Self Defense: The Concepts of Body Mechanics

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Understanding how our body and our opponent’s body work is one way to define Body Mechanics. Actually it is far more complex than that. Elements of Physical Science, including concepts of the Fulcrum/ Lever; the Wedge; the Incline Plane; the Pulley and the Screw are required in order to grasp the importance of controlling, not only your own weight, balance, and power, but must include that of your adversary as well. It can certainly be difficult to maintain harmonious physical coordination while two people are engaged in combat. However, a fundamental knowledge of these basic principles will be necessary for a satisfactory outcome.

Concepts regarding the Fulcrum/Lever can include the arm and the leg, particularly the elbow and the knee. Since both joints only bend one way, applying a lock that counters the normal function of the limb will cause enough pain to complete a throw or a pin.

Concepts regarding the Wedge can be demonstrated by using the forearm or the elbow to create an opening between clinched bodies or limbs with sufficient space to escape a grip, or use the opening to maintain your own control.

Concepts regarding the Incline Plane are essential for performing leg sweeps, hip throws, shoulder throws, and “Mugger” throws. This principle includes the ability to leverage an opponent into a compromised position and much like a dump truck unloading its cargo, create a “slide” that accelerates the throw without expending extra effort.

Concepts regarding the Pulley can be experienced during an “Extension” throw or while doing many wrist locks or wrist throws. Sinew being stretched around joints pulls whatever it’s attached to.

Concepts of the Screw are a vital part of any attempt to take a person to the ground. They are motivated to move in a circular fashion by use of techniques that create pain, leverage, lead, or any combination thereof. They are forced to spiral downward, “like being driven down a circuitous mountain road”, until pinned on the floor. The effect is compelling and is often used as a police arresting technique.

Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 N. Oracle Rd., in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.

Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at www.AikidoAcademyOfArizona.com.

Steve Weber (13 Posts)

Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 N. Oracle Rd., in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at www.AikidoAcademyOfArizona.com.


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