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Thread: Take Down Theory Simplified

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    SifuDangeRuss is offline
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    Lightbulb Take Down Theory Simplified

    I think it probably best, to simply offer you an introduction to my article, as it is fairly leangthy and is greatly benefitted by the pictures illustrating the principals being used and then to post a link, for those interested, where you can download the entire word document in it's entirety.



    Takedown Theory - By Sifu DangeRuss


    My initial martial arts training, spent very little time in examining the physical principals that facilitates taking an opponent to the ground. Did we do it? Yes, but often it was through the use of brute force with little thought to the easiest pathway. Like a good student, I took it on faith that was the way things should be. It was years later, (while being tossed around like a ragdoll, by an unassuming little old man), that I would begin to question the methods employed by my early teachers. This strange little man seemed to inherently understand the principals of gravity, which held us upright, or could with equal ease, send us hurtling to embrace the earth. Although not a large man, he could make much larger opponents seem eager to flop around on the floor at his mercy. Unfortunately, this old man, although a recognized Master of Motion, was less in command of his verbal communication skills. His methodology for teaching you was to hurl you to the ground repeatedly, until you could (hopefully) replicate the feat yourself. While some few students embraced this teaching methodology and came away with a cornucopia of impressive techniques, even most of them, were hard-pressed to explain the theories behind the techniques. Perhaps I should preface this, by telling you that I am a relatively small man, myself at about 5'8" and 145 lbs. (soaking wet with several rolls of quarters in my pockets!) As such, most of my opponents were frequently larger than myself. So I decided that it would behoove me, to be able to unravel the mysteries of the Takedown Principals. The returns of this "homework" project were invaluable. I found that a handful of principals could explain away almost every method of taking an opponent down that I could find. Once the principals were broken down and studied the ease of taking an opponent, (even a much larger opponent), to the ground became a thing of simplicity. Much respect and kudos to pioneers like Ed Parker (American Kenpo) who showed us that it was permissible to apply modern physics, in order to better understand an ancient art. Here is what I found.



    If this has captured your attention, the entire article is availible for download at this site:



    http://www.angelfire.com/wa/dangerusskenpo/news.html

    The article in question may be found in it's entirety, complete with a plethora of photographs, midway down the page beneath the Remy Presas article and can be accessed by clicking the friendly red Dragon.



    Enjoy...and hopefully something here will click for you.







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  2. #2
    SifuDangeRuss is offline
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    Cool Re: Take Down Theory Simplified

    Takedown Theory simplified
    By Sifu DangeRuss - 2002

    My initial martial arts training, spent very little time in examining the physical principals that facilitates taking an opponent to the ground. Did we do it? Yes, but often it was through the use of brute force with little thought to the easiest pathway. Like a good student, I took it on faith that was the way things should be. It was years later, (while being tossed around like a ragdoll, by an unassuming little old man), that I would begin to question the methods employed by my early teachers. This strange little man seemed to inherently understand the principals of gravity, which held us upright, or could with equal ease, send us hurtling to embrace the earth. Although not a large man, he could make much larger opponents seem eager to flop around on the floor at his mercy. Unfortunately, this old man, although a recognized Master of Motion, was less in command of his verbal communication skills. His methodology for teaching you was to hurl you to the ground repeatedly, until you could (hopefully) replicate the feat yourself. While some few students embraced this teaching methodology and came away with a cornucopia of impressive techniques, even most of them, were hard-pressed to explain the theories behind the techniques. Perhaps I should preface this, by telling you that I am a relatively small man, myself at about 5'8" and 145 lbs. (soaking wet with several rolls of quarters in my pockets!) As such, most of my opponents were frequently larger than myself. So I decided that it would behoove me, to be able to unravel the mysteries of the Takedown Principals. The returns of this "homework" project were invaluable. I found that a handful of principals could explain away almost every method of taking an opponent down that I could find. Once the principals were broken down and studied the ease of taking an opponent, (even a much larger opponent), to the ground became a thing of simplicity. Much respect and kudos to pioneers like Ed Parker (American Kenpo) who showed us that it was permissible to apply modern physics, in order to better understand an ancient art. Here is what I found.
    Principal #1 - Break balance, remove basePerhaps this is among the most obvious of the theories, hence why I approach it first. If you want to remove someone's legs from underneath them, it only makes sense to remove as much weight from them as possible. Simple math proves that if my opponent is 300 pounds and I am less than half that, it is a very difficult task for me to move all of that weight at once. If my opponent is standing upright and all of his weight is evenly stacked over his base, then moving or removing said base is like swimming uphill. However, if I can shift some of that weight elsewhere first, then moving a much smaller, more manageable portion of that weight becomes a far easier task. An example of this theory in action would be, first attempting to drag or sweep an opponent's feet from under him, while he is standing in a stable stance. Now, if we apply pressure to something vulnerable like throat, eyes, nose that breaks the vertical line of my opponent, (thus taking a portion of his weight from directly over his feet), then make the same attempt at dragging or sweeping his feet, you'll find they move much easier. In fact if enough weight has been displaced, then the feet almost seem to want to jump at your slightest pressure. (See photo sequence A) This allows even a much smaller, weaker opponent a greater likelihood of success. Now there are a myriad of methods one can employ to break the balance, prior to removing the base, including pushing, pulling, striking or applying pressure to a sensitive area.
    Principal # 2 - Lock base, over balanceThis is also a reasonably easy principal to understand. In fact, many of us exercised this theory back in the sandbox in grade school. Imagine if you will, distracting one of your buddies in the sandbox, while another buddy crawled on hands and knees behind him. You then suddenly and unexpectedly shove him and he topples helplessly over your kneeling accomplice's back. Who among us hasn't seen this principal (from one side or the other) in action at least once in our lifetime? How do we apply this theory in practice? Easy. Maneuvering behind your opponent and locking his leg(s) with yours, then simply applying pressure against the upper part of your opponent's body will send him toppling over backwards.
    (See photo sequence B) Think about this, if pressure is applied to your chest, your natural reaction is to step backward to keep your feet underneath you. If suddenly your feet cannot move backwards, then momentum carries you over. Once again, allowing a much smaller person, the ability to topple a larger opponent with very little effort.

    Principal # 3 - Denying the Base
    (or what goes up, must come down)

    This is a reasonably easy theory to understand as well, although perhaps slightly more difficult to employ. Imagine carrying a large box, which obscures your vision down a flight of stairs. You know there are exactly 10 steps. However, you lose count before reaching the bottom of the staircase. "Was that step number 9 or 10?" You think you're at the next floor and go to place your foot down, and suddenly the ground is just not there, where you expect it. This is a very un-settling feeling. How do we apply this theory to fighting? Again, we need to understand, that a foot (base) with less or no weight upon it is easier to move, yes? Therefore, anytime an opponent lifts his leg, to kick (or even to step), while it is out of contact with the ground, it is far easier to manipulate. Example, an opponent delivers a right roundhouse kick, you block that kick with a united block, as the opponent's foot recoils from the kick and just before it returns to the ground, that is when it is most vulnerable to sweeping. Just as your opponent begins to transfer his weight forward to that foot, you simply move the foot, before the weight is fully transferred. While there is still no actual weight on that limb, it moves quite freely in space, liberally disrupting your opponent's balance. If necessary, you may employ an additional strike or push to compliment this disruption of balance. (See photo sequence C) Once again, this may be applied in a variety of different manners, to a variety of attacks. More difficult, but just as applicable is doing the same thing as your opponent steps forward. Note: This is one of the more dangerous takedowns to practice, as if you mis-time the sweeping of your opponent's leg, and he begins to actually apply weight to this foot, it is very easy to cause serious damage to his ankle. Great for self-defense, but tough on friendly partners.


    Principal # 4 - Over balance

    Over balancing is another fairly obvious takedown method. Imagine your opponent as a carefully stacked pile of boxes. If you pull the top of the stack over far enough, then the entire pile comes crashing down. (See Photo sequence D) This too may be applied in a host of ways. For this example, we will have our partner step forward with a right punch. We will block the attack with a double inward block. We will then grab, or control his arm and toss it across your own centerline, allowing you to step behind him. Grab his face (or throat or whatever), as high up the handle of the "lever" as possible. Begin applying steady, even pressure backwards until your opponent topples to the ground.


    Principal # 5 - Destroying the base


    This principal involves taking out the support structure of your opponent. (See photo sequence E) Again, there is more than one method of accomplishing this goal, however we'll take a look at one example. For this, we need to look at the knee as a hinge joint. A hinge is designed for and wants to bend. We simply help it to perform it's function. Our opponent steps forward with a right punch, we leap out of the path into a one-legged stance, as we block the attack. Once behind our opponent, we deliver a counter-attack to the back of the knee joint. This may take the form of either a kick, or a push with the foot. If pushing, then we can accompany the knee all the way to the ground. Since the hinge wants to bend this way anyway, it doesn't take a great deal of strength or power to accomplish this end.



    Principal # 6 - Leverage

    Leverage is perhaps the most commonly used of the takedown principals by most systems. As such, there are a bazillion different examples of this theory. Arts such as Aikido, Jujitsu and Arnis use this principal very successfully. Example, (see photo sequence F) as the attacker throws a right punch, You respond with a standard snake hand counter, extending it fully and executing a palm strike to the underside of opponent's right elbow, then grasping the elbow where it bends, forcing it to bend. Simultaneously pulling downward with the left hand. This should apply a great deal of leverage to your opponent's shoulder. He then has a choice, of either allowing you to dislocate his shoulder, or to go with the flow to the ground.


    Principle #7 - The Strike-down

    The Strike-down is closely related to either the Break balance-remove base or the Lock base and overbalance takedowns. The primary difference being that you specifically use a strike to overbalance your opponent. This is a takedown principle used widely in arts like Kenpo. (See photo sequence G)



    Principle #8 - Combining two or more of Principles 1-7


    It is also possible to combine more than one of these principles to increase the effectiveness. (See photo sequence H) In this example Locking the base and over-balancing, is combined with leverage and a strike-down. Each principle in itself enough to take an opponent down, but by combing them in concert, it produces an even more compelling result.

    Virtually all takedowns are based upon one or more of these principles. If you examine any takedown, you should be able to figure out which of these principles is at work, and knowing that, insure that you are best utilizing that principle. Being able to understand and identify the underlying principles should also help you to borrow and adapt takedowns you see other practitioners performing.

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    Talking Re: Take Down Theory Simplified

    If one does not get take downs after this. They more then likely ride the short bus to Kenpo.
    "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, YOU are the one who gets burned."
    Buddha.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


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    Default Re: Take Down Theory Simplified

    I understood the text, but I was unable to open the file to see the photos.

    I must be riding the short bus for MS word.
    "Many years of training is wasted by one night of drinking"-oldslowguy

    "Pain may be a cruel master..........but it breeds diligent pupils."

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    Default Re: Take Down Theory Simplified

    Quote Originally Posted by oldslowguy View Post
    I understood the text, but I was unable to open the file to see the photos.

    I must be riding the short bus for MS word.
    The first time I attempted to open it, it came up with some type of error.

    So I just did it again, and again, until it read it.

    Thank you Russ.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Take Down Theory Simplified

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    The first time I attempted to open it, it came up with some type of error.

    So I just did it again, and again, until it read it.

    Thank you Russ.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Russ,

    I did show that article to my boy and he was very impressed with:

    1. your method of communication

    2. your breakdown of master-keys

    3. and your obvious high intelligence

    4. he also loved your sarcastic sense of humor, as do I.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    SifuDangeRuss is offline
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    Smile Re: Take Down Theory Simplified

    Thanks, Dr John.

    They have been useful tools...both the Takedown Theory and the sarcastic sense of humor. Of course sometimes the use of one...leads to having to use the other, but I suspect that many effective techniques have been born via similar means.

    As to the communication? As teachers, that is our biggest challenge. Finding ways to communicate and pass on our understanding of the way things work. This is what separates the new, black belts, whose belts stick out sideways like Pippy Longstocking's braids from the crotchety old teachers. Having the athletic ability to perform the movement or technique, does not automatically qualify you to teach it. I always have to shake my head at schools, who don't let anyone under black belt teach at all. Then one day, they hand him the stiff new belt and expect him/her to have magically transformed into a teacher, with no training as to "How to Teach". Teaching takes practice, just like punching and kicking. I think that was possibly one of Mr Parker's greatest attributes and contributions to the arts in general, was demonstrating his method of communication. He never talked down to people, but he stated his ideas in manners that left everyone in the room nodding their heads in understanding. He, like some of my more successful school teachers, kept the lessons interesting. I had other teachers, who might have been the most learned scholars in a given subject, but couldn't make it seem interesting if their lives depended upon it. It rapidly became more of a challenge of "How to Avoid Going to those classes", then it was to learn the lessons they had to teach. The lessons that sunk in, and stayed with me, were the ones that the teachers managed to find creative ways to share the ideas. Whether through demonstration, common analogies, or dramatic storytelling, they made their lessons interesting enough to engage a young mind. This is our true challenge as teachers. Keeping our legacy interesting enough, that someone continues to find reasons to practice our lessons. It is often said, that by now, there are very few truly "New" moves that we can develop, but there are thousands of techniques that can be better explained and thus understood by the masses. My hook, has often been the wry sense of humor, it works for me....mostly and painting effective visual imagery, with those words that causes someone to recall or remember a specific lesson more easily. I challenge my own students from the first day, they have someone who has even one less lesson under their belt, to start teaching what they feel comfortable with communicating. This way, by the time they have earned their black belt, they are well-experienced in the ways of teaching. In retrospect, it's truly amazing how much of what we do, as martial artists, was largely passed on via verbal tradition, with few written transcripts of the material, until the last century or so. Moreso, how much of this material was relayed through some type of communication barrier like different languages from teacher to student? I decided that I probably wasn't likely to truly discover any lost or new techniques in my lifetime, but I could find ways of passing on the most of my understanding, to the next generation of kenpoists, instead of simply partaking in the "Telephone Game" where techniques get constantly watered down, due to break-downs in communication between teacher and student.
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