Martial Arts in Time and Space

From the demonstration at Chicago TARDIS, 2001

The The Martial Arts in Time and Space demo was meant to illustrate some of the fallacies of martial arts as they are depicted in TV, and to provide some usuable step-by-step self defense techniques that amateur video makers could use. About 25 people showed up, which is a lot for a fan panel (and we were opposite an autograph session of the UNIT men). But most of the people who came just wanted to see some martial arts.

In this shot, I am illustrating how a woman (or lighter person) moves off the center line as she strikes. My patient opponent is standing still much more than a real villain would.
This is a badly thrown kick, an instep kick. It's one of the most useless kicks to throw, and it shows up all the time in martial arts on television. When I was explaining that it's useless in real life, I threw the kick to demonstrate, and everybody snapped pictures. I explained that this was NOT one of the good kicks, but people in the audience said they just wanted to take pictures of kicks.

The key to these fan panels is just to go with the flow, so I said okay.
How to slip a punch. Again, my villain is giving me a lot of slack. But the purpose of the demo was to show people how to set up a fight scene. John punches, and I "slip" the punch so that I can come back and counter attack.
How to stick and trap. As long as the person defending doesn't try to wrestle with the arms of the stronger opponent, she can push the atacker's arms across his body to momentarily jam him (or "trap" him)/ This gives the smaller, lighter, weaker person a chance to get in a strike.
How to set up a fight scene. The key is to have both people rehearse the steps slowly so that they can get the motion down. They also need to practice which way to fall back and move around.
Adding the drama. Now John looks like he's getting pretty beat up. But you can see that I start to laugh as he "chews the scenery." The audience appreciated John's enthusiasm. He was great.
The self defense sequences. Up until this part, everything was about how to set up the motion, what kicks would actually work, and how fighters actually move. This section was meant to show step by step methods of getting out of some typical attacks. The first, and most typical, is the choke.
Escape and counter from a side-choke on the ground. This is the same technique depicted in the old TKD textbook by Richard Chun. It's also used by grapplers. The woman jams her near knee into the attacker's chest to stop him from bearing down on her. Then she uses her hips to swing her other leg high and scissor him across his throat.
The Villain and Heroine. I warn John that if he keeps smiling while having his picture taken, he will lose his bad guy image. But John does not seem all that concerned. Like most men who play villains, he actually has a heart of gold.

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