Black Belt Class Log 01/28/2003
It’s been a while as I’ve focused on documenting my Sherman Harrill experience. The winter’s been snow filled, with brutal temperatures, yet our Karate training continues.
First I’ve completed my Sherm-pedia. 210 pages, +800 techniques and lots else. I suspect it may be one of the most complete analysis of any system in writing, and I know it’s only a fraction of Sherman’s teachings.
Anyhow with some new beginners in the adult program they were being worked on basics (and and foot) as well as beginning Kata Sho studies.
For the adult program I focused on several Wansu series from Sherman’s teachings.
First, I’d like to distinguish between techniques that would be directly used against an attacker, as opposed to studies on Kata sequences, as precise two person drills, containing much more material and emphasizing various self defense themes, in addition to a more focused simple response.
The first one we focused on was the parry, punch through front kick sequence of Wansu.
Attacker Right Foot Forward, with a right punch or grab
1. LFF Left Open hand outer parry (counter-clockwise)
Attacker then throws a right punch
2. Right rising punch, rotating to 1 o’clock to slide the attackers strike off to the left as you strike into their jaw
3. Right front kick, directed perhaps towards their left inner thigh.
4. Place the right foot down in front, and execute a simultaneous left high block and a right low strike into their abdomen.
5. Chamber your right hand and then strike into their upper/inner thigh followed by a strike into their groin.
6. Your left hand slides down and grabs their left wrist, and you pull them slightly forward.
7. Turn and step with your right 180 degrees counter-clockwise, as you do so, pulling your left arm to the left, your right forearm (often incorrectly called a right rising forearm strike) presses against the attackers triceps insertion. This forces them forward, and as the step and turn progresses drives them over and down with an arm bar.
So the drill was to have the group work on doing this a precisely as possible, not working variations.
This re-enforces a theme, where you use the kata for two person skill drills, as well as for the combat principles contained therein.
After this drill ,we concentrated on several kata, Wansu and Nihanchi.
Finally I took another drill from Harrill Sensei’s offerings. Where over 90% of his drills and work are following the kata directly, occasionally he’d change the sequence of techniques a bit looking at their offerings. From the Side Kick, Kamae, forward Elbow strike and turn section:
Attacker LFF left Punch
1. LFF Left Kamae, both hands held at guard position in the kamae.
a. This is an example of how the kamae is not a hold position but actually an active strike, but with no motion involved. The attacker applies the motion, you assume the kamae at the right time, to insert it within their attack, and that insertion of assuming the kamae, is the attack.
b. Another point, if you touch the inside of your left elbow with your right open hand, you magnify the power of the kamae position. That touch aligns your outside (or right in this case) more strongly, creating a more powerful technique.
2. Left Side kick to their left knee.
a. This kick will drive them clockwise, and begin to drop them on their left knee, at a 90 degree angle from where you are.
3. RFF, with the right elbow strike
a. In this case you’re using the inside of the elbow strike to roll around their throat, in a basic choke position., but as their head is likely pushing back into your abdomen, you really don’t have the ready room to insert your left hand behind their head.
4. So at this point, use the Wansu shift to Cat Stance to simply take your left and step down on the attacker’s left calf, when their knee is on the floor, and their toes are bent underneath.
a. This has the real potential to rupture their Achilles tendon. If you do this, there’s no stepping back, as this is a potentially crippling technique.
5. Now their head rolls forward from the pain, and you can insert your left arm behind their head, to grab your own right forearm, and at the same time your right hand grabs their collar high up, to roll your thumb into the tendon insertion, on the rear of the midline of the neck at the side.
6. Obviously the completing chambering both hands at your right side would manipulate their neck back and twist it.
Be aware that you’re not working the carotid sinus with this position, but a tendon insertion on the back side of the side of the neck, which is quite painful. There may be other implications between that neck snap to the side too.
Following this we began a spirited discussion on the stark nature of these techniques. If attacked the Kamae assumption and the side kick would likely drop most individuals. Then there is no moral reason to go further. But as a drill to consider other options in different situations, the drill has merit, great merit.
Finally we completed with some focused work on the first series of Tokomeni No Kon techniques and corrections.
As I move forward, I don’t doubt I’ll continue to move on in my own application analysis. But Sherman’s lessons will always provide a template for analysis, great technique source, and a base to work from.