Thursday, September 14, 2017

Funakoshi Ginchin and the Dragon Toe

This is a photograph of Ginchin Funakoshi from one of his early book.


Joe Swift shared a while ago

I'd like to share another little episode from "older Karate", which is often found in the details, which in turn get lost or overlooked easily when using low quality pics from the net. This tidbit is from Funakoshi's original set of Nage-waza, found in his 1925 edition (which is where I took the scan from, yeah).

So here you see the idea of 'locking the motion chain of the body'. It is not an Okinawan idea. In fact it is found anywhere in Western "wrestling" since the first written sources from the 11th century onwards to Chinese Qinna techniques, where (in certain schools) it constitutes one basic principle.

The "dragon toe" may be found in other Kata, think about it. For example, in Seiyunchin, or Seisan.

Now this gets me thinking of the possibilities.


1. Stepping on the foot locks the leg if the strike following drops the opponent to the ground. This step would cause  the leg to become hyper-extended.

Leading to pulled muscles and ligaments and decreasing mobility.


2. Stepping on the foot also locks the individual’s ability to move down.

This can be used as a force enhancer by not allowing their body to move

Away from a strike. By inhibiting their movement away from the strike,

More of the force of the strike is retained in their body.


3. Every step can become a stomp, to break the foot of smash the instep.

This of course greatly inhibits their mobility.


4. The same motion for the crescent step can also be used to step behind the foot, and sweep or reap the opponents leg,  When used with the same pressure of the ‘dragon toe’ this can increase the pressure of the result.


Almost the first lesson I taught began with instruction

 how to perform the Crescent Step.


A fundamental lesson in our system.


This is a lesson about the value contained within that lesson.

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