Shoulder as Weapon: Slams, Butts and Grinds

In the past, those who engaged in American Frontier Rough and Tumble, scufflin’, illegal boxing, boom battle or any of the various and sundry endeavors that involved an all-in melee format that was truly no-holds-barred and no-strikes-off-the-table were intimately familiar with the concept of using the entire body as a weapon. Let’s focus on one of those weapons: the shoulder, a tool that’s often overlooked by modern martial artists.

Because of obvious range restrictions, the shoulder is part of your closed-quarters arsenal. (In deference to the origin of the term, I call it “closed quarters” in the piratical naval-melee sense. I prefer not to use the modern evolution of “close quarters.” Yeah, I’m that guy, a stickler for details.)There are three broad ways to use the shoulder in closed quarters: slams, butts and grinds. There are just two attack paths: inward and upward. First, let’s examine a drill that will enable you to find your power with your shoulder, after which we’ll traipse into specifics.

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