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Traps-time well spent?

Discussion in 'The Martial Arts Forum' started by BlackBelt, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. BlackBelt


    Aug 23, 2000
    Since we have the new forum, let me ask some of you guys a minor question that's been in the back of my mind for years now.
    I studied JKD concepts for years at different schools. During this training, we followed the formula of training 90% of the time in trapping drills. These drills (hubud/bubud) seem to be incorporated in every JKD concept course that I've ever seen. Even though Bruce Lee, as well as his best students have all said that trapping will only make up, at most, 5% of any altercation. From my past experience working club security/bouncer jobs, and working with law-enforcement, as well as growing up in a tough neighborhood--in all that time, I've used a trap MAYBE once, and it was incidental if not accidental during the flow of events. Now I know that's just my experience, but I've seen lot's of fights/encounters and not once has anyone needed a trap to get past an obstacle, or tie up anyones hands. They simply worked (punched) around it or worked through it. Why then would one spend that much time training 'trapping' for empty-hand combat? Seems like that time would have been better spent teaching the elements of the 95% of the time that the fight was not spent in trapping.
    I DO GREATLY value the use of trapping in weapons combat, and teach it for use against the blade and gun, but for empty hands vs. empty hands?
    Has anyone here used a trap, on purpose, in an altercation?
  2. gr81disp

    gr81disp Bushbot v1.0

    Sep 19, 2004
    Marietta, GA

    Scotty no.

    Of course, I grapple, so I get in the clinch. If it works, use it, but from what you say, it doesn't, so



    (Do not ask why, even I am not sure)

  3. Roundeyesamurai

    Roundeyesamurai Sensei Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Upstate New York
    The imperative, is to train for a weapon-oriented environment. I don't believe it is fruitful to train as though you're not going to encounter weapons the majority of the time.

    Hence, if your weapon responses include traps (as you stated in the post), then that should make up a sizeable portion of your training.

    Likewise, your training should revolve around multiple opponents- since this is also the norm.
  4. mhill


    Dec 7, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Blackbelt, I think you answered your own question. I think I trained maybe 10% of the time on traps. I thought that was appropriate. I've never used one in a real situation. I just don't think that they would come to mind, while they might work.

    Sparring is always my favorite activity. I think that's pretty common. My moves have never been pretty so kata always sucks for me. I'm not much of a dancer, but I know how to "dance".


    Aug 21, 2000
    Black belt,
    Having spent most of my formal training in JKDC, I found myself asking the same question after many hours of trapping drills. What I came to see was the trapping was not what was being trained, as in most of JKD, it it is the attributes developed during those drills which matter in a real fight.

    Once the higher levels/stages of the drills (when headbutts, knees, elbows, groin slaps, eye jabs, et al) are insterted on the half beat and the combat flow of the drill has not been altered, you are really getting to what the drill is for.

    Everyone teaches punching and kicking, where I think JKDC is in the real world application in a dynamic, fluid world.

    The fact you have never had to use the trapping just tells me it was because the attributes you learned put your basic techniques on a higher level, which is exactly the goal.