In the last few months, I have been trying to follow the rule of “elbow in, hand out”. In my practice and teaching I have observed something that needs further verification, but that seems correct. “Elbow in” means: initiate the armfrom the upper arm. Conversely, “hand out” means: initiate the arm from the hand. There are a few possible explanations for this. First, I will say a few words about the “elbow in” part of rule, then I will suggest an explanation of the “hand out” part of the rule.
In the “elbow in” part of the rule, it seems to me that at least two things are concurrently happening:
- Since the contact with the opponent is somewhere along the lower arm, the upper arm and shoulder area are free, namely free to rotate.
- Not only is the arm free to rotate, it generates more torque in the contact point with the opponent than if the was initiated from the wrist or hand. By initiating the from the upper part, our arm acts like a long-handled screwdriver. If a screw is tight, it is easier to use a long-handled screwdriver to unscrew it than to use a short-handled screwdriver. The arm performs the same function.
As far as I can tell right now, when the “elbow in” is done properly, the opponent’s grip is compromised while I am in a stronger position than before. This makes the idea of having the hand drive theand the outward push seems possible. By initiating the with the hand, I force the opponent to “stick to me” and the ends up compromising his whole structure. Then, as the hand is drives out, the opponent is pushed out.
The evidence is there to confirm the validity of the rule. What I have tried to do here is explain why they work and more importantly, how to follow them.