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Rope Dart Technique Classifications

This post is aimed at classifying various rope dart sub techniques. Sub techniques are all of the things that get a practitioner to the actual technique as well as bridge. For an easy example, the downward rotation that twines the elbow, which results in dart projection is a basic elbow shot. The sub technique of the elbow shot is the downward rotation. Likewise, and as a harder example, a downward rotation to a saddle wrap to a foot shoot is none other than the technique called “Prodigal Plays With Ball.” In mathematical terms, which are clearly terms I shouldn’t be using: downward rotation+saddle wrap+knot+stall+foot shoot = “Prodigal Plays With Ball.

It is important to note that these are the names that I use and see as appropriate but are not necessarily what the ancient Chinese called them. Further, you may find that other people living today call these techniques and/or sub techniques by different names and that is absolutely fine. Like individual technique terms, these sub technique classifications can vary depending on the source. To say one persons term is more accurate or correct over another persons is ridiculous.

Sub ClassificationTechnique – Mentioned in the introduction, the sub techniques are the multiple basic techniques put together to create one single basic, intermediate or advanced technique. Sub techniques are also used to bridge one advanced technique to the next. Multiple bridges of techniques are called forms; in Chinese Kung Fu-“Kuen,” in Japanese Karate-“Kata.”

Vertical Plane – Happens when the dart is rotating vertically on the side or in front of the body in a manner similar to a bicycle tire

Wheel Plane – When the rope is swinging in an upward or downward rotation on the side of the body in the vertical plane.

Wall Plane – When the rope is swinging in an upward or downward rotation in front of the body on the vertical plane.

Horizontal Plane – Happens when the dart is rotating above, around or below the body. The rope should be parallel to the ground similar to a cowboy rotating his lasso. Think the rings of Saturn or on the horizontal plane

Earth Plane – Happens when the dart is rotating on the horizontal plane under the torso

Tree Plane – Happens when the dart is rotating on the horizontal plane around the torso

Cloud Plane – Happens when the dart is rotating on the horizontal plane above the head and torso

Swing – Any projection of the dart that does not use a part of the body, i.e. basic pendulum swing

– A forward swing (dart projects in front of person) happens when the dart rotates upward

– A downward swing (dart projects behind person) happens when the dart rotates downward

Retrieval – The act or process of getting the projected dart back; the recovery of the projected dart. For intermediate and advanced practitioners the retrieval is simply the empty space between two techniques, or the bridge. The advanced practitioner should think of the retrieval much like a musician thinks of music: the empty space between notes (techniques) that make a song (form)

Shoot – Any projection of the dart using a part of the body, i.e. elbow shoot, foot shoot, knee shoot

Rotation – Any vertical or horizontal motion of the dart used to set up another technique, usually a swing or wrap. Rotation is also referred to as a Beat. One rotation = one beat

Twining – The encircling of the body part prior to the shot. ex. When practicing elbow shots, twine close to the crook of the elbow

Retrieval – The act or process of getting the projected dart back; the recovery of the projected dart. For intermediate and advanced practitioners the retrieval is simply the empty space between two techniques, or the bridge. The advanced practitioner should think of the retrieval much like a musician thinks of music: the empty space between notes (techniques) that make a song (form)

Spin – Any vertical or horizontal rotation around a body part that does not fully encircle the body and results in the projection of the dart, i.e. neck spin, thigh spin

Wrap – Any technique where the rope dart encircles various parts of the body and is snug upon completion. These can be single, double or multiple circles around the body and are all open knotted. Multiple wraps is referred to as Stacking.

*It is important to note the difference between a spin and a wrap. A spin will not go 360 degrees around a body part. Please refer to lessons # 4 and #6 on http://ropedarts.com/instructional-videos/ for further clarity.

Knot – Any wrap held together with one hand.

Tie – Any wrap that is held in place with two hands, i.e. the basic body wrap, upon completion, is both a wrap and tie in that while the initial technique is a shoulder wrap, upon completion both hands are holding the wrap. The actual hold is referred to as the tie, the wrap is still the wrap.

Throw – Any physical hand catch of the dart that ends with the practitioner literally throwing the dart.

Cradle – (Check out Phoenix Drako@youtube.com) Any constant catching from side to side whereby the wrists/hands, forearms or rope are used to support the line. Cradles can be done as only cradles or can be mixed in to various body wraps. Cradles happen on both the vertical and horizontal plane.

Guide – Any use of the hand/palm or forearm that does not result in a grip, pinch or catch. This is similar to a stall except generally a stall is used to redirect the dart and a guide is usually for control or passing.

Passing – Passing the rope from one hand to the other. Passing is prominent in rope dart styles such as Nagasu.

Binding – To make secure by tying, binding techniques are found in hand to hand close quarter combative rope dart applications. i.e. blocking a threat (punch), trapping the threat and tying (binding) the threat. Binding works great for setting up throws and sweeps.

Stall – Any soft or slowed reversal of motion.

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