It is frequently difficult to translate something written into action. The following describes a kicking drill I re-created from my reading John Sells’ original version of ‘Unante’.
Sells Sensei described a kicking drill on page 50:
“Itosu did not personally favor high kicking or techniques, he is known for a unique exercise called the “8-point kick”. This is called for the trainee to practice kicking at targets representing the floating ribs, solar plexus, junction of the legs and torso, groin and inner thighs in rapid succession.”
Finding that interesting, that evening I started to set up a kicking drill following those sequences. Here is what I tried.
Beginning facing a partner, both in natural parallel stance with both arms upraised, allowing free access to the target.
1. Right squat kick to the opponent left floating ribs.
2. Left squat kick to the opponent right floating ribs.
3. Right front kick to the opponent solar plexus.
4. Left front kick into the opponent left hip.
5. Right front kick into the opponent right hip.
6. Left scoop kick (with the top of the foot) to the opponent groin.
7. Right front kick into the opponent left thigh.
8. Left front kick into the opponent right thigh.
It can be done by one person against a static partner, or it can be done by two partners who alternate kicks. i.e.:
Partner 1. Right squat kick to the opponents left floating ribs.
Partner 2. Right squat kick to the opponents left floating ribs.
Partner 1 Left squat kick to the opponents right floating ribs.
Partner 2 Left squat kick to the opponents right floating ribs.
Continue with the rest of the drill.
This drill promotes inside line kicking techniques.
1. ‘Unante’ by John Sells – published by W.M. Hawley 1995.
2. Squat Kick – An Isshinryu kicking technique with the ball of the foot, about ½ front kick and ½ roundhouse kick. The support leg flexes (into a squat) first. It really is a front kick delivered from the floor at a 45 degree angle, similar to the Bando shin kicks but delivered with the ball of the foot.
3. Scoop Kick – A rising front kick to the groin delivered with the top of the foot.