Self Defense: The Rule of Opposites, Part 2

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Steve Weber

By Steve Weber

Special to the Pinal Nugget

Martial Arts that include such joint control techniques as arm bars or wrist locks share a common understanding of one of the rules of opposites which makes success possible. That rule states that pressure applied to the joint must be accompanied by counter pressure. For instance, to apply any arm bar (and there are innumerable applications), you must put pressure on the elbow toward the direction that it was not meant to bend; but success will not be assured unless a counter pressure against the wrist is simultaneously applied as well. Another example of this rule is used in any attempt to place a lock on a wrist. When twisting the hand to lock out a wrist and there many applications, you must use your thumbs (often crossed) as pressure against the back your opponent’s hand while at the same time using your pinkies to exert counter pressure at the base of his palm.

I appreciate the difficulty of trying to understand a physical movement by reading about it. It makes perfect sense to me but can baffle the reader. Sort of like learning to dance by reading what step to take next.

There are many more examples of the rule of opposites. They include such concepts as distracting an opponent’s resistance in one area by striking in another area; making your opponent feel your resistance in one direction to escape from the opposite direction; and leading the opponent to believe your intention is to do one thing, while it was really meant to do something else.

The Art of combat often requires deception, especially when facing a superior opponent. When strength and skill are not enough, perhaps brains will prevail?

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

Courtney (306 Posts)

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