23 July 2010

Attacking the Pelvic Circle

A couple of weeks ago I published a post on "Low Section Punching" in martial arts and mentioned how traditional martial artists often target the danjeon -- the centre of the body's Ki. In the video below, featuring a section from National Geographic's Fight Science documentary on self-defence, a less esoteric target is mentioned. The pelvic circle is connected in the front by a piece of cartilage, which is quite weak and can easily fracture compared to the pelvic / hip bones. This cartilage is the weakest point in the pelvic circle and therefore an ideal target.

In the previously mentioned post I referred specifically to the downward angled punch, but there are a number of other Taekwon-Do techniques that are ideally suited for attacking this weak point in the pelvic circle.

The upset fingertip thrust (found in the pattern Toi-Gye, movements #2 and #5), for instance, seems to target that point of the anatomy specifically. Unfortunately this technique requires much finger conditioning.

Another technique that will work quite well is the upset punch. Instead of reaching the target at a downward angle, the upset punch reaches the target perpendicularly and will certainly cause much trauma to the pelvic circle. The upset punch uses a lot of hip rotation, which gives it much intrusive force. This fist in the photo on the right seems quite high, but keep in mind that the practitioner is standing in a fairly deep stance, a walking stance or a long stance, which means that if his opponent is standing in a normal upright posture, the first can easily reach the pelvic circle cartridge.

A similar technique to the open handed strike performed by the individual on the video above is the side fist strike performed, in this case, as an inward strike to the low section. The side fist strike, also known as a hammer-fist strike, is usually performed at high or middle section, but there is in theory no reason why it could not be used to the low section. This technique, with its swinging torque, definitely has the potential to cause much trauma to the pelvic region.The side fist strike is best used when you are not in front of your opponent; rather to his side front, or on his side.

A technique that is also ideal for attacking the pelvic region is the low side front snap kick (e.g. in pattern Joon-Gun, movements #2 and #5). Not only is this kick at the correct height for this target, it is also quite fast with extra thrusting from the kicker's hip, giving the kick so much more forward force. The focussed attacking tool (ball of the foot) is definitely capable of seriously damaging the pelvic bone's connecting cartridge. I've used this kick on the side of the groin (kicking the hip instead of the pelvic cartridge for my training partner's safety) with great effect during training sessions. Knee kicks could also be used to great effect to this target.

Please be careful when practising and performing such techniques on another person.

Images from Sonkal.taekwondo.cz 

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