I've made a few brief posts on some of the material contained in the Bubushi. (Translations by Alexander & Penland, and
by OKINAWAN BUBUSHI - Strategy and Tactics I
When the original author(s) chose what to included in the Okinawan Bubushi, they included Section 16, Grappling and Escapes.
Consider back a few years ago how controversial it was to mention that Okinawan Karate contained grappling techniques. I can remember one seminar I was presenting at a summer camp, many years ago, showing grappling techniques in Okinawan kata, and having one instructor argue with me that Okinawan Karate only contained punching and kicking. He changed his mind by the time I concluded, but here we have concrete evidence that consideration of same was something the Seniors thought of.
I wouldn't say this chapter influenced the development of kata directly. Rather it seems to me the concepts that are presented here helped the Martial Artist choose which technique to apply against an attack.
Both Translations (Alexander & Penland, and McCarthy) cover essentially the same material, but in different order (with some exceptions). But either text gives you the gist of a logical tactical analysis of how to handle specific situations.
The Commentary I'm suggesting for these techniques, is not necessary right, but does show how I'm seeing these techniques at this time.
This time I'm choosing the Alexander Bubushi text:
1. If you want to conquer the east, then you must attack the west first (a Feint).
Commentary - I once attended a Judo seminar where the instructor was teaching a technique his Japanese instructors made him wait 20 years to learn. This text sums it up completely.
2. If you want to advance forward, then fake a movement to the rear.
Commentary - Most people's perceptions can be used against them. By moving rearward, they might relax allowing an opening to enter.
3. If you want to use your body change, then you must use hard strength first.
Commentary - I believe they are saying by using a power technique, the opponent will lock themselves into a defensive position, creating an opening for body changes (tai sabaki)
4. If you get caught by the hair, then extend your arms forward to fight back.
Commentary - I see this as pulling your opponent off balance, negating their leverage against
The hair pull, and creating an opening to enter. [BTW I consider all turning techniques in kata as defenses against a grab from the rear. A direct example is the last turn in Goju Kata Saifa.]
5. If you want to attack the sides, then you must attack the center first (both legs)
Commentary - I see an attack against the legs as so destabilizing that whether you connect or not
Their back peddling will create an opening for a side attack.
6. If you want to throw the opponent to the ground, then quickly step on the feet of his shadow.
Commentary - Assuming his shadow is behind him, by stepping there quickly, you've placed yourself
To quickly unbalance your opponent.
7. If you are thrown on the ground, attack his eagle attitude (His hovering over you).
Commentary - The Keri Kihon, as taught by Tom Lewis, practiced side and front thrust kicks on the
Ground. If thrown, as they are descending on you, you can counter with a side thrust kick.
8. If you get caught from behind, you must use EMPI (flying Swallow technique) elbow.
Commentary - I wonder whether Alexander is using the Empi kata Shotokan as the reference for Empi
Here? In any case, this screams Te Wazza No. 15 (Seiuchin Kata) to me.
9. If you get grabbed from the front, you must hit his shadow (Knee to the Groin)
Commentary - Mr Miyagi (Karate Kid II) - Technique No. 1
10. If he catches your head, you must attack his face.
Commentary - Cause a distraction to keep him off of your face. His control of your head could be deadly.
11.While fighting, if your hands get trapped between his, you must attack his throat.
Commentary - this will make it very difficult to hold onto your hands.
12.If your attacker comes too close t you, you must stiffarm him back for distance.
13. If you want to keep your distance, you must use kicks to keep your attacker back.
14. If you want to open up the left side, then you must fake an attack toward the right side first.
15. If you want to trap his feet, then you must first trap his hands.
16. When kicking very high, you must be aware of leaning back too much.
17. If your hand gets trapped, then you must quick stiffarm thrust with the other arm.
18. If your sleeve is grabbed, the you must quickly kick your opponent's knee.
19. If your sleeve (Arm) gets twisted, you must thrust the other spear hand toward the face.
20. If you are pushed back, then cup your hands and slap your opponents ears.
21. If your opponent's posture is low, then it is of no use to attack the legs.
22. If your opponent tries to kick your groin, you must hook his leg, to the inside using your leg.
23. If your opponent's posture is high, then you should attack low underneath.
24. If you lower body is grabbed, then you must attack his higher body.
25. If your upper body is attacked, use your hand to attack his groin.
26. If your hear is grabbed, you must use kicking techniques.
27. If you are being choked from the front, you must use big hammer fists to his sides.
28. If your opponent tries to kick, you must body change back away from the power.
29. If you are in the power stance, every time you punch, you couldn't lose in a million years.
Commentary - this one I love, "Power Stance". I see this as meaning if you're executing
A technique with as much focus as possible (in a power stance) that alone should stop an
There's enough ideas contained in this chapter to consider a response to any attack.