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52 Blocks AOD Vs. Grabs
Copyright Pete Kautz 2018

In 52 Blocks AOD (Art of Defense) we have a number of named defensive shapes such as Skull & Bones and Closed Door / Open Door.

Each of these shapes can be used for multiple applications based on the situation. They are not limited to a single use.

For example, Closed Door can be a block (cover) against a round punch, and this is how it's first learned. But the same shape could also be a direct strike or an escape from a grab depending on the nuance of its use.

Grabs where someone tries to hold onto your arms are very common, perhaps the most rudimentary form of grappling that happens on the street.

(Many more people will just get angry and try to grab you then will know how to take you down and Apply an ankle lock or any kind of sophisticated grappling!)

So, here are three video clips for you showing some applications along these lines

In our first video we look at the Revolving Door, which is a circular downward elbow strike. Note that the weight shifts forward into the strike and not backward with the Yu Ma (Turning Horse stance) the way Wing Chun does while delivering the Kup Jarn (High to Low Elbow Strike) which otherwise looks similar.

Revolving Door vs Grab

After you free your hands, follow up with whatever you need. In these clips I'm employing a mix of closed and open hand strikes, forearm and elbow strikes, and rips with the thumbs. None of this was rehearsed, just as it happened and this is what you should do too. As much as I enjoyed learning long sequential techniques as part of Kempo and Kung Fu when I was young, they are all just examples of true FLOW which is what we seek through the arts.

In the second video, we examine the Closed Door / Open Door, which as I mentioned earlier is commonly seen as a defense against round punches. This escape from the double high grab is particularly effective when the opponent is pulling you towards them and trying to get right in your face. If their trying to keep you away at arm's length with their grab it can be harder to apply.

Closed Door / Open Door vs Grab

If the elbow connects that should help affect the release of the wrist, and if not the rest of the motion will carry you through. If you get resistance, go to something else such as the spear elbow to the body or the Revolving Door escape on the other hand side; don't continue to struggle force to force.

In the final video, we see the Closed Door / Open Door applied while holding a stick. This variation answers the old question you hear about techniques like wrist grabs, "Who's going to grab your wrist?"

Closed Door / Open Door with Stick vs Grab

As soon as there is context for the grab, "Someone who doesn't want to get hit with your stick" these classical Jujutsu / Aikijustu / Chin Na techniques make a lot more sense.

Here you see two variations. In one the escape is initiated on the stick side, and in the other the escape is initiated on the empty hand side. The second version can become a double arm trap, as seen, and then you can strike or apply holds with the stick as demonstrated.

There are a number of other shapes in 52 Blocks AOD which could be applied as counters to grabs, and we'll look at more of them in future articles.

All my very best to you,

Pete Kautz

52 Blocks Basic Training Vol.1
Coaches Lyte Burly and Pete Kautz cover essential drills for 52 such as the rolling punch, shoeshine drills, blocks and counter punches, head movement, sensitivity drills and the science behind why the blocks work to trick the eye!
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52 Blocks Footwork
Coach Lyte Burly covers footwork drills that will turbo-charge your feet and put "wheels" under all the blocks and strikes that you've learned so far. You've seen Lyte's footwork in countless YouTube sparring and training clips, now gain these skills for yourself!
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52 Blocks Advanced Footwork
Coach Lyte Burly covers advanced two-man footwork drills with special guest Dink the Professor from the UK. Bonus footage of Blocks 11-20 done with the focus mitts is covered as well!
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