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Thread: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

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    Default Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    I've been in kenpo for quite a while now...and have never cared for this technique.

    I don't know if it's because of my previous training, or what...but I can find little to no redeeming value in teaching this technique without altering it.

    Before you ask, I'm speaking of the general, by-the-book technique versus a front bear hug.

    Pretty much like this: Striking Serpent's head

    Please, enlighten me!
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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    with you here - garbage technique imo.

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Hi. What don't you all like about it?

    The one thing that makes sense to me is the assymetrical response to gain control. Its liberating to shift movements that are direct to the side, without the need for pure stopping power, but is it quick enough? A front huggy could spearhead short trip to a belly to belly takedown. In that case a leg lock perhapse to give it more versatility? Or do I miss the point of this move?
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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Not sure what is bad about it.
    Sean

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    If anything, it's a good time to practice keeping your elbows anchored.
    Jeff Magoni

    "When pure knuckles meet pure flesh...that's pure karate" - SGM Parker

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkside View Post
    If anything, it's a good time to practice keeping your elbows anchored.
    Its a good time all the time.
    Sean

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Its a good time all the time.
    Sean
    agreed.
    Jeff Magoni

    "When pure knuckles meet pure flesh...that's pure karate" - SGM Parker

    "Survival is about dominating those who threaten you. So you can't think like you're going to fight them. You have to immediately dominate or destroy them to truly survive" - Larry Wick

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    First off the technique description has been altered from the original EPAK technique. The step back includes a strike to the opponents mastoid (back of the neck). This technique is all about timing and is a waste of time if you let the opponent complete the bear hug.
    This strike occurs, totally obscure, as the opponents body momentum is forcing you back. The strike employs an unusual method of contouring the opponents back and arm with your left arm as your right arm clears the opponents left arm preventing the bear hug for a moment.
    This requires timing and a spontaneous response to the impact from the opponents forward momentum.
    The strike to the mastoid forces the opponents head forward and into the next strike to the throat. The borrowed force here is powerful and the whole technique is lethal and over in a few 10ths of a second.
    The hair grab is an interesting inclusion but not that necessary as you are moving to fast for it to matter.
    The rebounding force and reverse marriage of gravity you employ after the first strike is also a valuable lesson for students to learn from this dimension (mostly depth).
    This is also the first time a student encounters the use of the inverted back knuckle or thumb knuckle strike as well as the half fist to the throat. The use of principles in this technique, at this belt level, is totally unique and new to the student. Where else, at this belt level, does one gain these Targets, Weapons and Principles?

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    One thing: the mastoid process is located behind the ear, not on the back of the neck. I'm sure you know that already, and were just using a general location.
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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    One thing: the mastoid process is located behind the ear, not on the back of the neck. I'm sure you know that already, and were just using a general location.
    Hence, I aim not for the mastoid, but to influence the brain stem at the atlanto-occipital junction.
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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    I was inaccurate in stating that the mastoid is on the back of the neck. It is behind and below the ear as you have stated. In the technique Striking Serpents Head the mastoid strike lends itself to a throat strike which borrows force from the mastoid strike. That was my main point in that statement. Thanks for the clarification.

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Hey guys,

    In the system I study (Traco Kenpo), this technique is known as Bearhug Free in Front (ABCD). In our version, "B" is the back knuckle to the brain stem, and "A" is the hair pull and half-fist to the Adam's apple. "B" is meant to be lenient, and "A" is a harsher version. When put together they form Striking Serpents Head as found in Short 3. In our system - the back fist can be repeated as necessary (much like Royce Gracie uses it when he has an opponent in guard) and/or to soften him up. If the situation becomes more serious, we can transition into the hair pull and half fist. As with most of our techniques, if the first strike works you don't need the second; but it is still nice to have the option.

    Hope this helps,
    PorterKenpo

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoChanger View Post
    Not sure what is bad about it.
    Sean
    Quote Originally Posted by Rolls_Royce_Phantom View Post
    Hi. What don't you all like about it?

    The one thing that makes sense to me is the assymetrical response to gain control. Its liberating to shift movements that are direct to the side, without the need for pure stopping power, but is it quick enough? A front huggy could spearhead short trip to a belly to belly takedown. In that case a leg lock perhapse to give it more versatility? Or do I miss the point of this move?
    Firstly, there's nothing in the technique to address the attacker's forward momentum. 'Stepping back' is not going to work. The rest of the technique (which is silly imo) wouldn't get a look-in as you'd find yourselfs pummelled into the ground. That should be reason enough, for anyone, to discard this technique no matter how useful the 'ending' is.. which in my opinion is completely out of place given the nature of the attack.

    If this is a technique to highlight the half-fist (serpent-head) strike, then picking a front bear-hug as teaching vehicle was a really, really bad idea.

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkside View Post
    If anything, it's a good time to practice keeping your elbows anchored.
    If that is the lesson to be taken away from this technique... then I'm stunned to be honest. The techniques should be completely functional from start to finish and should match, and address the level of aggressiveness found in the attack. This is a bear-hug - not an attempt - but rather an aggressive assault. Good luck anchoring your elbows here. Personally I'd suggest learning to breakfall might be a better use of people's time if they are that wedded to this technique.

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slingshot View Post
    First off the technique description has been altered from the original EPAK technique. The step back includes a strike to the opponents mastoid (back of the neck). This technique is all about timing and is a waste of time if you let the opponent complete the bear hug.
    There is no 'original' EPAK technique. There are 1000 different versions taught by 1000s of different instructors. And it sounds as if you have never been attacked in this manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slingshot View Post
    This strike occurs, totally obscure, as the opponents body momentum is forcing you back. The strike employs an unusual method of contouring the opponents back and arm with your left arm as your right arm clears the opponents left arm preventing the bear hug for a moment.
    Totally obscure? This is a foward assault to your upper body, with significant foward momentum. Using your arms to prevent the bear-hug huh? You've got to be kidding, the bear-bug is on the moment the attacker makes contact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slingshot View Post
    This requires timing and a spontaneous response to the impact from the opponents forward momentum.
    agreed, a pity though that neither the technique nor yourself has addressed this problem in a manner that will work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slingshot View Post
    The strike to the mastoid forces the opponents head forward and into the next strike to the throat. The borrowed force here is powerful and the whole technique is lethal and over in a few 10ths of a second.
    I'm lost for words.

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    I've been in kenpo for quite a while now...and have never cared for this technique.

    I don't know if it's because of my previous training, or what...but I can find little to no redeeming value in teaching this technique without altering it.

    Before you ask, I'm speaking of the general, by-the-book technique versus a front bear hug.

    Pretty much like this: Striking Serpent's head

    Please, enlighten me!
    That's because the book gives you an idea of what you might do, but like all the rest of the written techniques, it doesn't tell you HOW to do it. So I agree completely sir.
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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slingshot View Post
    First off the technique description has been altered from the original EPAK technique. The step back includes a strike to the opponents mastoid (back of the neck). This technique is all about timing and is a waste of time if you let the opponent complete the bear hug.
    This strike occurs, totally obscure, as the opponents body momentum is forcing you back. The strike employs an unusual method of contouring the opponents back and arm with your left arm as your right arm clears the opponents left arm preventing the bear hug for a moment.
    This requires timing and a spontaneous response to the impact from the opponents forward momentum.
    The strike to the mastoid forces the opponents head forward and into the next strike to the throat. The borrowed force here is powerful and the whole technique is lethal and over in a few 10ths of a second.
    The hair grab is an interesting inclusion but not that necessary as you are moving to fast for it to matter.
    The rebounding force and reverse marriage of gravity you employ after the first strike is also a valuable lesson for students to learn from this dimension (mostly depth).
    This is also the first time a student encounters the use of the inverted back knuckle or thumb knuckle strike as well as the half fist to the throat. The use of principles in this technique, at this belt level, is totally unique and new to the student. Where else, at this belt level, does one gain these Targets, Weapons and Principles?
    I was going to say something, but as I looked further I think James B summed it up pretty well. So I'll just say "What He said."
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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    What is the psychology of an attacker to put you in a front bear hug? IMO it would be the prelude to a bodyslam, tackle or other viscious takedown.

    With that in mind, what response do you think would allow you to survive the initial assault? Then maybe you can "add on" the offensive response.

    How do you guys deal with that initial assault?
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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    but I can find little to no redeeming value in teaching this technique without altering it.
    a thought for you ...

    Power generation - Neutral Bow - Forward Bow - Neutral Bow.
    Power generation - Forward Bow - Neutral Bow - Forward Bow.

    Opposites - Reverses, you know.

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    Default Re: Striking Serpent's Head: What Good is It?

    I used to practice it as a charge. Now I practice it as cqb then your opponent decides to bear hug you for the lift and drop. Sans the forward momentum. With that in mind the technique has a better application now. Again, better applied before the arms actually bear hug you. But, that would mean some awesome reaction time, maybe borderline precognitive. hehehehe
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