In one of the ancient Japanese martial art traditions I studied there is a posture with the rather unusual name of Kongo Gassho no Kamae (see photo above).
It's commonly described as being a standing prayer position... however the feeling of adopting this posture is not one of praying - but of preparation - calming yourself before combat. The eyes are open, and the spirit and body are in a balanced state, ready to act.
Some time ago I was made aware of a contemporary application of a very similar hand position and feeling of preparedness that is used by bodyguards around the world (see photo below).
In fact it's a hand position used in several forms by Secret Service Agents (see above and below).
Here's a quote from Hans Van Beuge of the International Close Quarter Protection Operators Association (standing far right in the photo below):
"In protection work we use what's called the 'Hands Ready' position most of the time, and always when working close in with a client when in public. Having your hands in this position saves precious fractions of a second in : drawing a weapon ; grabbing or striking an offender ; or quickly moving a client out of harms way. It also assists in keeping your mind in the tactical zone. Having hands in pockets, or occupied doing other things, is counter productive to the tactical mindset."
It's tactically advantageous for anyone and everyone to adopt an expression of the 'Hands Ready' position in the initial stages of any close-quarter situation. Holding your hands central to your body puts you in a 'transition' phase (mentally)... ready to defend against any kind of unexpected assault.
If nothing happens, then there's no problem. But if something suddenly does erupt, then your arms can quickly move to intercept any attempted grab, or strike, or kick.
In fact, defending yourself from 'Hands Ready' a natural reflex response that's made more effective because your arms are already half-way to a block or a deflection. And just knowing that can actually help you feel more confident.
Choose one of the following three basics as your own personal expression of 'Hands Ready' :
- The Overlay
- The Steeple :
It's Primal Protection.
For more insight into the mind-set behind the 'Hands Ready' position, click below :