Technique: The Power of Diagonal Strikes Part II
Yesterday I talked about the advantages of diagonal strikes over horizontal strikes. I am not saying that you should never do horizontal strikes –I just think you should be aware of the various pros and cons.
I was attending a seminar of a famous eskrima group that was teaching a high horizontal strike as its number one. When I approached someone about the awkwardness and potential vulnerability of the strike, I was told that this was the traditional method, and that it was being taught as a means of preserving the old way. If that is the case, I think students deserve to be advised of the flaws of the method they are being taught.
We should also ask if teaching less effective techniques is really a good idea, unless the purpose is to teach something fun and collect money.
Note how the position of the hand exposes it to a counterstrike. The hand position is also vulnerable to a disarm.
With a light stick the stress on the wrist may not be apparent, but could you do this technique with a crowbar? A hammer? A fireplace poker?
A diagonal strike is a better choice.
Although I do not believe that every stick move has a blade move counterpart, or that every weapon technique has an empty-handed counterpart, and vice versa, the general principle of the advantage of diagonal strikes applies to empty handed combat as well.
For the opponent with his hands up, the horizontal elbow simply hits his forearms. Note how my head is exposed.
The overleft diagonal elbow tends to come in over the opponent’s guard and between his arms.
The position of the elbow also serves to shield my head from a counterattack.
The horizontal hook to the body tends to be blocked by the opponent’s guard.
Although I could throw a rising hook to the body, I prefer not to lower my hands. By throwing the rising knee (which comes both up and in from my lower left), I increase my chances of coming in under the opponent’s guard.