This week I am going
to talk about moving beyond the initial "form" that you've learned literally
from the Hellbows Destructive Elbow Techniques DVD and progressing logically
with the material in order to maximize it.
Hellbows DVD specifically? Because it's a
good example where you have a core exercise in the form of the 5 Elbow
Shields that needs to be explored far beyond the shell that is given. The
more this is done, the more you will gain from it
But it would be easy to miss or simply learn the shell of and think "Got
So what to do? First you need to take the 5 Elbow Shields and go learn the
sequence verbatim. Do it correctly and in the original version. This is the
"root" that you must understand first.
OK, when you can do that on the one side (your dominant hand) now go and
learn the same form on the other side.
Got that one down? OK, good! Let's move on, shall we!
Next you want to do each one in repetition. For example, do 10 repetitions
of Elbow Shield 2 on just the right side.
Then do 10 repetition where you do Elbow shield 2 first on the right side
then on the left side and vice versa.
Then start to chain together the different Elbow Shields in motion forward
and back. This will necessitate using alternate side arms. Try to flow from
#1 to #2 all the way to #5 doing one technique per step.
For example, try moving across the floor forward and back in 5 steps
following this sequence:
a) Do Elbow Shield #1 on the right side
b) Do Elbow Shield #2 on the left side
c) Do Elbow Shield #3 on the right side
d) Do Elbow Shield #4 on the left side
e) Do Elbow Shield #5 on the right side
Then reverse it and start on left side with Elbow Shield #1! You get the
Now start walking in a circle and doing the elbow shields. How does this
change them over the linear versions? How about walking backward in a
Then just mix it up -
flow and go as you will - but you will have the solid technical basis to
Now, there's STILL lots of work to be done. This is just the basics of
getting these actions burned into your memory in a way that you can access
the Elbow Shields on both sides in flow.
You still need the training to make these drills relate to your larger skill
set! And you need to relate these all in motion to another person other
wise it's just abstract, right?
So, this is done by incorporating the Elbow Shields into other training such
as Flow Drills and Striking Drills on equipment.
Focus mitts allow for development of power and accuracy in offense and
defense. A good coach with the focus mitts allows their partner ample
opportunities for both and tries to bring out their best.
(The mitts also protect the coach when they are swinging punches that get
picked up with Elbow Shields!)
In empty hand flow drills such as Sumbrada, Tapping or De Cadena the Elbow
Shield simply replaces the usual defensive response. By learning to insert
the Elbow Shields at random you find the relative positioning and timing
that makes them work.
Finally, these are put together in freestyle fighting drills and self
defense scenarios. It is important that proper gear is worn as these target
the arms and head. Think elbow and forearm guards, mouthpiece, head gear,
etc. depending on what you're doing.
Oh, and yeah, the Elbow Shields all work with weapons too - so go practice
everything mentioned above from both forward and reverse grips, in both
I hope from this brief progression you see that there's lots to learn beyond
the DVD if you will just seek it out! I hope too you will see the value of
"form" as a vehicle to impart a larger curriculum in an encoded way.
All my very best to you,
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