Bladder 57/BL57 or Cheng Shan (Mountian Support)
This weeks point of the week is Bladder 57 or BL57 for short. It is on a Water meridian and is of Yang polarity according to TCM theory. It is located in the belly of the calf muscle here
I have found that this point responds extremely well to sharp direct force directly into the muscle at a 90 degree angle.
A hard strike into this point causes a sharp localized pain into the muscle, causing the leg to collapse. The collapsing of the leg makes it extremely easy to take your opponent down and leaves the other leg open to a secondary strike. Applications
As always applications are always subjective, and to be used as a basis to stimulate discussion.
From a clinch, this point is a great target for a sharp strike with the back of the heel. As always when in a clinch, make sure that you are rooted in a strong and stable stance. If kicking with your left leg, target your opponets right leg, and vice versa with the left. We'll assume we're doing it off the left leg for this example. Shot your left leg to the inside of your oppoents right leg, now come back and use your left heel to attack BL57 in their right leg.
A similar application is to attack again using the heel, but this time attack the opponents left BL57 with your left leg. This is actually one application for the wave kick from Nihanchi kata. I don't feel as comfortable doing this. With or without shoes on, attacking the BL57 with the heel usng either of these methods creates alot of pain!
If you manage to slip behind your opponent a nice toe punt (with shoes on) or front kick into BL57 is an effective strike. Yanking down on the same shoulder as the leg your kicking allows you to take your opponent to the ground really hard. For example, if you slip behind and are attacking BL57 in your opponents right leg, pull back hard on their right shoulder.
Due the fact that BL57 causes the leg to collapse makes it ideal for dropping your knee into to help with takedowns. Say that an opponent throws a backfist from their right hand, step round to their right and check the punch with both hands. Do something to stun the opponets, a palm to the face for example and then collapse your knee into BL57 on their right leg. Add a nice hair pull and you'ev got an effective takedown!
That's enough to get you thinking, hope you enjoyed it!