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Martial Arts Targets and Take-downs

Updated on October 25, 2015
NateB11 profile image

I've been training in martial arts since the 80s, consistently since the 90s. I am a 2nd degree Black Belt in Kenpo. And I train in Eskrima.

For understanding angles in martial arts it is recommended that you read about martial arts mathematics. For understanding dimensional zones and the center-line in martial arts, it is recommended that you read How Not to Get Hit.

Introduction

In terms of self defense, not only is it important to protect your center-line and keep a strong base (or stance), in addition to entering your attacker's center-line, and understanding distance and range to achieve this result, but it is equally important to understand how to open the opponent's center-line and take away his base. For him to defeat you, he must attack your center-line, where your vulnerable targets are, and disrupt your base; so the reverse is true: For you to defend yourself, you must unbalance the attacker, disrupt his dimensional zones, and enter and attack his center-line.

This can be achieved in various ways, which we will explore in this article.

Ways to Open the Centerline and Disturb the Base

Move to His Centerline
Move the Opponent to Open His Centerline
Move to Where He Has No Base
Use foot maneuvers to position yourself in your opponent's centerline
Block, bump, strike, kick, sweep your opponent into a position that opens his centerline
Conveniently also in his centerline, the opponent has no base. Move to this position and he is more easily taken off his feet or otherwise unsettled.

Moving Yourself To His Center-line

One way to gain access to the attacker's center-line is by putting yourself in a position, at the correct angle to attack his center-line. This is done by moving at angles that render a straight line to his targets.

Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Broken Gift, against an unfriendly handshake in which the intent of the handshake is to distract and control so the attacker can deliver a punch.
Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Broken Gift, against an unfriendly handshake in which the intent of the handshake is to distract and control so the attacker can deliver a punch. | Source
Before Jamie can punch, Glenn applies an arm bar using his own arm as leverage to nullify Jamie's attack.
Before Jamie can punch, Glenn applies an arm bar using his own arm as leverage to nullify Jamie's attack. | Source
Glenn then delivers a back-knuckle strike to the face.
Glenn then delivers a back-knuckle strike to the face. | Source
Moving into Jamie's center-line by stepping towards it with his right foot, Glenn strikes and grabs Jamie's head.
Moving into Jamie's center-line by stepping towards it with his right foot, Glenn strikes and grabs Jamie's head. | Source
Shifting into a good fighting stance with his left foot back, Glenn is now in Jamie's center-line...
Shifting into a good fighting stance with his left foot back, Glenn is now in Jamie's center-line... | Source
From there, he delivers a forearm strike to Jamie's jaw or most available target.
From there, he delivers a forearm strike to Jamie's jaw or most available target. | Source
Jamie and Glenn face off, Glenn armed with a club, to show you a Kenpo technique called Checking the Storm.
Jamie and Glenn face off, Glenn armed with a club, to show you a Kenpo technique called Checking the Storm. | Source
As Glenn delivers an over-head club attack, Jamie maneuvers aside, positioned in Glenn's center-line.
As Glenn delivers an over-head club attack, Jamie maneuvers aside, positioned in Glenn's center-line. | Source
Being in Glenn's center-line, Jamie delivers a kick to the groin.
Being in Glenn's center-line, Jamie delivers a kick to the groin.
Jamie shifts to prepare for another kick and as he does so he strikes Glenn in a raking fashion with his right hand.
Jamie shifts to prepare for another kick and as he does so he strikes Glenn in a raking fashion with his right hand. | Source
Jamie then delivers a side kick to the knee.
Jamie then delivers a side kick to the knee. | Source

Move The Opponent To Open The Center-line

The other way to gain access to your opponent's targets is by moving him, through manipulation, blocks, or strikes.

Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Buckling Branch, against a Left Front Thrust Kick
Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Buckling Branch, against a Left Front Thrust Kick | Source
Glenn blocks the kick.
Glenn blocks the kick. | Source
Glenn then has access to Jamie's center-line.
Glenn then has access to Jamie's center-line. | Source
Glenn delivers a front scoop kick to Jamie's groin while checking him at the shoulders.
Glenn delivers a front scoop kick to Jamie's groin while checking him at the shoulders. | Source
Glenn maintains the check at Jamie's shoulders and prepares to kick.
Glenn maintains the check at Jamie's shoulders and prepares to kick. | Source
Glenn delivers a side thrust kick to the back of Jamie's knee.
Glenn delivers a side thrust kick to the back of Jamie's knee. | Source
Glenn claws Jamie's eyes and face.
Glenn claws Jamie's eyes and face. | Source
Being in Jamie's center-line where he has no bracing angle, Glenn drags Jamie to the ground and drops a knee on his head.
Being in Jamie's center-line where he has no bracing angle, Glenn drags Jamie to the ground and drops a knee on his head. | Source
Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Calming the Storm.
Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Calming the Storm. | Source
Jamie blocks the attack and strikes at the same time.
Jamie blocks the attack and strikes at the same time. | Source
To open Glenn's center-line, Jamie strikes or bumps his right shoulder.
To open Glenn's center-line, Jamie strikes or bumps his right shoulder. | Source
Jamie then delivers a series of strikes.
Jamie then delivers a series of strikes. | Source
Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called the Dance of Death, against a right step-through thrust punch.
Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called the Dance of Death, against a right step-through thrust punch. | Source
Glenn slips and blocks the punch.
Glenn slips and blocks the punch. | Source
He then strikes Jamie in the groin.
He then strikes Jamie in the groin. | Source
Glenn knees Jamie's thigh to open his center-line and to grab his leg.
Glenn knees Jamie's thigh to open his center-line and to grab his leg. | Source
Glenn has Jamie's leg in his hand.
Glenn has Jamie's leg in his hand. | Source
He then delivers an elbow strike which takes Jamie down.
He then delivers an elbow strike which takes Jamie down. | Source
Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Gathering Clouds.
Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Gathering Clouds. | Source
Glenn slips and parries the punch.
Glenn slips and parries the punch. | Source
Glenn delivers a chop to Jamie's ribs.
Glenn delivers a chop to Jamie's ribs. | Source
Glenn then drives an elbow into Jamie's ribs as he lands behind Jamie's right leg.
Glenn then drives an elbow into Jamie's ribs as he lands behind Jamie's right leg. | Source
Source
Glenn buckles, or sweeps, Jamie's right leg with his right leg, to open the center-line.
Glenn buckles, or sweeps, Jamie's right leg with his right leg, to open the center-line. | Source
Glenn kicks to the groin.
Glenn kicks to the groin. | Source
Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Thrusting Salute.
Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Thrusting Salute. | Source
Glenn blocks the kick.
Glenn blocks the kick. | Source
Now in Jamie's center-line, Glenn delivers a front kick to the groin.
Now in Jamie's center-line, Glenn delivers a front kick to the groin. | Source
Glenn delivers a heel-palm strike.
Glenn delivers a heel-palm strike. | Source

Move To Where He Has No Base

In your opponent's center-line is also the place where he has no base; in Kenpo terminology, where he has no Bracing Angle. This is where if he is hit, you disturb his depth zone, disrupt his balance, and if pulled or pushed he can be taken down.

Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called the Back Breaker, against a surprise attack from the flank.
Jamie and Glenn demonstrate a Kenpo technique called the Back Breaker, against a surprise attack from the flank. | Source
Glenn parries the attack.
Glenn parries the attack. | Source
Glenn then positions himself in back of Jamie in his center-line and where he has no bracing angle, by stepping with his left foot to the rear of Jamie and then sliding his right foot back to put him in an adequate stance.
Glenn then positions himself in back of Jamie in his center-line and where he has no bracing angle, by stepping with his left foot to the rear of Jamie and then sliding his right foot back to put him in an adequate stance. | Source
Glenn delivers a knee to the spine.
Glenn delivers a knee to the spine. | Source
Pulling Jamie off his base, Glenn puts him on his knee.
Pulling Jamie off his base, Glenn puts him on his knee. | Source
Glenn wrenches Jamie's neck.
Glenn wrenches Jamie's neck. | Source
Glenn delivers a hand-sword strike.
Glenn delivers a hand-sword strike.
Glenn claws the eyes.
Glenn claws the eyes. | Source
Source
Source
Glenn strikes the clavicles and drops Jamie to the ground by taking his knee out from under him.
Glenn strikes the clavicles and drops Jamie to the ground by taking his knee out from under him. | Source
Glenn then drops a knee to the head.
Glenn then drops a knee to the head. | Source
Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Circling Destruction.
Glenn and Jamie demonstrate a Kenpo technique called Circling Destruction. | Source
Glenn parries the punch.
Glenn parries the punch. | Source
Glenn strikes the ribs.
Glenn strikes the ribs. | Source
Glenn moves to position himself in Jamie's center-line and hooks Jamie's chin with his left hand.
Glenn moves to position himself in Jamie's center-line and hooks Jamie's chin with his left hand. | Source
Glenn now in Jamie's center-line and controlling his head, strikes him in the neck.
Glenn now in Jamie's center-line and controlling his head, strikes him in the neck. | Source
Glenn scoop kicks the groin.
Glenn scoop kicks the groin. | Source
Glenn delivers an elbow strike to the kidneys.
Glenn delivers an elbow strike to the kidneys. | Source
Bumping Jamie at the waist with his shoulder, Glenn grabs Jamie's ankles.
Bumping Jamie at the waist with his shoulder, Glenn grabs Jamie's ankles. | Source
Having no bracing angle, Jamie is easily taken off his base.
Having no bracing angle, Jamie is easily taken off his base. | Source
Glenn delivers a kick to the groin.
Glenn delivers a kick to the groin. | Source

Conclusion

So, it is advantageous to understand at what angles you can enter your opponent's center-line, how to get there to do it, and how to disturb his base or balance.

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    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thank you, stkngfang, for your attention to my work and for the comments. Definitely principles that work and can be applied, which is the beauty of Kenpo; application of sound principles.

    • strkngfang profile image

      strkngfang 4 years ago

      Excellent hub & great pictures, with perfect insights. I'm a Tracy kenpo Sandan (3rd deg black belt) and I was taught the same principals, that do work. The techniques shown are very similar to ours as well as the names.

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      aikikenjitsu. Yes, you're absolutely right, the two arts blend well, and the karambit is well suited for Kenpo techniques.

    • aikikenjitsu profile image

      Robert Mc Dowell 4 years ago from Puyallup, WA

      NateB11

      Eskrima is an excellent adjunct to Kenpo, because they’re both extremely fast and to the point. A couple of years ago I read about Kenpo schools starting to add the Karambit to their curriculum and I can see why. The movements of Kenpo are a natural for using the karambit. Not only is it an effective weapon, but the ring helps keep it in your hand. With the ring it can also be used as a ‘pocket stick.’ In fact, it feels as if Kenpo was made for it.

      Never stop practicing. Later.

    • NateB11 profile image
      Author

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      aikikenjitsu, it's good to see someone on here that also does Kenpo. Yes, I have a preference for Ed Parker's Kenpo, have done it for quite a few years, and it's a very good base art, builds very good attributes and burns in good principles. My instructor also taught some ground fighting, he's a bit eclectic, though stresses Kenpo. What I've found is transitioning into Eskrima arts was easier after training Kenpo, I've done both. I used to teach kids, they are a handful, so true. I taught for several years at my instructor's school, adults and kids, and once in a while teach people privately. I, personally, have slowed down my training, but like you said, it sticks with you. Good to have you here, I'm glad you stopped by and checked out my hub, and shared your experience too.

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Hahaha! Yeah, I know. He's pretty brutal.

    • NornsMercy profile image

      Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      ....and to think all this time I thought Green Lantern was a good guy... :(

    • aikikenjitsu profile image

      Robert Mc Dowell 4 years ago from Puyallup, WA

      I have black belts in both Tracy and Ed Parker (American Kenpo). I'm long in the tooth, starting my training in 1970. I taught my own apatation of Kenpo for twenty years and then shifted to Ed Parker kenpo. I prefer Ed Parker to Tracy. I added my own ground techniuqes through the years. They were only the type that allowed you to quickly get back onto your feet. I still teach a couple of students at my home. I have always taught adults. Teaching kids is such an an anoyance. You've made a smart move picking Knepo as your art. Its moves are more circular, thus you can still be effective in your later years, I am at 70. I do it more for physical fitness than any other reason, but it's there if I need it.

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