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In A Crowded Elevator

When I am in a crowded elevator, I often ask my self "which Karate techniques would work best under these conditions?"

High kicks are definitely out as are long stances. Most throws would also be impossible -- no seionage or tomoenoge here.

This made me think about two of the general ways to describe Chinese martial arts: short fist boxing or long fist boxing. In an elevator, short fist would be the way to go.

So what techniques would work the best? In my opinion, the use of elbow strikes and blocks are favored by these conditions. An elbow can also be used to parry and attack and serve as an entry to grappling techniques. Even if you can't throw in an elevator, you can twist joints. This is a useful way to push or manipulate one attacker into another.

Think for a moment about all the elbow techniques you know. How many did you come up with?

Here is a short list (in English):

Forward elbow strike (as in Pinan Godan, Passai and Kusanku)
Side elbow strike (as in Naihanchi Shodan)
Side elbow strike (as in the first movement of Naihanchi Nidan)
Forward elbow strike (as in the middle of Naihanchi Nidan)
Forward elbow strike (as a follow through to a punch)
Rear elbow strike (like your returning arm when you punch)
Augmented rear elbow strike (as in the end of Pinan Sandan)
Rising elbow strike (as in Fukyugata Ni and the ending of Gojushiho)
Rising elbow strike that just comes to the plane of your body)
Side elbow block (like the last one but twisted)
Forward elbow block (as near the end of Pinan Sandan)
Downward elbow strike (as in the beginning of Pinan Nidan)
Downward elbow strike (as after you have kicked the attacker in the groin)
All of the above also done as parries
All of the above also done in response to grabs
All of the above done in response to kicks

The list goes on and on. From an elbow block or strike, it is very easy to follow through with an uraken (backfist) technique. It is also easy to return with another elbow strike moving the in the opposite direction. After a forward elbow strike, for example, it is easy to follow through with a reverse elbow strike. A punch is followed by an elbow which is followed by a reverse elbow which is followed by an uraken which reverses into an age zuki which is followed by a rising elbow strike after which you turn and deliver a backward elbow strike followed by an uraken to the groin, etc. Soon you are a whirling cloud of elbows and fists...

All in a crowded elevator.


Charles C. Goodin