Warriors of old often used shields and a weapon. In unarmed, open-handed combat the warrior can still use a shield and a weapon. The shield can become the weapon and the weapon can become a shield as needed.
A common variation of Combination 7 (aka DM7) is to replace the double pat block with a pat block and shield. The shield position rises up like a vertical elbow strike and stops when the hand reaches your own head. The resulting triangle shape is very strong. The other hand guards below the triangle, horizontal to the ground. This elbow shield offers a lot of options.
With a pivot of the hips, the shield can hook the opponent’s arm while the guard can rise into an elbow break using your elbow. Continue with this alternating of shield and smash on various targets. After the elbow break, most students favor an elbow smash strike to the opponent’s face.
Another option is to drop into a running stance and elbow smash the hip, which leads naturally to leg sweeps. As described before, the lowering the elbow can create a powerful hooking motion that checks the opponent’s offensive arm. Use hooks and other sticky techniques to keep the opponent’s weapons checked, inert and disrupted.
So the next time you’re practicing, reflect on the shield and smash variations. Try them out and see how they fit into your vocabulary of defenses.