In Search of Efficiency Part Thirteen: Shearing

Shear means to cut.

If you look at how a knife or saw cuts it is pushed or pulled along the object. It works its way into the space the object occupies.

In martial application shearing works the same way.

You take a part of your body, be it the edge of a hand, wrist forearm or shin and you cut through a part of the Aggressor’s body.

A simple example is to have a partner (who doesn’t have any neck issues) stand and you place the outer part of your forearm against their neck.

You are going to press directly against their neck with your forearm and they are to resist as long as they can. Don’t hurt each other but give it a good go.

Take note of if you moved them at all and if so how hard it was.

Now take the same position only this time instead of pressing directly onto their neck use your forearm to CUT through it like a knife cutting a piece of meat.

Take note of if you moved them and if so how hard it was and compare this attempt to your last one.

As said before you can shear with any edge of your body. The edge of the wrist can be used to manipulate limbs by using shearing (as well as the neck of course).

Shearing can be thought of as a force multiplier because it applies force on an inclined plain and by doing so it keeps the angle of force being applied changing which makes it harder to directly oppose the action and stop it.

Shearing can be applied in a striking manner. That same press on the neck we started with can be done as a strike with often dramatic effect.

When you shin kick a knee or thigh you can also slide your shin along the target adding shear and … well …. Pain.

Shearing is an exceptional principle to condition to use.