Of all the deadly things we have in our arsenal of weapons the elbow seems so underrated in Tang Soo Do. I should clarify. In our forms we use it quite frequently, but it just doesn’t seem to be used to much in one step sparring. I can’t help but think this is because it’s a weapon of infighting and brutality for the most part and the majority of the one step drills favor an arms length or legs length distance.
So when Teacher starts encouraging it’s use during drills we start taking notice. Dave, in particular, loves using it whenever he gets close and has caused me some pains over the last year because of that.
As I mentioned we’ve always viewed it as a blunt force object, but Teacher has started stressing that like all other parts of ourselves that we use, the elbow can be used as a sophisticated weapon. Last night we elaborated on a technique we started on Tuesday.
The original exercise is to close in while blocking roundhouse punches (think redneck fighting). Those punches from the side are met with an elbow slightly under the bicep. The elbow swings in an upward loop that carries the punch over your head. Bob’s your uncle – you can punch at the liver and kidneys at your leisure. The more advanced technique was to choke out the guy with his own arm. Fun, but the other guy had to be shorter or it turned into a greco-roman wrestling match.
Last night’s variation - there was no blocking before the elbow interaction. The dependent factor being that you had to have exquisite timing to pick off that arm and move it over your head. Needless to say, we all got a lot of elbows in the biceps and forearms. No one looked particularly happy at the end of the night, but we were all smiling. Bunch of sickos.