Thursday, 1 November 2012

Folding Principle counter to the Scissors Block

            This is a quick follow-up to my recent Halloween themed posts. In “How to Survive a Slasher Movie –the Sequel” I detailed some of the proposed defences against an overhead attack. In keeping with the theme we were assuming a knife in icepick grip, but these discussions are equally valid against a club, lead pipe or many other weapons.

            If you refer back to that post I will draw you attention to the observation that many of these proposed counters seem to assume that once the attack has been blocked the attacker will leave his arm stationary long enough to apply a lock or execute a throw. Assumptions are often dangerous.
            For example, let us once again consider the cross-block. I recently read that “the scissors block is good for when there is a flurry of punches” –which I have to disagree with. A flurry of punches is one of the best ways to defeat this move. The scissors block may stop the first blow, but you have effectively occupied both your arms and obscured your own vision while leaving your flanks and lower body exposed.

            Let us consider an overhead knife or club attack. Will the attacker leave his arm up after his strike is stopped? Many fighters, including those that have read my book will be familiar with the “Folding principle”. In this context it means that once the attack is blocked the arm will relax, fold at the nearest joint and re-attack on another line. In the above examples the attacker would bend his elbow and then make a fast lateral strike under the defenders arms and into his side or belly.
            Another thing to consider is that most attackers have two arms. If my overhead strike with my right was blocked as shown above one of my first reactions would be use my left palm to knock his arms off to my right. If you want to think of this in esoteric eastern terminology my blocked arm goes from Yang to Yin, allowing the other side of my body to become Yang and strike/deflect/parry. The Yin-state right arm can of course fold so as I am knocking his guard aside and him off balance my knife/club/fist is coming in the other direction to hit his abdomen.