Grab vs No Grab

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby johnwang on Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:47 pm

Here is a reason why you want top grab your opponent. It's called "撒(Sa) - Casting" like you cast a fishnet.



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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby LaoDan on Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:10 pm

I do not use Facebook, so I cannot comment specifically on the video in the OP, but I have also heard people question grabbing during PH practice.

If one is doing formalized push-hands, then it may be fine to criticize grabbing, especially when just peng, ji, lu and an are the focus of the practice. But grabbing is certainly a part of TJQ and is one of the eight jin that are practiced (i.e. cai). So, if the practitioners are practicing free style PH, then they can agree to include grabbing, elbowing, trips, throws, strikes...

If someone relies on grabbing to maintain their balance during PH practice, then that indicates that they probably have problems with their central equilibrium. But the person being grabbed should practice defending against a grab such that their opponent’s grab is ineffective or disadvantageous. So the person being grabbed also needs work if they cannot neutralize or take advantage of the opponent’s grab.

I personally prefer trying to influence my opponent by stickiness, or by using a changeable grip (rather than a full hand grab as is often encountered). There are several practice methods one can use for training alternatives to the often encountered full hand grab. For example, practicing staff and spear can help develop stickiness since the interacting wooden shafts of these weapons cannot grasp the opponent’s weapon, and they have a tendency to either slide or bounce off of the other weapon. If one practices sticky spear (influencing the opponent through the contact between the weapons), then those skills can be incorporated into the weaponless PH practice. One can also practice grabbing in a manner similar to what is used for controlling a sword/jian. This fairly changeable grip can also be used during weaponless PH practice.

So, to me, grabbing can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby johnwang on Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:15 pm

LaoDan wrote:I personally prefer trying to influence my opponent by stickiness,..

The issue for "stickiness" is it's too easy for your opponent to get away. You will need a fish hook to catch a fish.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby LaoDan on Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:40 am

johnwang wrote:
LaoDan wrote:I personally prefer trying to influence my opponent by stickiness,..

The issue for "stickiness" is it's too easy for your opponent to get away. You will need a fish hook to catch a fish.

It’s a trade off. Stickiness is more difficult to detect the influence, and is more changeable, while the grab is more fixed and easy to detect. I often use stickiness first and “fish hooks” (often grabbing with the finger tips rather than with the palm) when they begin to detect the influence and attempt to get away.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby Subitai on Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:08 pm

As having been discussed here...grabs can be good or somewhat bad(i.e. hindering or revealing). They can be for a quick mil-second or more prolonged.

But the point of my OP was that Grabbing happens and I believe that those people who don't train for being grabbed are at a disadvantage.

Some seem to imply that grabbing is a negative or even a "TELL" (as in poker) For example, when you grab me I know where your hand is and "unless you let go" I don't really fear that hand persay... that it cannot strike me.
- But like most things, this really depends on who's doing the grabbing. :)

Another common saying is " when you grab, you're also revealing or literally hindering (grabbing) yourself". Also often described as "your mind is in the grab, therefore you can be lead to make mistakes". This 2nd one can be true if you don't know what your doing.
- It really depends on who's doing it. It can be soft and redirecting or it can be sharp (strong) with purpose.
- As JW mentioned earlier it can be for just a quick Grab to get a reaction
- Just like chess, who is better at it and who can read the signs 1st.

Also, grabbing (with the opposing thumb & index finger) via the "Tigers mouth" is different than grabbing without the "Index finger" For example, using the Thumb with opposing Pinky, Ring, and somewhat the Middle finger" (but NOT using the index finger) is different with other purposes.

Grabs are not just on flesh, it can be on clothes; like jackets or pants legs ...hell even hair or beards.

When I say GRAB...I'm referring to the use of the "Opposing Thumb". If people want to talk about Hooks with the fingers or Monkey type grabs (IE. without the thumb) that's ok too.
Last edited by Subitai on Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby Bhassler on Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:35 pm

Subitai wrote:But the point of my OP was that Grabbing happens and I believe that those people who don't train for being grabbed are at a disadvantage.


+1

As to sticking vs. grabbing, sticking is useful for maintaining contact or control with parts of your body where you don't have a thumb, like forearms, legs, shoulders, etc. It's not really an either/or proposition...
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby johnwang on Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:05 pm

If I rotate my arm the same direction as your arm is moving, you will never be able to make your arm to contact my arm.

When I grab your arm,

1. I can affect your balance, but you can't affect my balance.
2. I know when I want to release that grip, but you don't.
3. I can guide your arm to a temporary place so your arm won't be in my entering path. You don't know where I'll guide your arm to.
4. When you are thinking about my grip, I'm thinking about your head. I'm 1 step ahead of you.
5. ...

Example of 4.

I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby LaoDan on Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:21 am

johnwang wrote:When I grab your arm,

1. I can affect your balance, but you can't affect my balance.
2. I know when I want to release that grip, but you don't.
3. I can guide your arm to a temporary place so your arm won't be in my entering path. You don't know where I'll guide your arm to.
4. When you are thinking about my grip, I'm thinking about your head. I'm 1 step ahead of you.
5. ...

My experiences are different from yours.

1. I do not just submit to grabs (give up), or fight grabs (resist), or try to break free from grabs (flee), but try to use their grab (neither resisting nor letting loose) to affect their balance. This often involves pressuring (attacking) through their yang surfaces in the direction of their spine (or upper center of mass). [Note that this is different than just trying to push or pull through the grabbing hand’s contact point.]
2. If pressuring as described in 1, then when they let go they release the resistance to your coming in, and one can then strike. One would already have energy directed at the opponent if pressuring through their yang surface, and it would just be like “releasing the bow” to strike them.
3. If we are connected through the contact of the grab, I do not understand why we could not both influence the path of each other. Whoever is more skilled, or who has the better positioning, should be able to influence the other. I do not understand why you think that the grabber is the only person who can influence the other’s path.
4. I do not think about the grab to the exclusion of everything else! Likewise, if I am pressuring them through their grab, would they ignore it?
5. ...
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby LaoDan on Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:09 am

Untrained people typically respond to grabs by fighting against them, either resisting or trying to pull away. These responses give only single energies at the point of the grab – either pushing against (all yang) or pulling away (all yin). Most people with training learn to break away from a grab by rotating the point of contact in some manner in order to escape from a weak part of the grip. This rotation produces yin on one side, and yang on the other side, of the grab.

TJQ does not emphasize breaking away from an opponent, rather, we prefer to maintain contact and attempt to gain control through that contact. So, instead of using the rotation (differentiation between yin and yang) to break free, I train to use this yin+yang to affect the grabber through their grab, without breaking away (although one could still use this rotation to break away if desired). Another alternative would be to break their grip while pivoting, while maintaining contact, in order to reverse the position and grab them instead.

If the opponent maintains their grip, then either (or both) of the energies can be used to influence them (emphasizing the yin pulling and/or the yang pushing). It can even be used to make it difficult for the opponent to release their grip. This can be demonstrated by having someone grab your wrist, then rotating your arm until their wrist is locked back; from here (with the locked wrist) it can be difficult for the opponent to let go.

The same energy that is used to lock an opponent’s wrist back can be used to attack their yang (the outside/back of their wrist and arm). If done skillfully, this attacking of their yang can be used to transfer control through their arm and all the way to their torso. This is an example of what I try to do for TJQ in response to a grab. Of course, the yin+yang control (simultaneously pulling and pushing) at the point of contact (the grab) makes the wrist lock more effective than just trying to apply the push (yang alone). Done skillfully, the yin+yang application of energy to the opponent should also make it more difficult for them to move their arm in an attempt to relive the wrist lock, while simultaneously allowing one to transfer control through the grabber’s arm all the way to their torso.

Grabbing the clothing is different than grabbing the arm or wrist, but since I do not have as much experience with this, someone else will have to address how TJQ can respond to someone grabbing their clothing.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby johnwang on Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:53 am

LaoDan wrote:having someone grab your wrist, then rotating your arm until their wrist is locked back; from here (with the locked wrist) it can be difficult for the opponent to let go.

When you rotate your arm, you will rotate your arm in the direction that against your opponent's thumb and not against his other 4 fingers. From the way that your opponent grab your wrist, he can already predict the direction that your arm is going to rotate. He can then take advantage on your "arm rotation". He is 1 step against you.

I agree that this depends on individual MA skill. But IMO, if 2 persons are on the same level, the person who has the grip will have advantage because he is 1 step ahead of his opponent.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby johnwang on Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 am

LaoDan wrote:Grabbing the clothing is different than grabbing the arm or wrist, but since I do not have as much experience with this, someone else will have to address how TJQ can respond to someone grabbing their clothing.

A pair of monster grip can make a big difference here. The issue is if you don't train grip, you will never be able to develop monster grip.
Last edited by johnwang on Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby LaoDan on Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:18 pm

johnwang wrote:When you rotate your arm, you will rotate your arm in the direction that against your opponent's thumb and not against his other 4 fingers. From the way that your opponent grab your wrist, he can already predict the direction that your arm is going to rotate. He can then take advantage on your "arm rotation". He is 1 step against you.

I agree that this depends on individual MA skill. But IMO, if 2 persons are on the same level, the person who has the grip will have advantage because he is 1 step ahead of his opponent.

For your emphasis, what you state is probably accurate.

I take a slightly different view when seeking to control through, rather than break free from, a grab. From my perspective, there are several yang surfaces that one can express energy through. For example, two yang surfaces are toward the thumb and toward the back of the wrist (the best control is usually achieved by using both simultaneously), with both being directed towards the elbow/shoulder/torso (not away as when trying to break free). Depending on the situation, these can be expressed through pivoting/rolling (minimal circles) at the point of contact without the need for big movements of the arm (big rotations through space). Do you feel that the grabber can take advantage of a small pivot/roll that does not involve a large rotation through space?

I suspect that you are used to large movements due to practicing with people who are trying to break free from the grab rather than simply transmitting control through that point of contact. To be fair, that response is probably much more common than someone trying to control through the contact point. But that is not the approach that I emphasize in my training.

It may be too difficult for me to express these ideas well in words, but I also understand your point. You point is probably accurate in the majority of situations, but I do not think that it is universally true.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby johnwang on Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:08 pm

LaoDan wrote:Do you feel that the grabber can take advantage of a small pivot/roll that does not involve a large rotation through space?

Now our discussion has moved from the skill level and into the ability level. If you have more experience in this area than your opponent does, you win. Otherwise you lose.

IMO, it's very difficult to discussion CMA on the ability level. If you say that

- when you touch anybody on this planet, that person will die,
- nobody on this planet can land 4 oz force on your body,
- ...

none of the CMA discussion will make any sense.
Last edited by johnwang on Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby everything on Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:58 pm

in jacket wrestling (no doubt no one with massive experience will do this), if someone grabs my lapel and has only one contact point, I can still move easily by removing the slack from his arm, then just moving. further i can put two or more contact points (really 3 I suppose) on his one arm.

no one with more experience will do this one contact point only thing so the above is probably moot. still, at about 7:45 blue has 2 grips on lapel (it looks like), but white takes control of blue's arms and body, so i'm not sure if that is skill or ability or what. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doHIvJIqAL4
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Re: Grab vs No Grab

Postby meeks on Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:51 pm

I lean towards the concept that "no grabbing allowed" is the vestigial remains of our European boxing ancestry.
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