Practical Joint Control Applications
By Grandmaster Shou-Yu Liang and Master Wen-Ching Wu
Before you begin practicing with your partner, make sure that you have a mutually agreed upon signal to let each other know when the technique is working. Excessive pressure during practice can cause permanent damage to your partner. Usually a slap with the other hand on your body or on the floor, or simply saying stop, is a good signal to your partner to ease the pressure.
Grandmaster Liang's publication, Kung Fu Elements, presents many ti, da, and shuai methods. In this introductionwe will focus on na, an abbreviation for qinna. Qinna also utilizes the principle of leverage like in a take down technique, by neutralizing and controlling a seemingly stronger opponent. By aligning yourself properly, while taking your opponent off his or her alignment, you will be able to apply a successful Qinna technique.
It is usually faster to kick and punch, than it is to apply Qinna or a take down technique on your opponent. However, sometimes a kick or a punch is ineffective for close range applications. In this situation, if you are able to apply a takedown or Qinna technique you will have an advantage over your opponent. Keep in mind that effective kicking and punching may be used instead of a Qinna technique. Conversely, Qinna techniques may also set up for further kicks and punches. We will introduce Qinna techniques from different grabbing and punching attacks. These techniques are designed to help you understand the basic applications of joint controls used in Wushu. The techniques are presented in a preset situation. Many possible variations could exist in a real life situation. To be able to successfully use the technique you must be flexible in the applications of different techniques. When one technique can't be executed, you must immediately vary it or go to another technique. The various techniques will also give you many options in the applications of the Qinna techniques. When one technique doesn't work, or if your opponent is aware of the technique you are trying to do, you may need to change the technique or distract your opponent to continue with the intended technique.
It is recommended that you have mastered the technique from the grab as presented in this chapterbefore attempting to apply the technique in other situations. The techniques are designed to introduce various common situations. When you are able to execute all the techniques successfully in a preset manner like in this chapter, you will have enough knowledge and techniques to freely apply one technique to the next to make your Qinna effective. The proper application of Qinna in these techniques will give you a good understanding of what works and what doesn't work. The more people you practice with the more you will be able to feel how the techniques should be applied to different body types and levels of strength. Once you have mastered these Qinna techniques, you will be able to vary these techniques and come up with many new techniques to fit the various situations during a real life confrontation.
The first step in learning Qinna is to understand how to neutralize a grabbing attack. It is difficult touse force against force to get away from a stronger opponent. Instead of going against your opponent's strength, find the weaker part of your opponent's body and use your entire body against that part. Once you are successful in neutralizing your opponent's grab, you can follow up with a Qinna to control your opponent. You will not be able to apply your Qinna technique if you are unable to first neutralize your opponent's attack. The best Qinna techniques are the ones that neutralize your opponent's attack while setting up a Qinna. This way your opponent will have less chance of realizing your intentions before you complete your technique.
Neutralization practice is for learning to create an angle which is disadvantageous for your opponent, aswellas, reducing your own exposure to further attack. By locating the weak points on your opponent, you can effectively neutralize your opponent's grabs. By the turning of your body or moving the opponent's arms to obstruct their own arm, you will reduce the opponent's options to continue with their attack. After you have neutralized the attack, you can then follow up with a Qinna technique.
Unless your opponent already has you in a Qinna control, they usually won't use two hands to graba hold of your arm. If they do, they will leave themselves vulnerable to an attack with your free hand. Therefore, there are typically four likely grabs to the arms that can be used. Either, they will grab you with the same side hand or cross over and grab with the other hand. They can also grab you either from the top or from the bottom. We will first introduce neutralization drills for these four types of grabs.
Neutralization is done similarly when the grabs are on your forearm, upper arms, shoulders, and many other parts of your body. Once you understand how the structure of the body works or doesn't work, then you will be able to apply techniques that place your opponent's body in positions that the body is not meant to be in, to accomplish proper Qinna controls.