Friday, 5 October 2012

Quadrants of Parrying II

            My apologies if the last post on “Quadrants of Parrying” was below the usual standard. I was in the early stages of a cold and that is not the best time to try and wrestle with explanations. Some further thoughts on the topic, hopefully a little more coherent.

            Which defensive technique you use against an attack will depend not just on what quadrant  it comes from but also from the relative position of the hand you intend to use. It will be recalled that the original description was in a book on knife fighting and the assumption was that the defender would start in the recommended knife-fighting stance, which for that author had the hand in line with the elbow that was the hypothetical intersection of the quadrants. You may not be in a perfect stance when you have to use your hands to defend yourself, so let us look at attacks from the four quadrants once again, this time with some consideration of where the hand begins:-

            High Outer Attacks. Most High Outer Attacks can be dealt with by the various high outward parries. The Karate Outside thrusting parry was mentioned previously and more circular parries such as the “Wave” or “Window wiper” can be used too. Parries with the radius side of the arm, such as the Wing Chun Tan Sau, using the hand in a palm up position can also be used. An inward parry might be used if the hand started in a low outside position but it is likely that to achieve this you would need to step back and would have avoided the attack anyway.

            High Inside Attacks. High Inside Attacks can be dealt with by any of the inward parries mentioned in the previous post. If you hand was positioned well to the inside, such as near your opposite shoulder then an attack in this quadrant might be deflected with an outward parry.

            Low Outside Attacks. Attacks to the low outside quadrant are dealt with by low outward parries. Very low attacks may be parried outward with the leg instead of the arm. As with all attacks, evasion and avoidance are better than contact.

            Low Inside Attacks. The Low Inner Quadrant is occupied by a considerable proportion of the body. How to parry attacks to this quadrant will depend on the relative starting position of the hand.  If the hand is by your side then low attacks such as to the stomach or groin are deflected by the low inward parry. This is effectively twisting your waist so your forearm swings across, removing the intended target and knocking the attack across the inside gate to empty air. If the attack is at a slightly higher level then the Bong Sau type technique is used with the elbow raised and the hand hanging down. What is interesting about this is the bent elbow allows the arm to fold on contact, absorbing force but still redirecting the attack. If the hand was above the elbow when an attack was made to the Low Iner Quadrant then a low outward parry can be used to sweep the attack out into the low outer quadrant.