The purpose of these drills is to increase the agility and dexterity of the check hand. Increased aliveness of the check hand leads to a multitude of possibilities with respect to stick techniques. These can range from checking, pushing, pulling, off balancing, setting up takedowns and throws, joint locks, and much more.
It is important to relax while performing these drills. Any rigidity in your check hand technique will lead to decreased speed, agility and dexterity. The more often you practice, the more you will reach the state of relaxation in order to have an effective check hand.
As you will notice from the video, I practice my check hand movement in several directions, ranging from up and down, back and forth, clockwise, and counter clock wise. I also go from the inside to the outside (see 1:20).
I also demonstrate a couple of “alive tapping exercises.” See 1:45. The purpose of these exercises is to develop the ability to use your check hand AND the stick simultaneously and independently of each other. For some, this may be initially difficult but, with practice, proficiency can be achieved in a relatively short period of time.
Developing the check hand through the Mook Jong drills would enable an arnisador to deploy his check hand to devastating effect. The above video gives some examples of the usage of the check hand in the context of Modern Arnis tapi tapi.
As an aside, if I see a student fail to use their check hand in class, they are doing pushups!
Lastly, since left hand stick techniques are prevalent in Modern Arnis, I make sure to practice my right check hand on Mook Jong as well for balanced development.
In summary, developing an effective check hand is vitally important and, as illustrated by the first video, there are a number of solo exercises to aid in this development. Try them! Good luck!
Do you have solo check hand exercises? Let’s hear about them!