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A&S Sunday: Grappling

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on April 7, 2013 - 12:00am

Angela and I, with help from Wendy, tried a few of the grappling moves out of Meyer.

We started all of these right foot forward.  Translations from Forgeng, as usual.

1. If an opponent grasps you by the arms with wrestling, then rapidly grasp his left hand with your left; jerk it toward you, and meanwhile throw your right arm from outside over his left, so that your elbow comes in front on his chest or chin, and step at once with your right foot behind his left foot, and cast him off his feet.

We pulled the opponent's arm both towards and across, i.e. their left hand towards your left shoulder.  This is destabilising and gets them on the correct side for the throw, and seems to work for the other devices we tried as well.  Rather than a knee or thigh, the elbow seems to act as the fulcrum for the throw (we didn't try it, but I expect "chin" means on the left side of their chin).  The opponent should be well forward and with your elbow on them before the throw with a step on the front foot.  With all those elements in place, it seemed to work well.

2. If he grapples you with wrestling, and does not hold you fast, then grasp his right hand with your right, and jerk it toward you; grasp his elbow with your left hand, and step with your left before his right; swing him over it, or break his arm; thus fall with your chest on his arm.

"does not hold you fast" presumably just means that you still have enough freedom to get your hands into the necessary positions.  Again, the "jerk" is across the body, pulling his right hand towards your right shoulder.  Lock the arm, then it's all bad news for the other guy.

3. Grasp his left hand with your left, and jerk it toward you, and throw your right arm from outside over his left, and grasp his right arm with your right hand, and step with your right foot before him, and swing him to your right side, thus he falls.

This was all good until the last bit "swing him to your right side".  Throwing on the left, over your leg, seemed right; so this might be a left-right typo.  However, now I'm reading it again, I do have another thought.....

4. ...release your right hand, and go through underneath, and strike from below on his right elbow joint,...and with this blow, break through up from below....grasp him by the right elbow, and grip with your left hand on his arm under the elbow, and step with your right foot between his legs or behind them, and push him away from you.

This one was a bit harder.  The "break through up from below" is a familiar formula from the other weapons forms, but it's role here was not immediately clear.  The elbow strike presumably causes your opponent to let go of you, and leaves your right hand on top.  Then grab the elbow with both hands and shove with a step forward (the step forward is fairly intimidating, and gives you the necessary momentum).  Your opponent falls on his arse.

Throwing each other around for a bit on Wendy's lawn was great fun.  This was a welcome addition to our martial arts schedule and will prove useful background when we deal with grappling techniques within sword combat.

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