Monday, August 31, 2015

Differences Between Naihanchi Now and in the Past

While not our version of Nihanchi (Naifanchi) kata, it still is useful to understand how kata has moved, changed through time

From:
Interviews with Respected Elder Bushi, Choki Motobu Regarding Real Self-Defense - (Jissen) Episodes

Ryukyu Shimpo, 9, 10, 11 November 1936

Collections of Wakukawa Seiei, Okinawa Prefectural Archives

Translation by Kiko Asai Ferreira

Edited by Naoki Motobu and Peter M. Kobos

Differences Between Naihanchi Now and in the Past




The way to make the fist is different now than the way we were taught in the old days when we were 12 or 13 years old. It was flat or open hand (hirate) in the old days. Today, they use thrust fist (tsuki ken) strikes that go forward and in  a downward direction (called running water), but in the old days there was no such hand technique. In the old days, it was a straight strike that went slightly upward. I believe that this was Matsumura's style from Shuri. Sakuma Sensei's kata and Matsumura Sensei's kata were same. These were old style kata.

 

We learned to pull back our fist on the side, directly under the arm after a strike. However, today when you pull back after a strike, you bring your fist back to your hip (the lower side of your abdomen). This never works during an actual fight. I believe that the proper technique is to put power and strength into pulling back your fist. Today this looks to me very strange, to put so much power into striking with your fist. I would use only 80% of power when I extend a strike with my fist, but 100% of power when I pull it back.

 

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