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If you are not able to view this #5 Poke video, click here.

The theme of the above video is two-fold. First, the feeder must respect the defender by delivering an honest to God #5 thrust to the abdomen. The purpose of such a feed is to help your partner perfect his defense against this attack.

On the other hand, if the feeder feeds a lousy #5 attack, two things happen. First, the feeder will develop a horrible feeding habit. Don’t let this happen! Call out your partner if he/she does this. Fear of injuring the partner is often the cause of this godawful habit. If this is the case, have the feeder execute the attack slowly and overcome the fear of hurting a training partner.

The second effect of a bad feed is that a horrible feed denies the defender the opportunity to perfect his defense against a #5 poke. Hypothetically, if a defender faces a less than ideal #5 thrust, will she be able to learn how to defend herself against this attack? Unlikely.

When I teach kids, I often make a game of this. THEY LOVE IT!  “Okay, I’m gonna get you with #5!” Hearing this often motivates them to step up their game against my #5 attack. I will usually do this in rapid-fire fashion, between 5 to 10 consecutive attacks. Besides giving them a good workout, these repetitions will bake in good form.

Why am I stressing this? If you either have a lousy #5 feed or have a half-assed defense against the #5 thrust, how are you going to be a capable player?

Master of Tapi Tapi Chuck Gauss graphically illustrates the importance of the #5 poke in the below video:

If you are not able to view this video, click here.

As noted by Master Chuck, a #5 poke performed with intent can set up disarms, traps, strikes, and change your training partner’s position to your advantage. Likewise, go back to the beginning of the video, where Master Chuck fed a #5 with zero intent. Andy did not move as he did not perceive that attack to be a threat. In other words, Master Chuck did not alter Andy’s position.

Look at the 4:28 mark of the video. Note Andy’s excellent defense against Master Chuck’s attack. That’s what it’s all about!

Going back to the point of my video, practice #5 pokes with intent and appropriate targeting. Conversely, insist that your training partner feed you realistic #5 thrusts so that you can practice defending against it.

Over to you, have you run into any issues with your training partner over the #5 poke. Let’s hear about it!

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