Controlling Animal Strategy: Their grab (snake strategy) is cleared through our crane (wing folding and re-extending is our clear and then immediate strike. Our target choice (hand sword to throat) has a viper snake influence as well. Because you can counter an animal strategy with either the controlling animal or its own animal (crane beats snake but also viper snake can counter constrictor snake) it is quite common to see an influence from both the controlling animal and the same animal within a single technique.
Lesson 1: Affectng all three zones of movement: Height, width, and depth. We clear their grab with our right arm moving in an inside downward diagonal path as if drawing a line from their left ear to our back leg (left toe). By moving diagonally we transverse height, width, and depth zones. The downward aspect affects height (causing them to bend over slightly which places weight over their feet reducing immediate access to kicking.) The inward component of our clear affects their width which turns their body and limited their ability to launch with power a right punch. Because the clearing path travels towards us it draws their body in to us which affects their depth by accelerating their next target (throat) towards us and limits their ability to retreat out of range.
Lesson 2: Frictional pull. There are three ways of increasing the amount of pulling on our opponent that our clearing hand causes (frictional pull). First, making the initial contact on the higher part of our forearm (closer to our elbow) on the higher part of their forearm allows a longer duration of contact while traveling the inside downward diagonal path. If we contact them at the right place on their arm but with the bottom of our forearm then we lack leverage at the beginning of the action because we are jammed up (operating within the a rim of your natural leverage is preferred). If we contact them at the bottom of their forearm we at best will clear them but certainly will not draw them in much. Having the correct leverage and a longer duration of contact is what we are seeking. Second, we want our forearm to rotate (clockwise) from a palm partially facing down position to a palm up position by the completion of the clear. This rotation will increase the contact (friction) and provide rotational directional vectors to reel our opponent into us (and down). The third component is a principle of its own right, marriage of gravity, which is power generated and transferred into our movement by properly timing the benefit of dropping our center of gravity. The added "weight" to our arm through this principle also adds to the frictional pull.
Lesson 3: Rebounding. After clearing their arm we conserve our momentum by rebounding (bouncing off our abs) to reverse direction quickly as we deliver the right outward handsword to their throat. This rebounding makes the movement faster (no stopping, restarting), more powerful (we arrive at the target with greater actual velocity and force = mass x velocity squared), and energetically more efficient (we used left muscular effort because we did not have to contract muscles to stop the arm and then reengage those muscles to reaccelerate the arm.)
Lesson 4: Borrowed Force. If our clear is done properly so that their body is falling towards us; and if our handsword is applied correctly so that by rebounding it arrives soon enough to the throat to take advantage of their motion that is still coming towards us; then we benefit from borrowed force which simply means that the impact is greater because of kinetic energy of their target that is running into our weapon. Like two cars at 30 mph each having a head on collision that is now the equivalent of a 60 mph crash we allow our handsword and their throat to have a heads on collision.
NOTE: The above is a good example of "the whole being greater than the sum of the parts." The magic in quality martial arts is often when several seemingly small details are done correctly which collectively work together to bring out a dramatic result. All too often (in all martial arts) a method is discounted because somebody is missing or is misapplying a key small ingredient that links and binds all the preceding principles and thus negates much of the end result. They then dismiss the movement. Although any technique of any style can always be "improved upon", you can probably assume that if simply does not seem to work at all for you it is because there is a big piece of the puzzle you are missing.
METHODS OF DRILL:
1. This technique should be practiced preemptively and reactively and like all techniques on both the right side and the left side.
2. Diversify the attacks while still applying this same sequence. A two hand lapel grab, a straight punch, an outward back knuckle, a two hand or single hand push are just some of the attacks that this technique (especially in the preemptive clearing method) work well against with no modification.
3. Isolating the force variables. Practice just the clearing aspect each time adding a different component to the frictional pull equation. First, just clear with no step back or body weight drop and no rotation. Add in just step and feel the difference. Take away the step and add in just the rotation of the hand and feel the difference. Put the rotation and step together and feel the accumulative benefit.
4. Play with the idea of frictional pull on all your blocks and see how it can be used to alter your opponent's body position. For example, a R. inward block against a R. roundhouse punch with a little counterclockwise torque at the end of the block will pull their width component a little more so that their left hand becomes momentarily isolated.
5. Grafting: This entire technique is only two moves (and about 1000 words to describe it!) and thus is easily joined with other techniques. Use other techniques for follow up after the handsword to the throat; use clearing kimono as a follow up to other techniques you know. Anytime they have a hand up that would be good to check or clear, clearing kimono a quick and easy way to integrate that feature.
6. Experiment with the good, bad, and ugly of frictional pull and affecting your zones of your opponent. For example, clear your opponent's left lapel grab with your left hand doing an inside downward diagonal clear and you will notice that you turned his width towards you thus accelerating his free right punch into your face! So know the implication of sending an object into motion that you do not become the receiving end of an "accidental move" that you cause. A classic example would be clearing somebody down and then getting head butted in the nose. Congratulations, they are not holding your lapel but now you have a broken nose and are knocked out cold.
7. Practice hitting bags (focus mits and twin kicking targets ideal) with that R. outward handsword. Ideally the handsword should also be conditioned over time by striking a canvas bag with beans inside. Each strike in a technique is only as viable as you have prepared and trained it to be.
WHAT IS IN A NAME?
"Kimono" is the Japanese term for a jacket. Thus clearing kimono is to clear the hand off of your jacket. Additionally, clearing implies the universal sweeping of the height, width, and depth zones which is a crucial lesson introduced in this technique.