Not stopping when tapping

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by 9021oh, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. 9021oh

    9021oh New Member

    I have been taking Kenpo classes for 2 months. However, I not sure if this is part of the training or if all martial arts classes are like this. When the instructor is showing submissions (arm bars, arm logs, wrist locks) he really inflicts pain and when the I and other students tap, there's a long delay. It's almost like he enjoys hearing us scream out loud.

    Please tell me if this is the "Kenpo style" of teaching. My gut is telling me somebody is really going to get hurt.
  2. tonyv107

    tonyv107 Valued Member

    Maybe you should speak up. Just because he is the instructor doesn't mean he can just ignore your taps and continue the hold/crank. But if no one says anything he might not think anything is wrong with what he is doing.
  3. 9021oh

    9021oh New Member

    He's ignoring the taps. I actually say "stop stop, that's enough" and there's still a delay. Today it hurt so bad I almost felt like I had to defend myself. I'm just curious if this is the Kenpo style or if there's some lesson in all of this? Either way, it almost feels like a power trip or showing off and I really feel like I'm going to get hurt.
  4. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Depends on how experienced the instructor is. Experienced people tend to know how tight they can hold something without causing serious damage. They will bring it to that point rather than completely letting go.

    You would not want to end up in a real fight with a guy with a knife and he taps out of an arm bar so you let go and then he gets up and stabs you with the knife. All that goes into muscle memory.

    On the other hand, there are some locks that you really got to be careful with such as knee locks and ankle locks because they can happen without someone feeling they are in real danger due to adrenaline and such.

    Error on the side of caution.
  5. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Oh missed this post sorry.

    Ask the guy what you can do as the one on the receiving end to protect yourself. Not how to escape the technique but rather how to protect yourself while the technique is being applied.

    There may be a way you can bend that will help ensure you won't likely get injured in training. Always be looking for that stuff because instinctively you should always be protecting yourself, even when on the receiving end, you are taking measures for your own safety. Hope this makes sense.

    P.S. if you are hurting still, maybe you should be icing it and doing a light massage, always away from the heart, not towards.
  6. tonyv107

    tonyv107 Valued Member

    I have never trained in kenpo but in Ju jitsu and we do spend time doing standing wristlocks/arm bars and I'll tell you my instructors have never done that. I would get out If I were you and find a place with better instructors
  7. krevon

    krevon Valued Member

    Sometimes my teacher holds a bit longer, under the right circumstances it helps to take your thresh hold a bit farther and shows what the techniques feels like.
  8. izumizu

    izumizu Banned Banned

    With adults it is not as crucial, though everyone, especially those with more training, need to remain sensitive to the feedback from their practice partners, and the varying degrees of flexibility, and/or past injuries of their partners.

    With children and teens this becomes extremely crucial, as their flexibility will take them beyond what will cause damage before the pain actually resonates through their bodies. And as their bodies are still developing, this could cause lasting damage.

    Another thing you might consider is asking the instructor why we tap, or what the purpose of the tap is.

    I completely agree with what Rebel Wado, krevon and tonyv107 post.

    If it is beyond a mere stretching of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments then there are some serious issues going on. Control of a person, and if a technique is properly applied should not last past the first few rapid two or three taps (in actuality should be in the process of being removed as, or before the first tap sounds out). If this person is helping you into a stretch, that is one thing. As you say if you think it is a power trip, then that is a complete different aspect. Repetitive damage to these muscles, tendons, and ligaments that may some day require surgery should be left for matters outside the dojo.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  9. Kwan Jang

    Kwan Jang Valued Member

    I would have a respectful and private talk with your instructor and see what his take on it is. I've known some very good technicians in JJJ and Kempo that. while not injuring the people they work with, have a disdain for the tapout. They do have enough control to avoid injury, but they want to get through to their students that if this was real, they would be seriously damaged or even killed and that they feel that many people tap out too soon and don't even try for escapes or reversals.

    Having said that, this is NOT the type of approach that I take or endorse. I still compete in Subbmission Grappling and Jiu-Jitsu on a world class level and I always tell my students to obey the tap because you are not feeling what your opponent is feeling. It is training and your partner has the final say regarding their own well being. IMO, if you have enough respect to be rolling with them or even working drills with them, you should respect their safety and right to it.

    As an instructor, if I feel my students are tapping to easily and prematurely, I'll give the class the story about Helio Gracie's habit of whispering in people's ear "you're dead" after they tapped out from his chokes. The emphasis being that if that had been for real in self-defense and you could do nothing about it, the choke would be fatal if he had chose it to be...and at that point there was nothing that you could do about it.

    OTOH, IF after you speak with your instructor, it seems that he IS on an ego trip and just likes to abuse students or doesn't care about injuring them or you, I'd be quick to find a better instructor.
  10. SeongIn

    SeongIn Banned Banned

    There is a cultural difference between Japanese and Korean martial art regarding tapping during a joint or cavity grappling techniques during training or exhibition.

    All Japanese based arts I have been aware of see the tap as a sign of surrender and, therefore, execution of the technique is supposed to stop at that time.

    Korean based arts, however, view the tap as a sign of proper technique execution by the performer of technique and pain threshold by receiver of technique and, therefore, lessen the severity of execution and thereby the pain level but still maintain the technique until it is appropriate to release it. When they are instructing others by demonstrating on a person, they may hold the grappling considerably longer to allow everyone to pick out the details of what is going on in the technique. The same is true for when they are doing exhibitions. However, for one's own practice of technique it is sufficient to execute the technique and greatly lessen the severity once the partner taps.

    American Kenpo/Kempo is actually very loosely based on heritage from japanese or chinese arts. Likely, there is not a set standard within Kenpo/Kempo on this issue as it is somewhat "free-style".
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  11. forero

    forero Valued Member

    From my not very varied experience with it, instructors do generally cause pain. Partly to show you what you might be doing to a partner, partly to help you really understand how the technique works. I found that what a lot of my instructors did was to bring my to a point where, if i resisted the wrong way, it would cause me pain.
  12. Microlamia

    Microlamia Banned Banned

    Just personally, I would leave already. Not letting go when someone taps is pretty abusive.
  13. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    Sometimes when teaching people the correct position and alignment it's necessary to not let go when someone taps, but that's no excuse for not easing off the technique a little. After all, you're supposed to tap as a safety warning that you feel you're in danger of being hurt, and ultimately it's you who's the best judge of that, not someone applying what they think is a reasonable amount of pressure in a direction you're not supposed to go.

    In short, I'd look for a more sensible instructor if you can't get this guy to realise that it's not the right approach to joint locks.
  14. Microlamia

    Microlamia Banned Banned

    Yeah agreed. Maybe you don't need to completely let go right away, but you should certainly loosen so you don't damage them.
  15. Griffin

    Griffin Valued Member

    In my experience, when you tap there is no need to continue with it.
    I have had other students new to karate apply wrist locks that were no good, i dont tap and they must continue to apply till they get it right, if i tap its over, they have applied it correctly.
    Thats what its there for, thats the "signal" used worldwide lol. Basicaly, when applying chokes etc you cant depend on a verbal submit command, so, we tap.

    Look, its hard to tell if your Instructor thinks you are tapping before its "on", and he wants to make sure its on enough in order for you to really understand the tech fully.

    If you dont have faith/trust in whats going on, then move on to another club.
  16. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    Guy sounds an ass
  17. Microlamia

    Microlamia Banned Banned

    I was rolling yesterday and our teacher told us 'If I see anyone fail to let go after the tap I'll have to ask them to leave.' THAT is responsibility not freaking messing with someone's joints after they've submitted.
  18. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    ^This. Tapping may not culturally mean the same thing in a non japanese art but its a pretty universal singal for "crap that hurts let me go" if he's still cranking or even just holding it after a tap then he's a douche and you need to say something or leave.
  19. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Time to abandon ship. If a fellow student did that to me, I'd rip their throat out - there is no worse act in a martial arts class than holding a technique after an opponent has tapped. None. I can excuse pretty much everything else, but not that.
  20. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    -------- For the one receiving joint locks ------------------------

    I really stress that anyone ask their instructor what they can do to protect themselves if it is not clear. As an instructor, I have to teach people how to take ukemi as well as how to apply the joint locks.

    There are ways to help turn a joint break into a take down. For instance on a wrist lock (kote geishi), I teach the students to bring their body to their hand and roll with the technique. This helps turn the break into a take down. If the lock happens quickly, students learn when they apply the wrist lock to me, that I even grab my own hand with my other hand to lock it in place.

    This is all perfectly acceptable behavior as they are learning to protect themselves and still allowing the technique to be applied. It is also the first steps to learning to counter and reverse the technique. Of course countering in a demonstration could be viewed as disrespectful so you don't start with learning counters, you learn to accept the technique first.

    FYI: What is a counter for a SLOPPY wrist lock, grab your hand with your other hand, bring your body to your hand, lift your elbow while slipping through the space between their thumb and fingers (basically applying the force through their thumb). Reversal comes at this point by using a C grip with your other hand to their hand, now you have them in a wrist lock.

    Of course if the wrist lock is really not on good to start with, you can just hit them and pull your hand away.

    -------- For the one applying joint locks -------------------------

    It is always the responsibility of the one applying the joint lock/break to allow for ukemi. For instance, if applying a wrist lock, you can only go so fast and so far before allowing the partner to roll out of it without injury. Any joint lock can also be a break or a take down.

    The speed of which to let go depends on many factors. One factor is the speed in which the lock is applied. If the lock is applied slowly, then when the tap comes, the release can be slowly because it is all under control. If the lock is applied quickly at first and then slowed down for safety, then if the tap comes, the lock is released slowly at first and then shortly after that completely. If the lock is applied very quickly, then the release is done BEFORE it breaks regardless of the tap. There is no time to wait for a tap and no way to react fast enough to anything but a really early tap.

    A lot of joint locks in kenpo are for breaks and if done quickly, they need to be eased up before the tap. For example, an armbar across your chest is a snap of the limb, done quickly in training, it feels as if your arm is going to break, but it is stopped before the break. It should stun you, but not cause any long term damage. If either the person applying the lock or the person receiving the lock is not up to speed, the whole thing should be done slowly for safety.

    The point is that at full speed, there is never time for tap out on joint breaks ... it is up to the person applying the lock to allow for their partner to protect themselves. Generally we don't do the same joint break more than 3 times at full speed because of the risk of long term damage. After 3 fast ones, for training purposes, the remaining locks are all done more slowly. Alternatively, the joint break could be done as a take down to allow for more intensity in training.

    There is also the 95% rule in training. You practice the techniques but you always hold back 5% in case you have to "bail out" to protect yourself or your partner.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011

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