'Dance of Death', where the arm actually hangs.

    The "dead hand" in CMA's is simply to drop the hand at the wrist, thereby restructuring the arm. Take a left neutral bow with guard up. Take a minute and note how the right (trailing) hand, arm, and shoulder feel. Now, relax and have someone gently pull your right index and middle fingers down. The only movement you should have is in the wrist. Relax again- the right arm should be much more relaxed now. Note the feeling in that right arm.

    Now strike a target, starting with the tantien and carrying power outward like a wave. Pay attention to how this feels.

    Then do 'Thundering Hammers' and see if the right arm doesn't feel the same as you strike across his mid section.

    What do you think? Maybe some of you with more experience could shed more light on this?

    Dan C
    Dead hand attacks is what I was getting to but this is pretty much where I was going to go with it. Wanted to hold back and see what came up. Ever get hit with one? It hurts! Like a stone or "dead weight" hitting you and yes it also applies to the right handed techniques mentioned above.

    Anyone besides James want to complete the category on the left? lol.
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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate View Post
    Anyone besides James want to complete the category on the left? lol.
    I can't think of *any* lol. But I'm pretty jet lagged so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :-D

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by katsudo_karate View Post
    Anyone besides James want to complete the category on the left? lol.


    I am not certain that I have bought into the idea that 'category completion' means that I have do the dead hand thing on the left, if I do it on the right.

    Oh, yeah, sure, Mr. Parker claimed that for every idea in American Kenpo there is an opposite. But I don't know that he actually meant it. It has been said before, that we are a right hand dominant system, too, you know. Can both of those statements be true? I don't think so.

    And ... and ... and ... what would be reverse? A 'Live Hand' technique .... which ones are those?



    Actually, to my level of study, I have not found a left dead hand technique or strike, that I can recall. When looking to the setup of the Right hand strikes, I work forward with my left as the preceeding block. If we search for the opposite setup, I find a lot of right hand block/strike combinations, (Reversing Mace, Circling Destruction), but not many right block/left strike combinations.

    I mentioned above the 'Right Hand Dominance' of our system, although in jest, my level of training applies that here - perhaps, this is preventing me from seeing the answer.

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post


    I am not certain that I have bought into the idea that 'category completion' means that I have do the dead hand thing on the left, if I do it on the right.

    Oh, yeah, sure, Mr. Parker claimed that for every idea in American Kenpo there is an opposite. But I don't know that he actually meant it. It has been said before, that we are a right hand dominant system, too, you know. Can both of those statements be true? I don't think so.

    And ... and ... and ... what would be reverse? A 'Live Hand' technique .... which ones are those?



    Actually, to my level of study, I have not found a left dead hand technique or strike, that I can recall. When looking to the setup of the Right hand strikes, I work forward with my left as the preceeding block. If we search for the opposite setup, I find a lot of right hand block/strike combinations, (Reversing Mace, Circling Destruction), but not many right block/left strike combinations.

    I mentioned above the 'Right Hand Dominance' of our system, although in jest, my level of training applies that here - perhaps, this is preventing me from seeing the answer.
    Well to me that is "Opposites" and also really important in Kenpo. We could talk about that for days too, LOL.

    The opposite of a right reverse punch a left reverse punch? or possibly a left back kick? makes you think
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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post


    I am not certain that I have bought into the idea that 'category completion' means that I have do the dead hand thing on the left, if I do it on the right.
    Fair enough.

    Oh, yeah, sure, Mr. Parker claimed that for every idea in American Kenpo there is an opposite. But I don't know that he actually meant it. It has been said before, that we are a right hand dominant system, too, you know. Can both of those statements be true? I don't think so.
    I think so. Right dominant in that the right does things MORE OFTEN than the left. We only need to do something ONCE with the other side to complete the category.

    And ... and ... and ... what would be reverse? A 'Live Hand' technique .... which ones are those?
    All the techniques where we block and cock the off hand instead of leaving it dangling. Flashing Mace, Flashing Wings, Glancing Salute, etc.


    Actually, to my level of study, I have not found a left dead hand technique or strike, that I can recall. When looking to the setup of the Right hand strikes, I work forward with my left as the preceeding block. If we search for the opposite setup, I find a lot of right hand block/strike combinations, (Reversing Mace, Circling Destruction), but not many right block/left strike combinations.
    Not many? Depends on how you look at things.....

    I mentioned above the 'Right Hand Dominance' of our system, although in jest, my level of training applies that here - perhaps, this is preventing me from seeing the answer.
    Not at all. I'll give a hint. In Form 4 Bowing to Buddha is against a front kick and we drop down and kill the kick with a right Smothering Block that converts into an inward block. What is the left hand doing before the upward palm/claw to the groin? For those that do Bowing to Buddha against a roundhouse kick even in Form 4 you won't see this example.

    For those that miss that one, Dance of Death, Thundering Hammers and Sleeper all done left sided in Forms 4 and 5.

    Final Hint. The "Dead hand" does not have to come at the beginning of the technique all of time....
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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post


    I am not certain that I have bought into the idea that 'category completion' means that I have do the dead hand thing on the left, if I do it on the right.

    Oh, yeah, sure, Mr. Parker claimed that for every idea in American Kenpo there is an opposite. But I don't know that he actually meant it. It has been said before, that we are a right hand dominant system, too, you know. Can both of those statements be true? I don't think so.

    And ... and ... and ... what would be reverse? A 'Live Hand' technique .... which ones are those?


    tsk tsk you joke but you are closer to the truth than you know.

    from wikipedia
    A distinctive example of hapkido hand techniques is "live hand" strike that focuses energy to the baek hwa hyul in the hand, producing energy strikes and internal strikes.
    wiki is pretty shallow, 'live hand' is also used in manipulation attacks and defenses too.

    of course being a chinese idea, dead hand and live hand are opposites but they area also the same (sortof).

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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    of course being a chinese idea, dead hand and live hand are opposites but they area also the same (sortof).
    tsk tsk you joke but, that statement just beggs an explanation.

    Dan (list'nen wit' bot' eyes) C
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    Default Re: Dead Hand in Kenpo

    dan,

    i like your description of the live/dead hand, in terms of chinese internal martial arts (tai chi, ba gua) the muscles are relaxed, yet the energy is alive through to the finger tips. in order for this to be effective, many principles of posture and movement are at work to make this a whip-like strike. the effect is a stinger rather than a bludgeon, where the sting is sent deep into your opponents body.

    a couple of key points is the feeling from the feet, the direction the tantien is turning, the opening of the joints, especially the hips and pelvic area, and for the muscles NOT to contract upon impact. these are all concepts that are counter-intuitive to most kenpoists i've worked with.... but it does give your a different feel for thundering hammers, etc.

    pete
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