JKD Trapping: Hand Immobilization

October 6, 20150 Comments

JKD Philosophy & Technique: Hand Immobilization

by Sifu Tim Tackett

The terms hand immobilization attack (HIA) or trapping hands refer to an attacking action which momentarily immobilizes either one or both of the opponent’s arms, allowing your final hit to score in an open line, or drawing a reaction which can be countered either with another trap or by shifting into another aspect such as punching, grappling, etc. Trapping allows you to maneuver your opponent’s arms where you want them and forces the opponent to give you a reaction which will be to his detriment.

Tim Tackett JKDOne of the primary objectives in trapping is to gain an “attachment” (touching one or both of the opponent’s arms with your own arms), much like two fencers when they engage their blades. This attachment may be gained either offensively (off your attack) or defensively (off of opponent’s attack). By understanding what trapping actions can be used from where your arms are at in relation to your opponet’s arms (both hands outside, one hand inside – one hand outside, etc.), as well as by feeling the type of energy the opponent reacts with (forward, upward, etc.), you can tie up one or both arms of the opponent and gain a split-second’s advantage in which to score.

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Major points for HIA

  1. Control the centerline by occupying the centerline.
  2. Maintain a well-covered on-guard position while closing the distance to trap. Be in good balance and keep your boundaries closed.
  3. Be alert and aware of opponent’s attempt to stop/hit or counterattack.
  4. Control your position to enable you to angle strike when opponent opens up or backs up.
  5. Use feints and false attacks sometimes to ensure safety and increase the chances of success.
  6. Cut into the opponent’s tool to trap and stop any counter.
  7. Maintain the trap for the necessary amount of time to prevent the opponent from freeing the arm which was to be immobilized and countering you.
  8. Make sure you use constant forward pressure which is like water flowing through the smallest crack seeking an opening. Whether your opponent retreat or advances he feels an “alive” tension against his arm at all times affecting his motions and restricting him.
  9. Against an opponent who keeps his midsection well-covered and reacts to body blows by using his elbows to cover the attack, it is sometimes possible to draw an involuntary blocking response by hitting directly into either arm instead of the body.
  10. Fighting an opponent who refuses to engage or attack with his lead arm requires the use of feints and false attacks to draw a reaction which may then be trapped.

Pak Sao (Slapping hand)
The pak sao is a palm slap to trap the arm. It can be done with the rear or lead hand. The important point is to control the opponent’s arm by pushing into the centerline, rather than by pulling down the hand, which can be easily countered.

Lop Sao (Grabbing hand)
Lop sao can be defined as a grabbing and pulling motion against the arm.

Jao Sao (Running hand)
Jao sao can be defined as a disengagement from the opponent’s arms while moving from one line to another. Jao sao can be done from the outside line to the inside line, inside to outside, low to high and high to low.

Jut sao (short snapping hand)
Jut sao can be defined as a short sudden jerking motion against one or both of the opponent’s arms. It can be used to: open a line, distract, or draw a defensive reaction. It should be crisp and jolt the opponent.

Huen sao (circling hand)
Huen sao can be defined as a small disengagement either from the outside to the inside line or from the inside to the outside line of the opponent. This motion differs from jao sao in that huen sao maintains contact with the opponent’s arm.

About the author: Sifu Tim Tackett began his JKD training 1971 shortly after Bruce Lee closed his Los Angeles Chinatown school. He is the founder of the Jeet Kune Do Wednesday Night Group and still teaches in Redlands, California.

About the video: Sifu Tim Tackett giving a short lesson on the Lop Sao.

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