Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo – Tonfa of Taira


We are so fortunate to have footage preserved by the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai showing Taira Shinken performing the kata Hama Higa No Tonfa.







There is no doubt some version of this was the form originally taught.

But the footage we have of Shimabuku Tatsuo from 1966 shows an abbreviated version of this form.







This makes for debate, doesn’t it?



Did he forget the form?

Was he simply tired from travel to the States in 1966?

Was this a form that he was modifying?


I don't have simple answers to these questions. You are free to believe what you wish.

Today practitioners use versions of the original and /or the film version in practice. It keeps most of the original elements. In Bushi No Te Isshinryu we use the film version. Mr. Lewis didn’t study it on Okinawa in his time there and later it wasn’t part of Mr. Murray’s studies in Agena. We use the name for the form Chia Fa as the film indicates to not confuse it with the other versions.

The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo – Sai of Taira

We are so fortunate to have footage preserved by the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai showing Taira Shinken performing the kata Chantan Yara No Sai.



This allows us to see the source training as well as allow comparison with the Chantan Yara No Sai of Shimabuku Tatsuo.



The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo – Bo of Taira




About 1960 Shimabuku Tasuo trained in Kobudo with Taira Shinken. From that training two Isshinryu Kobudo traditions arose, Urashie No Bo and Shi Shi No Kon No Dai. Taira while the most knowledgeable Kobudo instructor sharing his knowledge was known to suggest using a systems core kata to learn a weapon (separately this may have been the genesis of Kusanku Sai) and to create new kata for study. There is no record of how he shared with Shimabuku.



For the kata Urashie No Bo there is no equivalent kata I can find on the internet. A Japanese student of Taira, Inoue Morokatsu preserved Urasae No Kon in his 3rd volume Ryukyu Kobudo. The photographs are hard to interpret but it appears to be much the same kata. As its photographs are printed in the Japanese manner Top to Bottom, left to right I am sharing some of the Urasae No Kon applications with this piece.



Thus we have Shimabuku Tatsuo’s version of the form Urashie No Bo today.



For the kata Shi Shi No Kon No Dai there is nothing similar to it in the Inoue text, Joe Swift suggests Soeishi No Kon Ni in the Taira tradition may have some of the same moves. Here is the Ryukyu Kobudo Shinokai version of this form





Another form to consider may be Sakugawa no kno sho


Where I see a similarity, as you can see both these forms are considerably shorter than that of Isshinryu.





There is no question that Taira added much depth to Shimabuku’s art.




The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo – Sai of Kyan

As the article in a recent issue of Classical Fighting Arts claims Kyan Chotoku taucht sai techniques but did not transmit kata as a study. Apparently Isshinryu’s founder was inspired enough to develop his own sai kata, which he named for Kyan, the Kyan no sai. He taught this form through the 50’s but later discontinued its use. Here is his performance of the form.






Some servicemen in the late 50’s studied the form, Sherman Harrill being one, but many didn’t as it’s use was replaced within Shimabuku training.. When Shimabuku developed his Kusanku Sai kata, part of Kyan No Sai was incorporated leaving a double Kyan influence, first with Kusanku as the base form and then as the possible originator of his sai technique. Here is Shimabuku Sensei  emonstrating Kusanku Sai.


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** Notice the Kusanku Sai kata does not include kicks. Reportedly, because us of the sai was to do the fighting. **

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo – Bo of Kyan


Source documentation for Isshinryu Kobudo must start with The article by Joe Swift. It can be found at misshinryu,ciom . The article is‘The Kobudo of Shimbuku Tatsuo’ .http://www.msisshinryu.com/articles/swift/kobudo.shtml  I suggest you read it.



I think it is necessary to go one step further, to look as closely as possible at the possible source versions of those forms and reflect on the changes Shimabuku Tatsuo may have made. We are fortunate so many of these forms , but not all, are today shared on YouTube to allow us this privilege. This effort will not resolve questions, simply allow us to look ourself.



For a starting point I’d like to use the form Tokomeni No Kon which was taught by his instructor Kyan Chotoku. To see if I would like to share Tokumine no Kon by Nakazato Joen senior instructor of the group Shorinji-ryu and student of Kyan.





Another version of the form has been saved, performed by Nakama Haruka , a student of Okuhara Bunei who was also a student of Kyan.





Kyan was reputed to change his kata at times. Does this change reflect this or are the changes pure Shimabuku? As I said we won’t answer such questions here.

We have a video of Isshinryu’s founder performing his version in 1958 which is,



We can see the differences; some of the repetitions are gone and other changes.

The later version recorded in 1966 is



This is then much of the standard version used across Isshinryu today. But we can see that Shimabuku Tatsuo did approach bo training as pliable for his needs.

Well this is a start to understanding the sources of Isshihnryu Kobudo.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Kata Challenge

This year Mike Cassidy and I decided to hold a youth kata tournament to help them focus on their studies. Unfortunately ½ the class wasn’t due to a School event and that’s always more important. But we had a good time with those who showed up and I’m sharing videos of their efforts. I am very pleased with them. No, they’re not perfect, not the goal of the program, at this portion of their studies. They have years ahead to work towards perfect kata.


Lee Hamilton Saifa kata






Kyle Davis  Seisan kata






Cole Fortin  Annanku kata








Dave Farris  Annanku kata






Riley Hayes Annanku kata






Josh Normandin doing kata Wansu kata.






Everyone is to be congratulated.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bushi No Te Isshinryu Developmental Studies

When I was developing my Bushi No Te Isshinryu program many of the schools I would visit in NE Penna used developmental defensive traditions (often called just Wazza or techniques) in their programs.

At some schools a few techniques at other schools many techniques. I saw merit in their use but not primarily for learning offensive techniques but for movement education. I over time adopter the following traditions to our program. While a belt is indicated where they are introduced to the individual’s learning, they are all important components in their eventual Black Belt test.


The yellow belt Te (or hand) wazza. The main purpose of these drills is for the student to enter a space efficiently. The fourth one is particularly important to the Black Belt study of kata applications.


The blue belt Geri (or foot) wazza. The drills are to build skill for kick delivery. The first four drills involve stepping back to find space to kick. They also draw the abdominal muscles back stretching them. This allows them to kick faster during their contraction phase. The fifth drill is part of their eventual aikido studies from the Tristan Sutrisno drills, The last drill utilizes one of Ernest Rothrock’s Parry Blocks, works the exterior line of defense and attacks the rear leg.


At green belt the student begins a series of aikido drills taught by Tristan Sutrisno. They involve more advanced movement potential studies and teach aiki principles that tie into later kata application studies. Demonstrated is the youth version of there techniques.


Yet another challenge is learning advanced timing of the kata Chinto with a partner who is working the opposite direction. Mr. Cassidy and Mr. Lee are performing this when they were new Sho-Dan's.



The formal study of Isshiinryu kobudo does not occur until after Black Belt. The Bando staff (The Horseman’s Form) or Bando stick (1/2 of the form The Hidden Stick) instead are used to develop the student ability to use a weapon.

.

Again these drills while real working techniques are mainly do develop movement skills for Black Belt training.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The History behind Karate Throwing Techniques

I was reviewing the 1938 copy of Funakoshi Ginchin’s 1935 “Karate-Do Kyohan” on line at http://www.hawaii.edu/asiaref/okinawa/digital_archives/karate_museum.html yesterday.


One of the Okinawan throwing techniques he demonstrated resembles that of Isshinryu karate’s Dumping Throw in Wansu Kata. This made me think of the article Joe Swift contributed to Fighting Arts.com at http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=77 I suggest you take the time to read it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Development of ISSHINRYU


We we think of the contributions made to the founding of Isshinryu Karate by our founder Shimabuku Tatsuo we should look to what he learned from his instructors too. Fortunately today we can see the actual source training that formed the basis of his development.



In Itoman Seijin (Morinobu’s) book Toudi-jutsu no Kenkyu, Itoman discussed the process in Toudi (the older Oikinawan martial tradition) where one becomes an instructor. “Following, breaking and transcending Following, breaking and transcending involve a student first copying the form of his teacher and restraining himself from making any personal changes to it. Next, he breaks or separates his practice from that of his teacher trying to exceed him. Finally he transcends his teacher’s instruction and finds his own unique military art “. I feel that this tradition is what Shimabuku Tatsuo lived to create his Isshinryu. The following show to see the sources of Shimabuku Tatsuo.



This allows us to review the teaching of his instructors Kyan Chotoku, Motobu Choki and Miyagi Chojun. The core of their teachings are present in Isshinryu but with Shimabuku Tatsuo’s own developments. I am just focusing on the empty hand kata at this time and leave Isshinryu Kobudo for a later date.



We are fortunate to have Nakazato Joen's Shorinji-ryu kata to review. Nakazato was a direct student of Kyan Chotoku and preserved his training I believe with little change. If you follow the link to this site http://shao.sakura.ne.jp/kata.htm which is in Japanese, you can see the following kata presented.The kata on the shorinji-ryu link are shown in this order:



1. Ananku

2. Seisan

3. Naihanchi

4. Wansu

5. Passai

6. Useishi

7. Chinto

8. Kusanku

9. Tokumine no kon



While a version of Ananku is used by my students (from the Shimabuku Ezio lineage) it is not found in Isshinryu proper.Kata Seisan, Wansu, Chinto and Kusanku are found in Isshinryu. It is evident how similar the kata Seisan, Chinto and Kusanku are to the Isshinryu versions. Of course they evidence Shimabuku’s choice of verticle striking (which was personally favored by Kyan as reported in Nagamne Shinso’s book “Tales of the Great Okinawan Masters”. You can clearly see how the Kyan core kata were adapted for Isshinryu use.



Wansu is greatly modified, and I believe it may show Shimabuku adding elements to his Isshinryu in the process. Using evasive steps, Empi strikes, and front leg kicks are among it’s changes. This may have been the starting point for the development of his Sunsu (SuNuSu) Kata.



The Nihanchi kata is not from the teaching of Kyan, but came from an Ishi, a student of Nakazato who had previous training (as reported to me by a ).friend in Nakazato’s lineage. Nakazato felt that this should be added to the Kyan studies. It’s more probable that Nihanchi’s lineage descended from Motobu Chokoi. Here we have a video of Motobu no Naihanchi Shodan - Motobu Chōsei ,Motobu Chokoi’s son. Note this version of Naihanchi kata begins by moving to the right like the Isshinryu version unlike most other versions .


Even at this there are differences in Isshinryu’s version showing Shimabuku’s personal development.




Motobu Ryu Self Defense Techniques = as originally shown by Motobu Choki

Further influence of Motobu Choki can be found within the original self defense techniques he developed. The following video of his son Motobu Chōsei performing those techniques can be found to influence the development of kata Sunsu (SunNuSu). Thanks to Joe-san Swuft for sharing this with me years ago. (Look at 9:40)





This leaves us with Passai and Useishi (Gojushiho) We do find there influence in kata Sunsu (Sun NuSu) the kata created by Shimabuku Tatsuo. Passai with few modifications is seen in the kata’s beginning. Useishi is found in Sunsu’s Nutike striking techniques. Then other Isshinryu kata techniques are found. Finally unique Isshinryu contributions show multiple empi (elbow or forearn) strikes. Open hand striking and kicking techniques resembling those in various Goju kata.




The primary influence of Miyagi Chojun is found in the kata Sanchin and Seiunchin (Seienchin).

Miyagi Chojun was known to often teach a student only two kata. In this case the Sanchin taught in Isshinryu is the one developed by Miyagi Chojun himself, which incorporates backward movement not found in the Higaonna Kanryo original. Sanchin is also used with Shime testing and in Chinkuchi training.



We can see the Miyagi version in this video of Higaonna Morio.





The next Goju kata found in Isshinryu is Seiunchin (Seinenchin and other spellings). For this kata et us look at the Yagi Meitetsu  in his Meibukan  group variation.




Again we see the variety of technique as modified by Shimabuku Tatsuo. The same application potential of the original remains present.


There is a further presence of Goju technique found in Isshinryu. You can find it in Shimabuku’s use of their kicking techniques. For example the side kicks in Wansu and Sunsu kata have Goju influence. Look closely to the applications shown by Higaonna Morio in his Seisan kata applications and you see it. Additionally,, look at the last ‘front’ kick on the video and see it’s influence in our thrusting kick in Sunsu kata.





As Isshinryu developed Shimabuku was influenced by his instructors training.  You can see their presence within our Isshinryu technique. But going back to Itoman’s description of an instructor, I feel  Shimabuku’s changes is a mark of his own thinking and development on his art.  The Isshinryu system owes his instructors a great debt,  but also is a sign that Shimabuku Tatsuo did transcend their arts too.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shaolin 5 Animal and 8 Method Boxiing

 
Shaolin 5 Animal and 8 Method Boxiing

There are times we should seek beyond our comfort zone.

This is one of the best and most interesting Chinese Systems of study I’ve seen.

This is a very well known Shaolin form called FIVE SHAPES EIGHT METHODS by which is meant Five Animals. A good, long form of the Shaolin family with the animals clearly shown mixed with explosive power.

This form of Shaolin The Jin Gang or Vajra dates from at least the Mid-Ming over 400 years ago when Shaolin was in one of its strongest modes. The Vajra Fist claims to have been formed at the beginning of Yuan Dynasty which would put it over 1000 years ago. At the end of the Mind Shaolin went through a typical "boiling down" period where movements were reorganized and forms restructed. Tthis set combining 5 Animals: Dragon( mind), Tiger ( bone), leopard ( explosive power), snake ( ch'i) and Crane (spirit) inter-relates to the classic 8 Methods: Internal Gong, External Gong, mental refinement, fist skills, leg & footwork, body, grappling, and qi accumulation

It is within the technique range of our karate studies. No, I have not pursued it but wish I could. I am pleased that I can offer it for you to think about. The video’ on Youtube offer much detail about the form and it’s function.

 


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Study of the Techniques of China Hand Techniques by Itoman Seijin


Just in time for the holidays and you if you care about the original Okinawan art of Toudi, We now have a translation of book Toudi-jutsu no Kenkyu or The Study of the Techniques of China Hand Techniques by Itoman Seijin  from the 1934 publication. You have the chance to get a detailed description of Toudi-jitsu and then to compare it to your current art to see the differences.

Mario McKenna describes the book this way. 

The Study of China Hand Techniques is unique in the literature of Okinawa Karatedo. It is the first book of its era to provide not only an outline of the history, and philosophy of Toudi (Karate) but also provides detailed instruction on a broad range of techniques and their application including striking, kicking, locking, throwing, and choking.”
I have read it and the detailed description of Toudi –Jutsu is very interesting. We are fortunate that McKenna Sensei spent the time on this for our use. The book can be ordered at http://www.lulu.com/shop/morinobu-itoman/the-study-of-china-hand-techniques/paperback/product-20530948.html




Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Drill Called Kihon NiDan



This is another of the drills from Tristan Sutrisno's teachings. Where the Kihon ShoDan  and drill focuses on hand techniques the Kihon NiDan drill focuses on the lower body and kicking techniques. This is also a part of Dan training at Bushi No Te Isshinryu.


           The first series of kick are while moving towards 12 o’clock

a.       Left lead roundhouse to the middle
b.      Left lead roundhouse to the head
c.       Right front punch
d.      Right front kick, then put the foot down
e.       Pivoting counter-clockwise on the right foot end up in a horse stance with a right side knife hand strike
f.       Pivot on the left into ‘Kusanku” kake dachi with the kusanku parry and strike using both empty hands
g.      Throw a right roundhouse kick to 12 o’clock. Then put the foot down
h.      Pivoting counter-clockwise on the right foot till the left foot is in front as your right open hand parries down to your right side (to 3 o’clock).
i.        Right low side kick to the right side, then put the right foot down to the side to form a horse stance, your chest facing 12 o’clock.
j.        Right multiple strike mid level open hand parry to the right side
k.      Left foot steps over and right mid level side kick to the right as you throw a left hook punch to your right side (as in Nijushiho kata).
l.        Put your right foot down, still in horse stance your chest facing 12 o’clock
m.    Left multiple strike mid level open hand parry to the left side
n.      Right foot steps over and left mid level side kick to the left, as you throw a right hook punch to your left side (as in Nijushiho kata).
o.      Put your foot down, still in horse stance your chest facing 12 o’clock
p.      Draw your left foot in alongside your right (your right hand stays in the hook punch position.

You now turn and begin kicking towards 6 o’clock

q.      Pivoting on the ball of the left foot, execute a right spinning clockwise head high crescent kick to 6 o’clock, ending in right cat stance.
r.        Jump double front kick to 6 o’clock, ending in right cat stance.
s.       Jumping up from your right leg, execute a jumping spinning (counter-clockwise) right inside crescent kick to 6 o’clock, ending in right cat stance.
t.        Jump side kick to 6 o’clock, ending in horse stance.
u.      Drop right side kick to 6 o’clock
v.      Scissor kick as you roll over to your right on the floor.
w.    Left side kick from the floor.
x.      Rise to your left foot, your right knee on the floor.
y.      Double Jumping left front kick off the floor
z.       Spin to your right to conclude in natural stance.

This drill is a workout.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Drill Called Kihon Shodan



Back in 1980 when I started trainig with Tristan Sutrisno I learned a drill called Kihon Shodan,  Ihis is a very good drill to explode in forward momentum.

1. Ready Stance

2. Left Foot Forward, Left Low Block

3. Right Reverse Punch

4. Right Front Kick (placing the foot down into right front stance)

5. Left then Right Punch

6. Left High Block

7. Right Rising Elbow Strike

8. Rotate your torso (so it faces 3 o’clock) clockwise 90 degrees and reach out with the left hand to 12 o’clock (as to grab an opponents arm), and then throw a left front kick to the front (again 12 o’clock).

9. Land in a side (3 o’clock) facing horse stance (left foot forward) and throw a left cross body hook punch. [note, this is what the Shotokan and Shorin stylists throw in their Nihanchi (Tekki) Sho Dan Kata, where we throw the palm up spear hand.]

10. Your right foot kicks up to the inside of the left leg (as in the opening of Chinto Kata), then place the right foot down in a left front cat stance (facing 12 o’clock). This concludes with a left hand open knife hand block (similar to Kusnaku’s opening 3 techniques).

11. Your left foot steps forward into a deeper front stance (Shotokan’s zenkatsu-dachi) as your left palm presses down and you drive a right spear hand forward (across the back of the left hand).

12. [Now assume somebody grabbed your right arm.] You press your right spear hand down about 6”, somewhat resembling a downward palm press.

13. Pivoting on your left foot, you spin 360 clockwise to end up in a right cat stance, as both your elbows descend in a double knife hand block (the reverse of no. 10).

14. You jump up with a double front kick (left then right)

15. Landing in right Zenkatsu Dachi, (lunging forward) with a double outward knife hand strike.


Mike Cassidy simplified a version  use for youth classes and has made it a regular part of youth training.

1. Ready Stance

2. Left Foot Forward, Left Low Block

3. Right Reverse Punch

4. Right Front Kick (placing the foot down into right front stance)

5. Left then Right Punch

6. Left High Block

7. Right Rising Elbow Strike

8. Rotate your torso (so it faces 3 o’clock) clockwise 90 degrees and reach out with the left hand to 12 o’clock (as to grab an opponents arm), and then throw a left front kick to the front (again 12 o’clock).

9. Land in a side (3 o’clock) facing horse stance (left foot forward) and throw a left cross body hook punch.

10. Shift to Front Stance

11. Jump Front Kick

12. Right Reverse Punch

Classical Fighting Arts and Isshinryu Continued

Jeff Perkins has kindly sent me the book “Okinawan Karate, A Man Called Chanmie - Kyan Chotoku a new point of view – A Story of his youth.” by IREI Hiroshi,. The book he purchased on Okinawa.This book was produced of sale at he Kyan museum.  

The book is not so much about Kyan’s karate but more a historical record of his family and early life. While it does menton his training with his father and other instructors, the most important detail for us was that it mentions Shimabuku Tatsuo, the founder of Isshinryu, became a student at age 24, in 1926, and that Nagamine Shoshin’s book ‘Past Master Book of Karate and Okinawa Sumo” mentions Shimabuku Tatsuo became a student of Kyan Chotoku at the invitation of Nagamine Shoshin his friend , who was a student of Kyan and a friend at Nichu (the High School in Naha).

So we have an Okinawan writing a book to help preserve Kyan’s history, mentioning Shimabuku Tatsuo. Sounds more and more as this being accepted history for Okinawa.

More to help clarify the past.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Isshinryu and Naihanchi Kata - Consider Motobu's Influence

Naifanchi Kata is somewhat a question to understand for its source  in Isshinryu Karate,  its historical origins. Exactly where did Shimabuku Tatso come up with his version?

The kata does not seem to have been taught by Kyan Chotoku. I believe the principle instructor of Shinabuku Tatsuo. However, today, many of Kyan’s students student’s branches use the form, but, as I understand it, their versions of Nihanchi Kata all came from different sources. Obviously those that adopted it felt it is important

Perhaps this is a proof that Motobu Choki was an instructor of Isshinyyu’s founder and the source behind Isshinryu;s version of Nihanchi Kata.

One of the more perplexing issues with this theory  is Motobu Choki, in his early book on Karate, was against the idea of the inward toed stance writing that it was too weak.  Some Isshinryu lineages use this stance,. Just because of those writings its not to say in time his opinion changed. as time passed

That makes it difficult to accept Motobu is the source. I just found this on Youtube and am linking you to it. It is Motobu no  Naihanchi Shodan - Motobu, the son of Motovu Choki.  Note how similar to how Isshinryu Nihanchi Kata begins. I note that on the Japanese video of his father’s art Motobu Chōsei also shows a class with Naihanchi Kata beginning on the right.




I suggest it implies that the direction didn't matter in the Motobu Choki tradition, just the practice of the kata. So perhaps this is sort of proof for Motobu. Sort of makes sense for the kata is covers the same ground no matter which way you start.

So perhaps he was inspired by Motobu's training, and then Shimabutu Tatsuo used his own ideas to re-craft the form.



Friday, November 9, 2012

Pleasant Isshinryu



Time flows so quickly. One of the first wide Isshinryu discussion groups was hosted by David Esteeve on the Univ. of Florida listserver. Later it moved to Yahoo Groups. Many of the discussions did not evidence personal control and were often downright bloody. One day I had enough and started my own group to contain the issue, a pleasant place for Isshinryu discussion and there were many who decided to join.

For the group logo I picked the’ Alfred E. Mi zugami’, a gentle jest behind many of the bloody conversations. It was the creation of Matt Carney, and I borrowed it with his permission.

Over the years there have literally been thousands of discussions covering anything the members wished. Rarely have we had to remind people to keep it pleasant. They disciplined themselves on the whole. http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Pleasant_Isshinryu/

The change in social media. And the members advancing knowledge has led to less discussion. Facebook among the changes of the evolving new era. But still it keeps rolling along with its archives being a treasure trove of Isshinryu history.

The groups stated purpose remains true.

The Isshinryu discussion group for pleasant conversation.

No Bad Thoughts will be tolerated. If you have to think them you must keep them to yourself or bye bye.

this group is dedicated to the implausable premise that polite discussion of Isshinryu is not only possible but mandatory!

Prospective members will be receive a request for a brief bio before membership will be reviewed.

The first post stated the group purpose.

Somebody had to attempt the impossible. Creating a discussion group for Isshinryu where NO bad, miserable, disgusting thoughts will be permitted. Instead a simple group where polite, informative uplifting discussion on Isshinryu can exist.

For purposes of this group, everybody is correct. All ranks are correct. Kichero Shimabuku inherited the Isshinryu system from his father as per Okinawan custom. Likewise all other Isshinryu seniors are also correct and any inconstancies between them disappear into
vaporware.

Discussions about Rank are discouraged. All rank is a personal matter between the instructor and their direct students and we will not have the bad taste to discuss something that isn't our business.

Instead truth, justice and the American Way (that being free speech does not exist in the group as per negative discussions) will prevail.

And there is no appeal to the reality I control the delete key

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Classical Fighting Arts and Isshinryu Karate



In a recent Classical Fighting Arts article it questioned whether Shimabuku Tatsuo was a student of Kyan , Motobu and Miyagi. The article was unsigned. One supposes that might be the premise is dubious and keeps the author anomyous. Given the fact that no author of the article was listed, this fact may suggest that the CFA itself was unsure of the articles historical accuracy. About this we can't absolutely know, but it is historically unlike the magazine to publish an article with such unsubstantiated content, or publish one without an author listed. Very strange.

While I am an Isshinryu practicioner, I do not speak for all Isshinryu Karate, rather for myself. I imagine most within Isshinryu Karate would ignore this as unattributed contention. On the other hand, once something is written it has a way of hanging around, and I feel the primary issue of Shimabuku Tatsuo’s instructors worth defending.

Unfortunately the article is a messy analysis, often using side issues having nothing to do with Isshinryu. It is necessary to ignore them and focus on the primary issue in contention. In that the primary source of Isshinryu technique comes from the technique of Kyan (abet with Shimabuku’s own vision), I will begin there.

The major item is whether Shimabuku trained with Kyan, in the face of many sources that suggest he was. . Okinawa was a small place, and while Isshinryu is a minor system there, we can look at Okinawan sources of information. Consider Hokama Tershuiro, Karate Okinawan karate historian and Master Goju instructor in his book "100 Masters of Okinawan Karate" (translated into English by Joe Swift) ‘references Shimabuku Tatsuo, instructors as Kyan, Miyagi and Motobu . Additionally the founder of modern Okinawan Kobudo instruction, Taira Shinken, also one of Shimabuku’s instructors, listed Shimabuku Tatsuo as a master,instructor in his 1972 book “An Encyclopedia of Okinawan Kobudo”, so we can see some Okinawans felt him credible. But that doesn't make it true, just plausible.

Even more ancedotal evidence comes from a different source, a friend and student of Shorinjyu Ryu, when he heard of the CFA article wrote me that "Nakazato Joen, founder of Shorinji Ryu, held Tatsuo in respect was precisely because he WAS a student of Kyans and despite being many years his junior had always treated Nakazato respectfully when they trained at Kyans house."

In lieu of other evidence when I compare the technique of Shimabuku and what I see in Nakazato Joen’s student’s I see enough similarity to make a clear comparison.. That Shimabuku made changes is unmistakable. Those transformed his prior studies into Isshinryu Karate.

It’s interesting the author didn’t make reference to the recently published ‘Okinawan Karate and Kobudo Encyclopedia’. Hokama Tershuiro, was one of its authors. Although not in English it would be interesting to get the official Okinawan historical record. While not ‘authoritive’ in one sense it would be interesting to hear Okinawa’s official line.

As to his training time with Miyagi and Motobu I likewise can’t say but I feel it remains reasonable. I only continue to see parallel ideas in their students arts.

As the practice of my Isshinryu takes place on the dojo floor, it was never intended to be a history lesson. In lieu of credible sources otherwise I’ll still teach my student’s that the source of Isshinryu depended on Shimabuku’s studies with Kyan, Miyagi and Motobu. But the more important lesson was his Isshinryu was extensively modified from those lessons based on his personal research. That is the most important lesson.

I have analyzed his previous training in The complete Shimabuku Tatsuo articles which can be found at http://www.hgweb.nl/isshinryu/articles/victorindex.htm  (They were undertaken with advice from the late Sherman Harrill, a very credible Isshinryu Karate source,  but any errors are my own.)

Isshinryu Karate has moved into many places and has taken many identities. That has been both good and bad, perhaps, though I tend to focus on what I find as good. Relying on old memories about whether or not Shimabuku Sensei, it’s creator had such and such training. It’s very obvious through the creation of Isshinryu Karae that he did.

It is irrelevant what Shorin Ryu or Goju Ryu students think about our art. Although with defference to those arts credibility, I wouldn’t turn to them for advice on Isshinryu Karate.

In any case, Isshinryu isn’t a history lesson, it takes place on the dojo floor. The history is a possible study for the advanced student (say with 30 or more years into their own training), but the art is the essence of the training.

This is true on Okinawa or around the world where there are Isshinryu Karate dojo. A sign of the limited knowledge of the author of the article for Isshinryu Karate is practiced around the world. Yes, much of it is in the USA, for many of the students were originally US Marines. But there has been continual globalization of Isshinryu Karate.

The art of Shimabuku Sensei continued to change as he faced different conditions in his life. Perhaps there is a lesson there to. Perhaps the lesson its to retain our diverse pasts and evolve to meet our individual conditions. Isshinryu may be like water, you can try and grasp it but it escapes our simple grasp. There is no one correct answer and even Okinawa can’t see all of it’s aspects today..

We must continue our studies to develop our art.

By the way I am

Victor Donald Smith



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Complete Isshinryu Armbar

Chinto - Aikido applied to Isshinryu Techniques


I was recently discussing how a similarity could be found between Aikido technique and Isshinryu Kata led me to review this on a wider basis than I've done previously. I now realize that I've been doing this with the entire Isshinryu kata curriculum, and when you extract those techniques as a whole, you find a very wide range of applications with this one Aikido Technique - Ikkyo.

What the Aikidoka means by the Ikkyo control most of us would think of as an armbar. A recent quote (still unknown where I found the source) explains: "I see the basis of ikkyo as the shoulder rotating and find that important. Angier sensei (Don Angier a senior Aiki Jutsu stylist) says that the shoulder is the weakest joint in the body so in that way I think a principle is being illustrated in one of the first techniques of Aikido - effecting the center using the arm by way of the shoulder."

Now, Isshinryu specifically, and Okinawan Karate in general, are mostly thought of as striking arts, using the percussive nature of the technique to impart force into the opponent. Many of those techniques can also be viewed as locking and controlling movements.

My original  instructors received no application template to the karate technique they studies on Okinawa, and as a result of that applications (or Applications) were not taught as part of their Isshinryu curriculum, choosing to keep to their instructors teachings. Over the years training in other systems and intuition have aided me in understanding the potential uses of the Isshinryu system techniques in kata.

For one period I spent over 10 years training with Tris Sutrisno in Shotokan, Aikido and Tjimande. The Aikido techniques I was exposed to, and his unique family exposition of Applications, led me to appreciate Aikido as an adjunct training to my Isshinryu, and I began to incorporate those drills into my Dan level program. But they were just that, separate exercises and techniques.

Then another December, I was doing Chinto and it struck me that the opening of Chinto would exactly overlay a long practiced Aikido projection. This caused me to do an analysis of potential aikido technique within Chinto kata. What I discovered was that a large portion of the Aikido curriculum could be found directly within Chinto itself. Of course you weren't doing Aikido, but rather Chinto technique which matches the technique developed by Aikido.

My post the other day on the comparison of Aikido and Issinryu and looking at the first technique in Seisan kata, as well an example from Seiuchin got me to thinking about Isshinryu kata and the arm bar. It wasn't long before I realized all of our kata contain this potential and served as the germination for this project.

On Isshinryu Applications
I personally am of the opinion that all approaches to Isshinryu (No Applications, formalized Applications only and Unlimited Applications possibilities) work quite well creating competent Isshinryu practitioners. Yep I believe ALL of you are stronger, faster and better looking than me and mine, and thus I will consider everything in order to train to stop all of you.

This analysis is not to imply this is the only way to look at our shared system.

But if considering Isshinryu and Aikido together helps me develop stronger students, I'm more than willing to take a strong look at it.

I also do not write about anything that I do not practice or make work, although I can always learn how to do it better. I'm sure from time to time my students would wish that were different.

On Aikido

Aikido is a martial art which evolved out of the considerable studies of Ueshiba Morihei in Japan. He trained in a number of arts, but it is commonly acknowledged his use of studies in Daito Ryu Aiki Jutsu formed the structural basis of Aikido.

As he taught for a long time and his art continued to evolve and change there are many varieties and flavors of Aikido in existence.

Structurally Aikido is the study of circular projections and controlling movements (locks). Ueshiba sensei's Aikido prior to WWII contained many Atemi (striking techniques) to set up the Aikido movements. The text 'BUDO" by Ueshiba, from that period, clearly shows him striking before applying the techniques. The circles used for those techniques were very small and fast, and the the attacker required a great deal of skill to perform without injury. Those students who studied in that period retained those practices.

After WWII his Aikido instruction was done more as a physical exercise and less for realistic self defense. Those students did not use Atemi and likewise retained those practices. Likewise the circles used with the techniques became larger and slower.

Thus looking at any contemporary Aikido instruction, you will find a wide variety of practices. Yet the general intent of those techniques remains similar.

Likewise there is a very wide range of good Aikido texts from the founder down through the next several generations of practitioners. Almost all of them contribute different experiences to opening the techniques as well as the application of the techniques. This can be valuable as you explore the nature of these techniques within Isshinryu.

The Attacks

In order to effectively train in the Applications we'll address, you have to consider what you are defending against.

I prefer to discuss this against several differing attacks.

1. The Thrust Punch

2. The Snap Punch

3. The Hook Punch

4. The Grab (single or double handed)

I find the thrust punch the most useful basic training attack. Especially from the point of view many attacks will begin with a grab, the thrust punch can approximate that same movement towards oneself. Grabbing techniques can be used of course, but as the thrust punch comes in faster, it assists developing quicker responses. Correct body shifting is a necessary component learning how to maximize the response.

You will also find how effective the arm bar is against the turning punches used by most karate systems. As they corkscrew the punch in they are beginning the turning movement used to control them. Against a vertical thrust punch, you have to extend the arm forward more before you can begin to rotate the punching arm.

The Snap (or Jab) Punch requires special training. Truthfully you can't catch the Snap Punch on its outside movement. In its use Shimabuku Tatsuo really gave us a favor because it requires a more realistic approach to make happen. I believe you first have to strike into the opponent (or even into their arm) , then grab and extend the arm before you begin to turn it (and the shoulder) over. All of which requires even a higher level of skill.

The Hook punch involves a different form of body shifting to evade the strike and then enter it and use the arm bar control.

Then there is a wide range of ways these techniques can work against a grab.

Each of these attacks need to be carefully considered in order to pick the appropriate Isshinryu response. In my kata analysis for the Arm Bar, I will only work on one of the attacks, in most cases. This does not imply that the same technique won't work against the other attacks.

Of course, being able to sell any response one chooses is a necessary component of advancing skill, too.

The Arm Bar

The arm bar is an exterior line of defense.

It is applied from outside the opponents arm (in the defensive superior position where there is less chance from a counter attack. On the other hand if one finds oneself inside of the attacking arm, how to maneuver to the outside to apply this is a part of the technique too.

The arm is extended and rotated into the centerline of the body. The one hand grasps the opponent’s wrist. The other hand presses, strikes across or strikes into the triceps insertion above the elbow.

The grab at the wrist can be a simple grab of the thumbs, palm and fingers. It may be a more complex grab with the same, but the index finger may be straight so the base of the index finger can be used to press into the pressure points at the inside if the wrist. Even more advanced it may be executed with the thumb tip and the tips of the fingers in a 'Eagle Claw' grab into specific nerve points of the wrist. The more complex grabbing techniques will not be part of this discussion.

During application the opponent’s wrist is extended forward while pressure is applied against their triceps tendon insertion above the elbow. This force can then be directed towards the opponent’s centerline causing them to turn over in fuller control. [Please excuse me if I am anatomically incorrect in this first draft.]

There are also a number of ranges of application involved. The arm bar can be applied from a medium distance, with grabs and strikes or presses. The arm bar can also be applied at very close range with both arms adhering to the opponents arm with an adhesive effect to control them.

The arm bar can be applied to lock and control an opponent, even to moving them as a shield between you and other attackers. You can use it to project your opponent, or place their face into the ground. You also can use it to break the arm at its weakest point behind the elbow, in some instances.

Often Jujutsu and Aikido Waza (techniques) require you to pin the opponent ot the ground. While that is always possible with Isshinryu technique, in many cases for self defense, it is not advisable to go to the ground with the opponent. Instead shifting them before other attackers, or bending them over making them more susceptible for other attacks, etc. make most sense.

The Complete Isshinryu Arm Bar

I am using only one attack per Applications being discussed. Actually these techniques must be studied against the full range of attacks such as:

1 Right foot forward - Right hand attack (either punch or grab)

2 Right foot forward - Left hand attack

3. Left foot forward - Left hand attack

4. Left foot forward - Right hand attack

Ideally they would be practice against the 3 striking approaches, Thrust, Snap and Hook, as well against grabs.

Where sections are repeated I am assuming you can draw the inference to doing the technique on the opposite side from the given description.



Contents

1 Seisan - First Section

2 Seisan - First Turn

3 Seisan - Left Parry, Right front Kick, Right Punch

4 Seiuchin - First Section

5 Seiuchin - Section with Augmented High Block

6 Seiuchin - Section with Hammerfist Strike

7 Seiuchin - Section with Retreating Low Block

8 Nihanchi - Section with Cross Body Block

9 Wansu - Section with Hidden Punch

10 Wansu - Section with Fireman's Throw

11 Wansu - Section with Forward Elbow/Forearm Strike

12 Chinto - Opening Section

13 Chinto - Double Block Hi and Low then turn

14 Chinto - Jamming Turn

15 Chinto - Side Block then Hammerfist

16 Chinto - Front Kick Side Elbow Strike

17 Chinto - Double Head Block, Knee Strike, Side Elbow Strike

18 Chinto - Step Back into Left Kake Dachi with Right Low Block

19 Chinto - Step Out with Left Open Side Strike, Right Hammerfist, Right Front Kick

20 Kusanku - Opening Section

21 Kusanku - Step Out Left Hand Parry, Step out Right Hand Parry

22 Kusanku - Left Front Punch Right Horse Riding Punch

23 Kusanku - Twist-Parry &Strike, Front Kick, Drop to Floor

24 Kusanku - Backfist, Crescent Kick Drop to the Floor

25 Kusanku - Turn, outer ridge hand block, step through, spearhand

26 SunNuSu- Opening

27 SunNuSu- Spear Hand Thrust, Turn, Open Low Block Left Spear Hand

28 SunNuSu- Shuffle right spear hand then Left spear hand Right Spear Hand

29 SunNuSu- Backfist, Twist, Left Open Hand Side Parry, Right Shuto, Right Low Strike

30 SunNuSu- Turn, Left outer Parry, Right Descending Press

31 SunNuSu- Stack Hands and Squat Kick

32 SunNuSu- Kame, Step forward and Side Elbow Strike

33 SunNuSu- Kame, step Forward and RightStrike to Elbow

34 SunNuSu- Strike arm and ribs, Turn and Throw

35 SunNuSu- Step back into kake dachi, pull up left and right low block

36 SunNuSu- Close

37 Sanchin - Opening

38 Sanchin - Double Gouge Turn hands over

39 Sanchin - Mawashi The attacker





1. Description for an Akido Ikkyo - Seisan kata First Section

Taking the first section of Seisan and moving into the ikkyo lock. Covers the shift from Interior line of defense to Exterior line of defense.

The attacker - Right foot forward Right Punch

Interior line of defense

1. Left Foot Forward, Left Side Block followed by a Right Reverse punch to the solar plexus.

Exterior line of defense

2. Right arm rolls under and then up raising and rotating The attacker’s arm clockwise

3. As the right arm rolls over, the right hand slides down the arm and grasps the wrist, pulling the opponent slightly forward.

4. Complete the ikkyo lock by pressing down into the elbow with your left palm as you rotate your body to the right (clockwise).

5. Then you can take advantage of a number of options to down and control the opponent by locking them straight down into the floor, to rotating them clockwise spiraling them down.

Now lets go through this again overlaying Seisan Kata with the above technique.

The attacker - Right foot forward Right Punch

Interior line of defense

Seisan LFF Right Punch

1. Left Foot Forward, Left Side Block followed by a Right Reverse punch to the solar plexus.

Exterior line of defense

Seisan RFF As you chamber the right fist first (You would most likely shift 20 degrees so your centerline crosses their arm)

2. Right arm rolls under and then up raising and rotating The attacker’s arm clockwise

3. As the right arm rolls over, the right hand slides down the arm and grasps the wrist, pulling the opponent slightly forward.

4. Complete the ikkyo lock by pressing down into the elbow with your left palm as you rotate your body to the right (clockwise).

5. Then you can take advantage of a number of options to down and control the opponent by locking them straight down into the floor, to rotating them clockwise spiraling them down.

For those of us who have trained with Sherman Harrill you can also use that 2nd left punch to punch across the turning arm's triceps, and use that motion to roll the The attacker into the ikkyo lock instead of pressing down into the arm.


2. Description for an Akido Ikkyo - Seisan kata First Turn



The attacker - Left foot Forward Left Punch

Exterior line of defense

1. Left foot forward, Double rising high block (deflecting the attacker’s arm to the left and up.

2. Turn 180 degrees to the left

3. The left hand rolls over the attackers wrist and pulls down while the right forearm presses down on the triceps insertion tendon.

The right foot can step between tori (defender's) left foot and the the attacker’s left foot, using the lower body to assist upsetting the opponent. Alternately you can also step on their foot to create a little different effect on the uke.

3. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seisan kata Left Parry, Right Front Kick, Right Punch

The attacker Left Foot Forward Left Punch

1. Left Foot forward left outside open hand parry

2. Left Hand grabs the attacker’s wrist

3. Right front kick into the attacker’s leg, buckling it

4. Bottom of The attacker’s Right punch rolls across the attacker’s triceps. This rolls the arm over into The attacker’s centerline effecting the arm lock.

3. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seiuchin kata First Section

The attacker - Right foot Forward Right Punch

Exterior Line of Defense

1. You step out with your right foot and adjust yourself into a seiuchin dachi with an open hand bent wrist block across the attacker’s arm. Your left open hand is drawn back to your waist.

2. You turn your right hand over and slide it down to your opponents wrist, grab and pull them forward hyper-extending their arm.

3. Next you strike across their triceps insertion above their elbow with your left spear hand

4. Step forward with your left foot into left seiuchin as you press down with both hands. This rotates the attackers arm over and down into the arm bar, assisted by your leg pressing against the inside of their leg for greater control.

4. Description for an Akido Ikkyo - Seiuchin kata Section with Augmented High Block

Scott Hankins's contribution on Kata Seiuchin

Another obvious location in the kata to find Aikido moves is Seiuchin.

I'm thinking of the 'second' sequence where you do a "reinforced block" followed by stepping into a seiuchin stance and performing a "down block".

This can be seen as first a ni-kyo (or s-lock)against your opponents right arm followed by the omote version of ik-kyo (or arm bar). The beauty of this sequence is that the easiest way for someone to counter ni-kyo is to lift/raise their elbow, thereby taking pressure off their wrist.

However, doing this sets yourself up for ik-kyo.

5. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seiuchin Kata Section with Hammerfist Strike

The attacker left foot forward, left rising punch to tori's head

Exterior line of defense

1. Right foot forward (hooking around the attacker’s left foot)

2. Left open hand parries the attackers arm and then presses down at the wrist.

3. Right forearm hammerfist behind the attacker’s elbow into the triceps insertion.

This version is very powerful and can readily turn into an arm break

6. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seiuchin Kata Retreating Low Block

The attacker’s left hand grabs your left hand after your left low block.

Exterior line of defense

1. Step back with your left foot into left seiuchin dachi.

2. Your left hand rolls over (counterclockwise) grabbing the attacker’s wrist and pulling them forward.

3. You use your right low block/strike into the attacker’s arm (behind the elbow)

This pulls the attacker forward into an arm bar (of course the break potential is there too.

7. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Nihanchi Kata Cross Body Hammerfist

The attacker’s stepping into Tori with a left foot forward left punch

1. Left foot steps back turning to the left and ending in a nihanchi stance paralleling the attackers arm.

2. The left hand rolls up and over the attacker’s punching wrist and pulls back

3. The right cross body hammerfist (forearm strike) rolls the attacker over into the arm bar

This can be done with the left foot beginning the movement with an inner cutting kick into the attacker’s stepping leg before the lock is applied, or it can be done with the right foot concluding the movement with an inner cutting kick into the attacker’s calf/knee once the lock is completed.

8. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Wansu Kata Hidden Punch Section

The attacker’s Left foot forward left hand grabs Tori's left hand

1. Turn to the left so your centerline crosses the the attacker’s arm about 45 degrees, and execute a left knife hand across the attacker’s arm, partially rolling it over.

2. Your left grabs the attacker’s wrist as your right arm strikes across the attacker’s arm above the elbow, completing rolling the attacker over.

3. Your right front kick can a) kick into the attacker’s leg, or b) can kick past the attacker’s leg on the inside and then strike behind their knee with the retraction of the kick. Either effect differing takedowns.

9. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Wansu Kata Fireman's Throw Section

The attacker Left foot forward left punch

1. You step into The attacker’s attack from Horse stance. The left open hand strikes up under the attacker’s arm as the right open hand strikes into the attacker’s side.

2. Your left hand grabs the attacker’s wrist as your right arm presses up into the attacker’s arm behind the elbow.

3. You continue to step through 180 degrees to the left raising the attacker’s arm up and down with a projection / controlling throw.

10. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Wansu Kata Forward Elbow/Forearm Strike

The attacker Left foot forward left punch

1. You're left backhand in kamae intercepts the the attacker’s punch

2. You turn the left hand over their attacking arm pressing down

3. You step forward with your right foot delivering the right forearm smash into their arm behind the elbow

4. Controlling them with the arm bar your right foot steps over and you turn 180 degrees to the rear. This will roll the attacker over.

11. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Chinto Kata Opening Section

The attacker Left Foot forward left punch

1. Left Backfist into the side of the attacker’s arm

2. Roll left hand over and grab the attacker’s wrist

3. Right reverse punch across the attacker’s triceps tendon as you pull your left hand back into chamber

13. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Double Hi and Low Block and Turn

The attacker Right foot forward grabbing your right wrist with their right hand

1. You step back into horse stance with your right foot

2. Roll your right hand clockwise to grab their wrist

3. As your right hand pulls their arm down and begins to rotate the arm into their center, your left elbow strikes into their arm behind their elbow on the triceps, locking them into the arm bar

4. You then turn clockwise, pulling them forward as your body turns into their arm

14. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Chinto Jamming Turn

The attacker Right foot forward Right Punch to your back

1. Turn clockwise into the The attacker and deflect their punch with a right snap punch.

2. Grab The attacker’s right wrist and roll their arm into their center

3. Left foot steps forward and left punch rolls across The attacker’s triceps, creating the arm bar.

4. The stepping left foot would step in front of The attacker’s right leg, trapping it.

15. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Chinto side block then Hammerfist

The attacker Right foot forward Right Punch to your right shoulder

1. Turn 90 degrees to the left and block their arm with your right shuto block

2. Slide the right hand down to grab their wrist.

3. Left Hammerfist behind their elbow

4. Right foot steps back 180 degrees, and use the turning motion and the right arm strike to pull the opponent back into an arm bar.

16. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Chinto Front Kick, Side Elbow Strike

The attacker Left front kick left punch

1. From a left kake dachi right low block the kick

2. Left hand grabs the attacker’s left arm

3. Right front kick to the attacker’s abdomnen

4. Turn 90 degrees to the left and strike across the attacker’s elbow/triceps area effecting the arm bar

5. Drop down in horse stance with the arm bar controlling uke.

17. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Chinto Double Head Block, Knee Strike, Side Elbow Strike

The attacker Left Foot Forward Left Punch

1. Right foot steps back into Left kake dachi deflecting the punch to the left

2. The left hand parries the the attacker’s punching arm to the left and down

3. The right knee strikes into the attacker’s lower ribs

4. As The attacker’s hand grabs Tori's wrist, the left forearm strikes across Tori's triceps making the arm bar

5. Place right leg down in front of the attacker’s left leg.locking their lower body as the lock takes hold.

18. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Chinto Step back into Left Kake Dachi with Right Low Block

The attacker reaches out with their left arm and grabs your left wrist

1. You step back with your right foot (turning your body clockwise into left kake dachi facing the opponent.

2. Your left arm rolls up to the center of your chest as they continue to grab your wrist

3. Your right arm strikes down into their triceps. This effects an armbar

4. You follow with a right kick to down our opponent

19. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Chinto - Step Out with Left Open Side Strike, Right Hammerfist, Right Front Kick

The attacker Left Foot Forward, Left Punch

1. You step out with your left foot and parry their punch to the left with your left open hand

2. Your left hand slides down and grabs their wrist.

3. Your right hammerfist strikes across, behind their elbow into the triceps, rolling the attacker over

4. Your right front kick kicks in front of their foot, and the leg's snap back strikes their knee from the other side and behind, buckling their knee, dropping the The attacker with the arm bar for control.

20. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Kusanku Kata Opening Section

The attacker Left foot forward left punch

1. Lean to the right and execute a left side block

2. Left hand opens, turns out and grabs the attacker’s wrist and pulls it forward

3. Twist to the right and execute the right punch across the attacker’s triceps effecting the arm bar as the attacker’s arm rolls over towards their center.

21. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Kusanku Kata Step out Left Hand Parry Step Out Right Hand Parry

The attacker Left Foot forward Left Punch

1. Left foot forward left open hand outside parry

2. Right foot forward, turning to the left so your centerline crosses The attacker’s arm at lest 20 degrees

3. Left hand grab's The attacker’s wrist

4. Right Hand Open Outside Parry as a press behind the attacker’s elbow rolling into the triceps.

The right foot also can step before the attacker’s leg for a trap to make the arm bar easier.

22. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Kusanku Kata Left Front Punch Right Horse Riding Punch

The attacker Left foot forward Left Punch

1. Left foot forward left punch across the attacker’s arm moving the attacker’s arm to the left

2. Left hand open and grab the attacker’s wrist

3. Step out with the right foot and turn to the left into Horse Stance. The right foot steps before the attacker’s left foot locking their lower body.

4. Right Punch to the side across the attacker’s triceps, rolling them over with the arm lock

23. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Kusanku Kata Twist-Parry &Strike, Front Kick, Drop to Floor

The attacker Left foot forward Left Punch

1. Twist into Left Kake Dachi left open hand parries punch across head and Right Shuto strikes across The attacker’s Triceps

2. Right front kick inside the attacker’s leg to groin

3. As Kick snaps back striking with the heel behind the attacker’s knee, your left hand grabs their wrist

4. Turn 180 degrees to the left and drop on your right knee. The left arm and right arm lock the attacker’s arm in an arm bar.

This movement can be a projection, rolling the attacker head over heels or it can be used to pin them to the ground.

24. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Kusanku Kata Backfist, Crescent Kick Turning Drop to the floor

The attacker Left Foot Forward Left Punch

1. Step out in left Horse Stance and throw a left backfist to move the attacker’s arm to the left

2. Turn to the right, grab the attacker’s wrist

3. Right Crescent kick (perhaps into The attacker’s side) and place the right foot down inside of their leg

4. Turn to the right, Right hand grabs The attacker’s arm behind the elbow

5. Drop to the floor, locking the attacker down with the arm bar

25. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Kusanku Kata turn, left outer ridge hand block, step through and Spear Hand

The attacker grabs your left arm from behind

1. Turn away from the attacker’s grab, and use the left outer ridgehand block to begin turning the attacker’s arm into his center.

2. Step through the attacker’s arm with your right foot as your Right Spear Hand slices across the top of the attacker’s triceps

This rolls the attacker’s arm over into the arm bar.

26. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu Kata Opening

The attacker - Left Foot Forward Left Hand Grab of Tori's Left Hand

1. left foot forward, Double outer blocks, left rolls the attacker’s arm over

2.Turning to the left the left hand rolls over and grabs the attacker’s wrist as the right hand slices back across the Triceps and chambers

3.The right arm strikes out, the bottom of that arm slicing across the triecps turning the attacker over into the arm bar

27. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Spearhand Thrust, Turn, Open Low Block Left Spear Hand

The attacker - Right Foot forward Right Punch to your head

1. Left foot forward, the left spear hand thrusts up to deflect the attacker’s punch to the left side

2. Right Hand slides up arm and grabs the attacker’s wrist (your palm out)

3. Turn 180 degrees to the right and pull the attacker’s arm down (this will roll them over and overextend them to their front.

4. Thrust a Left Spear Hand across their triceps to immobilize them .

28. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Shuffle right spear hand then Left spear hand Right Spear Hand

The attacker - Left foot forward Left Punch

1.From Kame (LFF) Step forward with your right foot and use the right spear hand to thrust the attacker’s punch to the left

2.Shuffle forward, keeping the right foot in front, and thrust across the attacker’s arm with the left spear hand.

3.As The attacker’s left arm comes back open the hand and grab the left wrist, pulling it back.

4. Again shuffle forward as the bottom of the right spear hand slides across the the attacker’s triceps finishing the arm bar.

29. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Backfist, Twist, Left Open Hand Side Parry, Right Shuto, Right Low Strike

The attacker left foot forward left punch to head

1. Throw left backfist into the attacker’s arm moving it to the left, then Twist to left with left open hand deflecting the attacker’s strike past the head

2.Continue to turn left hand over and grab the attacker’s wrist as the right hand shuto strikes into the triceps of the attacker.

3.Continue holding the attackers arm with the left hand as you drive the the attacker down with a right low strike sliding alongside the attacker’s arm bar

30. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Turn, Left outer Parry, Right Descending Press

Uke. Left foot forward Left hand grab of your left arm from behind

1.Turn 180 degrees to the left

2.The left arm turn over counter-clockwise and the left hand slides down to grab the attackers wrist

3.Pivot to the left into left kake dachi and the right arm presses down on the the attacker’s triceps effecting the arm bar.

31. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Stack Hands and Squat Kick

The attacker - Right Foot Forward Right Front Punch

1.Right hand strikes forward, outside of the attacker’s punch, deflecting it to the right.

2.Right hand rolls over and grabs the attacker’s wrist and pulls it back to the waist, pulling the attacker fowaard.

3.The last movement began to turn the attacker’s arm over. The left arm then slides out over the attacker’s triceps and helps roll them over into the arm bar

This takes place as you step to the right.

4.The left leg delivers a squat kick into the the attacker’s ribs

The motion of this arm bar is somewhat different from the previous ones, but it still falls in the same classification.

32. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Kame, Step forward and Side Elbow Strike

The attacker Left foot forward left punch

1. You're left openhand in kamae intercepts the the attacker’s punch

2.You turn the left hand over their attacking arm pressing down

3.You step forward with your right foot delivering the right forearm smash into their arm behind the elbow

4.Controlling them with the arm bar your right foot steps over and you turn 180 degrees to the rear. This will roll the attacker over.

This is very similar to the Side Elbow strike in Wansu.

33. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Kame, step Forward and RightStrike to Elbow

The attacker - Left Foot Forward Left Punch to Back

1.Turn 180 degrees to the left and left open hand middle parry deflects punch to left

2.Turn left hand over and press down across the attacker’s wrist

3.Right foot forward , turning slightly to the left

4.Right rising open hand strike behind the attacker’s elbow creating an armbar

This version is somewhat different from the rest, in that the attacker’s arm is being rotated away from their centerline from the motion of your left and right hands, but I still feel this qualifies as an arm bar.

34. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Strike arm and ribs, Turn and Throw

The attacker - Right Foot Forward Right Punch

1.Left foot forward, right open hand deflection rises up underneath the attacker’s arm as left open hand palm strike takes place into the attacker’s ribs.

2.Right hand grab's the attacker’s wrist as left hand strikes up behind the attacker’s elbow

3.Turn 180 degrees to the right, step through with the left into horse stance. Your right hand drops pulling down the attacker’s and the left arm keeps the arm locked and keeps the arm bar. This is a projection and or a break.

This technique is the reverse of the same throw in Wansu kata.

35. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Step back into kake dachi, pull up left and right low block

The attacker - Right foot forward Right hand grabbing your left wrist

1.Step back into left Kake dachi raising the left arm, rolling uke' arm over

2.Deliver the right low blow/block behind the attacker’s elbow into the triceps. This will form the arm bar and drop the attacker down.

3.The next technique from the kata is a finishing right front kick

36. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - SunNuSu- Close

The attacker - Right foot forward Right Grab to your right hand

1.Right foot forward, right arm rolls up and out with a right open hand middle block

2. Right hand rolls over and grabs the attacker’s wrist, rotating it towards his centerline

3. Turn slightly to the right and left foot forward with a left open palm strike into the attacker’s triceps completing the arm bar.

As before the left step can be on top of the attacker’s foot, or across the attacker’s leg for the trap, or even hooking behind the attacker’s leg from the outside for the trap.

37. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Sanchin - Opening

The attacker - Left Foot Forward Left Hand Grab of Tori's Left Hand

1. left foot forward, Double outer blocks, left rolls the attacker’s arm over

2.Turning to the left the left hand rolls over and grabs the attacker’s wrist as the right hand slices back across the Triceps and chambers

3.The right arm strikes out, the bottom of that arm slicing across the triecps turning the attacker over into the arm bar

Yes, this is the same as the SunNuSu Opening Arm Bar

38. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Sanchin - Double Gouge Turn hands over

The attacker Right foot forward Right Punch

1.From left sanchin dachi you slide forward, keeping the same stance but angling to the right so you center line crosses the attacker’s arm about 20 degrees.

2.Both hands slide across the top of the attacker’s punching arm.

3.The right hand turns slightly faster grabbing the the attacker’s wrist

4.The left hand completes the lock by rolling over behind the attacker’s elbow on the triceps.

39. Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Sanchin - Mawashi The attacker

The attacker Left Foot Forward Left Punch

1.Left foot back into right sanchin as Right open hand parries the punch slightly to the left

2.The left open hand slides up underneath the right arm and the left hand grabs the attacker’s wrist

3.The left hand draws the attacker’s arm back, hyper-extending their arm forward

4.The right hand circles away and then strikes back into the triceps, behind the elbow.

Depending on the speed of the maneuver this may be an arm bar, a break, or if you turn away on the moment of impact on the attacker’s arm this can be used for a projection..

In close range the right strike can be done with the forearm, or at further range with the palm.

In my opinion, this and the other Mawashi The attacker (Tora Guchi) applications are among the most valuable in karate.

A Beginning

This is not the conclusion, rather it is just another opening chapter in my ongoing studies on the Isshinryu system.

While I've explored potential iklyo/arm bar Applications to our Isshinryu kata technique, that alone will not give one the skill to apply it in conditions of extremis.

Every technique requires an appropriate opening. Locks in particular would need a solid shot (in most cases) to give adequate time to apply it .

Likewise there is the need to study a wide range of appropriate finishing techniques. Whether immobilizing your opponent, striking into them, downing them or projecting them there remains much more than just the use of the Isshinryu arm bar.

I am confident that the arm bar can be thought of as the basic lock of all Okinawan karate. As our Isshinryu study has shown us, it can be thought of as an basic, ever present "hidden" locking technique. I'm sure I can show the same with every Okinawan kata at this point.

Thus a case is made for the Arm Bar in my mind.

In Ueshiba's Aikido the techniques was named "Number One - Ikkyo". As I understand their analysis, it is the basis for many other locks which come out of its opening.

I also suspect (with a tip of the hat to Joe Swift for suggesting it in this light that it's number one because its simpler and easier to make work in stressed times. This seems consistent with its presence in our kata.

So have I found every possible presence in Isshinryu? I suspect not, but I think this is a fair opening to the subject.

Now I intend to work and give this same vision to my Dan's, and refocus them on techniques we have already reviewed.

I believe this will make their karate studies stronger.

Suggested Reading to Assist in Understanding Aikido

The Hidden Roots of Aikido-Aiki Jujutsu Daitoryu by Shiro Omiya - Kodansha Int.

Budo Teachings of the Fonder of Aikido by Morihei Usheiba - Kodansha Int.

Aikido by Kisshomaru Usheiaba - Hozansha Publications

Total Aikido the Master Course by Goso Shioda - Kodansha Int.

Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere by A. Westbrook and O. Ratti -Tuttle

The Principles of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome - Shambhala Pub.

Samurai Aikijutsu by Toshishiro Obata - Dragon Books

Author's Note:

I continually draw inspiration from the infrequent training I've received from Sherman Harrill. Some of you will note some of his concepts present in my descriptions.

I wish to acknowledge Joe Swift's (Kanazawa, Japan) assistance in spell check. Without which I'm sure I'd be less accurate.

The Complete Isshinryu Arm Bar - Addendum

As wrote Robert Burns (the Scottish poet), "The best-laid plans o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gle.."

Reflection has made me think of some other Isshinryu arm bar's I missed on the first draft.

Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seisan Kata Side Block Reverse Punch

The attacker - Left foot forward Left Lead Punch

1. Left foot forward with a left side block, pressing the attacker’s punch to the left.

2. The left hand rolls over and slides down to grab the attacker’s wrist

3. Right Punch across the attacker’s arm, the bottom of the arm slides across the triceps rolling the attacker over

Optional - Depending on the section of the kata, the right front kick can kick into the leg, or kick in front of the leg and the heel can strike behind the knee (from the other side),

The attacker - Right foot forward Left Reverse Punch

1. Left foot forward with a left side block, pressing the attacker’s punch to the left.

2. The left hand rolls over and slides down to grab the attacker’s wrist

3. Right Punch across the attacker’s arm, the bottom of the arm slides across the triceps rolling the attacker over

Optional - Depending on the section of the kata the right front kick can kick into the leg (calf, knee, thigh, hip) of the opponent's right side.

Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seisan Kata Right foot forward left Low Block Right Open Side block and Grab

1. Right foot forward with a left inner circling downward grab, The left hand come up and over the arm opens up and slides down to the attacker’s wrist.

2. The left hand grabs the attacker’s wrist and rotates their arm into their centerline.

3. Raise the right elbow and bring it down over the attacker’s triceps and draw your right elbow back to your side. This motion will lock the attacker’s arm in the armbar.

The attacker Left foot forward Left Punch

1. 1. Right foot forward with a left inner circling downward parry

2. The left hand grabs the attacker’s wrist and rotates their arm into their centerline.

3. Raise the right elbow and bring it down over the attacker’s triceps and draw your right elbow back to your side. This motion will lock the attacker’s arm in the armbar.

Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seisan Kata Grab with right hand, Drop back to Horse Stance and Left Side Block/Strike

The attacker - Right foot forward Right Cross Hand Grab of your Right Hand

1. Your right hand reaches out and grabs the attacker’s forearm (inside of arm to inside of arm)

2. Your right foot slide back into horse stance and you pull their arm back

3. You execute a left side strike under The attacker’s arm.

This arm bar will cause the attacker to spin to the left away from their centerline

The attacker - Left foot forward Left Straight Hand Grab of your Right Arm

1. Rotate your right wrist clockwise and grab the attacker’s wrist

2. Your right foot slide back into horse stance and you pull their arm back

3. You execute a left side strike under The attacker’s arm.

The arm bar will cause the attacker to spin to the left, into their centerline.

Description for an Aikido Ikkyo - Seisan Closing

The attacker - Left foot forward straight grab to your right arm

1. Both arms circle out, the right arm on the inside of the attacker’s punch.

2. As the right arm circles out and then down, it continues to move the attacker’s until it meets your left hand.

3. Your left grabs The attacker’s wrist and pulls back to the waist as you rotate to the left and the right arm rolls across the attacker’s arm forming the arm bar.

While this is a little different from the normal close (with the side shift at the end) I feel it is perfectly acceptable within Applications guidelines.