Friday, December 25, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things


The holiday is a time to reflect on some things I really like.

The unexpected, the unusual, the offbeat way of looking at familiar things.

As always the spiritual makes its entry. That karate (or anything) works because you have faith in what you do.  It matters now what they do, rather what you know you will make work.

That said, here are several possibilities from our basic training.

!. Step forward with the right foot, rotating to the left as you circle both hands up in a counter-clockwise motion. Which is equally valid if you step forward with the left foot, rotating to the right as you circle both hands up in a clockwise motion.

 The basic motion is found in Chinto kata, but the potential is one not ofter considered, the inside of the stepping strike, not the extended strike on the end. I first learned this drill as a basic drill in another system, but after decades of practice, came to realize it was also in Chinto kata. It is also a portion of the Tai Chi Da Lu drill.


There are many possible uses to this motion. I will only mention several.


A.   An interior line of defense - Against a right punch. You step forward and the hands sweep up in union, counter-clockwise. The sweeping left hand deflects the strike up and away from your center.


The sweeping right hand, strikes into the face or neck, and then        continues to press into their biceps of the striking arm.

After the left arm deflects their strike their arm, as it continues on its arc, it rolls that hand over to press into their arm and draw it forward. Their right hand is pressed into their biceps, it also turned over into a palm up position, That pressing motion rotates them forward, and as their center of gravity shifted over to their biceps, they are off balanced, and with further stepping shift behind their right leg, becomes a takedown.


B.   An exterior line of defense - Should the attacker strike forward with their left punch, step forward with your right foot. In unison both hands arc up in a clock-wise motion.

 The left hand deflects their arm up, then down as it snakes over and rotates the palm pressing into their arm. The right forearm which has been rotated also palm up parallelling the left arm, presses into their left arm triceps. The two arms in unison use the left torso rotation to bend the attacker forward. As their center of gravith has shifted to their biceps, this caused them to move forward and down. A takedown or a projection.


This is using a plane of force, generated by the stepping, turning, sweeping motion of the arms, as the weapon.  When truly unexpected it has great effect.

 2.This motion came to me from training with Sherman Harrill, When I tried it for the first time on Young Lee, who had no idea of its existence, he was dropped to the floor. Worked the first time, and every time since.

This is of course the opening of Seisan kata. And you know what I think about that movement. LFF Left Side Block, Right Punch.

A.  Exterior line of defense – If they are stepping forward with their right foot with a right strike. You step outside the strike with your left foot, as you move forward you begin the left side block. It becomes a wedging motion moving their strike toward the right.

When you conclude your stepping motion your right vertical punch strikes into the side of their thigh. Causing a charly horse, making them fall

B.   Exterior line of defense – If they are stepping forward with their left foot and a left strike. You step forward with a left block, deflecting their strike towards the left. Then you strike with your right vertical punch into the side of their thigh. . Causing a charly horse, making them fall

Note you are striking into their thigh with the ridge of your knuckles of your vertical punch, literally a sort of brass knuckle. On impact similar to a single knuckle strike, but less likely to fail and collapse the fist.

3.My final selection for today comes from Wansu kata. Where you step forward with your right foot and throw a right horizontal elbow strike forward, then turn 180 degrees to the left and chamber your hands to the right, as you assume a right cat stance.

      A.  Exterior line of Defense - Against a right stepping right strike. You         step forward with your left, and throw a right inward horizontal elbow
       strike. Use the interior surface of the strike, against their neck, head.     
       Your arm. Elbow, goes behind and around their neck.

You then turn to the left and shift into the cat stance, both your hands moving to the stack chamber on your right side. As their neck is surrounded by your arm, they shift at your motion. They are immobolized by this, or possibly their neck is wrenched in the process.

I have many favorite things, there are a few of them.




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