We took a hard look at weapon defence tactics. The lesson began with a revision of the angles one and two analysed in the previous session. Taking away the stick we looked at the most direct empty-hand adaptation of the criss-cross angle movement. This takes the form of two forearm smashes coming in exactly the same way as the stick. Such a movement is found in several South East Asian martial arts, especially Malaysian silat. It has a satisfying feel when drilled. We used it against an incoming jab/cross and then directly onto Thai pads. Unfortunately this confidence did not translate well into pressure situations at the stand-up range. This would be backed up by the method’s lack of success in MMA. However, at the clinch range it could be argued it has some value.
We then turned our attention back to the standard edged weapon interception. The context of this situation is when the defender is cornered and has no immediate access to either an incidental weapon or an exit. The strategy focuses on pre-empting the attacker or immediately acting as the attacker gestures for a weapon. The tactic emphasises on targeting two points: the shoulder and the wrist. The shoulder is ideally sought first. We tested trying to intercept the weapon hand in isolation and then the shoulder. The shoulder proved much more efficient. However, attacking the shoulder alone is not enough and the weapon hand must be immediately brought under control. Obvious attributes from stand-up wrestling and Muay Thai’s clinch come into play once the attacking arm is secured as a reference point.