English Bare Fist


#1

Ive found it somewhat difficult to find resources on this neglected fighting system, however I am on the way to fighting decently. I chose this style mostly for that I have English ancestry. If I had been say, Thai, I probably would have signed up for the first local Muay Thai studio I found (not difficult where I live) or what ever style any other ancestry I had practice. That said, I have a bit more freedom than most to say what is or isnt English Bare Fist. I sometimes mix in some other moves from other systems, such as Wing Chun and Aikido. This explains the basics of the way I try to think and train, for any interested:
The first thing most martial arts studios would teach you is stance and posture, but I would rather start with the situation that you find yourself in, or the “situation” for short. Why is the person mad at you/ want to harm you? Should it really come to blows? If you know that you cannot avoid a confrontation, that it may be necessary to use force against someone or a group, then think about “room” or space. How much of it do you have? Can you back up and avoid their blows? If they only shove, only shove back - dont escalate the conflict, but defend yourself. Keep your hands at angles to them. What I mean by that is point your arms towards them, half to three quarters of their full extention. If you are closer to them, extend your arms less (to the point that at very close distance you are using your elbows(and knees)), if you are farther, extend them more and use more ranged strikes and blocks. Blocking and striking require ultimately the same understanding of rotating the body to move the force of your body and that of your opponent. Be aware of the middle of their motion - that is - which direction can you push that changes the arc of their attack away from you? Never meet an attack straight on, unless there is no other choice (always deflect, some times grab and grapple). Blocks should be done with the outside edge of the palm, opposite from the thumb, or the elbow (with the hand open to expose more bone). Shoulders and knees can be employed to block blows near them. Kicks and straight punches: I hope people can make a decent fist? If you are unsure, just clench your four fingers firmly and curl the thumb on the outside of the fist, firmly pushing against the fist with its side. The fist should be loose to greater or lesser degree until just before impact on the opponent’s body, then clenched tightly. The wrist should be straight the whole time, unless throwing a backfist or forefist. The back- and forefists are mainly used to throw a blow in a different direction than they are thinking of at the moment. For example, if you block their straight punch and wrench the same fist up to their face in an arc shape. A surprising angle can take all but the most wary off guard.
You should keep them in your binocular vision at all times. Dont look away from them, but dont look directly at your intended target, either. Stand at an angle to them, either left or right forward. There are those who recommend the right hand should lead, some the left, but I believe it good to train both ways to be able to handle any situation. If they are shorter than you, lean forward and keep weight on your lead foot or evenly distributed. If your opponent is taller than you, lean slightly back.


#2

Fun! Lol. Once you have a little experience you might consider teaching some of this and sparring at a meetup.