Saturday, January 19, 2013

Motobu Choki Self Defense Techniques

Being an Isshinryu practitioner, having the chance to see and practice Motobu Choki’s self defense drills and understand the shape they my have held on Shimabuku Tatsuo’s developing Isshinryu Karate is special. His son has preserved much of his father’s art for us.

Motobu no Naihanchi Shodan may well be the source of Isshinryu Karate Nihanchi kata as we too begin to the left.

Starting to the left as in the 1932 “Watashi no Karate-jitsu

Motobu also taught this version, Nihanchi ShoDan with Motobu Chosei

starting to the right this time.

There also is Motobu-ryu Naihanchi Nidan by Motobu Chosei

Which is not found in Isshinryu but is important in the self defense techniques.

I have been unable to locate the version of Patsai (Passai) used by Motobu, but this version from one of Kyan’s students may help us see the influence on Isshinryu SunNuSu (Sunsu) Kata.

The kata PASSAI (Tomari, Oyadomari, Kyan version) performed at the Okinawa Kenritsu Budokan in front of Joen Nakazato sensei (R.I.P.) in 2009, by one of his most senior students

From these kata practices came the influence of the self defense techniques.

Motobu Chosei performing Motobu Choki 12 Self Defense technique

interspaced with photos from Motobu Choki’s 1926 book “Okinwanan Kempo Karate-jitsu

after the techniques are shown there is a 2nd performance of the techniques.

Notice the attacker often uses two strikes, both of which must be dealt with.

Note no. 4 uses the backfist and press similar to our multiple striking drill (hint)

Note no. 8 is similar to the use of the technique in SunNuSu kata (or a Passai technique application)

This has been cross checked against the Patrick McCarthy translation "Motobu Choki Karate My Art".
Thank you to those who have preserved and shared these video’s with us.

1 comment:

Victor Smith said...

In 1978, an essay entitled "Collection of Sayings by Motobu Choki" was published in Japanese. This is my personal compression from those remarks. They were translated by Joe Charles Swift, and we are grateful for his efforts.

4. One must develop the ability to read how much striking power any person has
in one glance.
5. One does not have to take care to block every single attack by an opponent with
weak striking power.
6. One must develop the ability to deflect an attack even from behind.
7. In a real confrontation, more than anything else one should strike to the face
first, as this is the most effective.
8. Kicks are not all that effective in a real confrontation.
9."Karate IS Sente" (Here, sente means the initiative, or the first move. c.f. Karate
ni Sente Nashi - there is no first move in karate -JS).
12. The position of the legs and hips in Naifuanchin no Kata is the basics of karate.
13. Twisting to the left or right from the Naifuanchin stance will give you the stance used in a real confrontation. Twisting ones way of thinking about Naifuanchin left and right, the
various meanings in each movement of the kata will also become clear.
14. One must always try and block the attack at its source (i.e. block not the attacking hand, but deeper on the arm).
15. The blocking hand must be able to become the attacking hand in an instant. Blocking with one hand and then countering with the other is not true bujutsu. Real bujutsu presses forward and blocks and counters in the same motion.
16. One cannot use continuous attacks against true karate. That is because the blocks of true karate make it impossible for the opponent to launch a second attack.
19. When punching to the face, one must thrust as if punching through to the back of the
24. It is necessary to drink alcohol and pursue other fun human activities. The art (i.e. karate) of someone who is too serious has no "flavour."
25. It is OK to take two steps forward or back in the same kamae, but over three steps, one
must change the position (facing) of their guard.
34. There are no stances such as neko-ashi, zenkutsu or kokutsu in my karate. Neko-ashi is a form of "floating foot" which is considered very bad in bujutsu. If one receives a body strike, one will be thrown off balance. Zenkutsu and kokutsu are unnatural, and prevent free leg movement.
The stance in my karate, whether in kata or kumite, is like Naifuanchin, with the knees
slightly bent, and the footwork is free. When defending or attacking, I tighten the knees and drop the hips, but I do not put my weight on either front or back foot, rather keeping it evenly distributed.
35. When blocking kicks, one must block as if trying to break the opponent's shin.