Mefutode by Motobu Choki
Watashi No No KarateJutsu
Translated by Patrick and Yuriko McCarthy
In the case of an actual fight both hands should always be used together, as illustrated in the corresponding photo. This is commonly referred toas” Mefutode”. Let’s discuss how using both hands actually work. When facing an opponent in a combative posture it is important to know the lead hand can be used to deal with both offensive and defensive issues. The lead hand can be used for both protecting and attacking concurrently. The rear hand is used as a reserve if and when the front hand cannot accomplish the` intended outcome. Them Mefutode can be used for both offense and defense.
Generally speaking the use of Mefutode is not well known as it is more common for one hand to be held out while the other remains chambered on one’s hip while being prepared for usage. Some theories believe the lead hand is used for defensive and the opposite hand is reserved for attacking, I believe this theory to be incorrect and greatly impedes the lead hand from its collective potential. I refer to the lead hand in this case as “shite” or “dead-hand” and the rear hand as “ikite” of “live-hand”. Moreover, this inadequate positioning can slow down one’s advantage. It simply makes far more sense to have one’s hands `as close to the opponent for immediate employment. If you will study how this applied to fighting, you will understand it’s effectiveness.`
For those who have studied kata application potential you will have experienced this motion use. Of course you can use this as advice from Motobu against cambering.
I do not hold either course is the complete answer. One of the instructor I studied with at 3rd dan level stops the use of chambering and teaches all technique delivered from any starting position for increased speed. All of the training used to internalize the full range of prior motion studies into the ending point of each strike.
While I understand this approach, and it is fast, a case can also be made to use the full potential of each motion from kata, with a different dynamic.
Again one cannot do everything.
This Mefutode is often referred to as the Husband – Wife hands in Okinawan karate. You do not hear of it often. I first encountered a Goju stylist with a Brazilian lineage, where the use was taught. I had a difficult time understanding it’s use with Goju. Then I recalled this Motobu description and it became clearer.
Something else to think on.
This article on Karate by Jesse discusses this topic.http://www.karatebyjesse.com/reviving-meotode-the-ancient-okinawan-karate-concept-of-kicking-ass/
Otsuka sensei shows meotode (husband and wife hand) and naihanchi stance. 1935.
I recommend reading Motobu Choki Karate by Patrick and Yuriko McCarthy