Sunday, March 4, 2018

Our Kicking

The other night I started thinking on the layers behind training. Where you find there is more flex behind things than basic training.


Then I looked on the wall of the club and saw my original kicking drills chart, which I learned my first night.


Not Kicking (Keri) in Salisbury was layered, there were these basics, but you were encouraged to go to whatever level of other kicking you could handle.


Much the same way, these basics are the basis of keri in Isshinryu, but we have Young Lee doing a bang up job taking kicking far beyond that.  But that does not mean these kicks are less, either.


So I started thinking of them a new way.


So starting with the Original Lower Body Combinations of Lewis Sensei



First probably the original Okinawan kick was the front kick, So I reordered the kicks to front kick and front kick similarities first.



Original Lower Body Combinations of Lewis Sensei


The original kick was likely the front kick

1.    Front Snap Kick Seisan, Chinto,

a.     Ball of the foot

b.    Goju version ball of the foot into a descending heel kick

c.     The variety of toe kicks

d.    With the heel which the Okinawans used for sparring from Lewis Sensei

2.    Front Kick (Side) – version from Wansu ending (old version contained a knee strike

a.     Wansu, Kusanku

3.    Heel Strike (Knee) – to the Sunsu version

4.    Knee Strike – Wansu version and the Sunsu version Wansu

a.     Rising Knee Strike,

b.    Inward Knee Strike – taught by Charles Murray

5.    Cross Kick-

                                                             i.       originally a stomp to someone on the floor for finishing.

                                                          ii.      Then to someone’s legs

6.    Squat Kick a front kick delivered on a 45 angle Sunsu


7.    Front Thrust (from floor)


These blade of the foot kicks are probably done because of Miyagi Chogun and the influence of Goju Ryu


8.      Knee Strike (45degrees)  Sunsu

9.       Side Snap Kick Wansu, Sunsu

10.   Side Kick (45 degrees rear)

Other sources

11.    Side Kick (on  Floor)

12.     Back Side Kick and then a (Rear 45 degrees), Rear Kick


Other kicks


13.        Crescent kick - Kusanku

14.        Rear Kick

15.        Double Jump Kick

a.     Jumping Kick - Chinto

b.    Double Jumping kick Kusanku

16.          Roundhouse Kick


17.        Stepping forward and backward

18.         Naifanchi Side Stepping

a.     Use of such stepping into the lower legs of the opponent

I have always maintained that Isshinryu contains most of the variety of kicking found on Okinawa. Of course there are layers to this, and I have included a few of them, such as the front kick from Goju Seisan. I dealt with this kick in my blog post Quicker than the eye can see


All of which makes me think further. I am reminded how Tris Sutrisno would take the kata he taught and turn them into short drills, working the technique series of the kata. Now as interesting as that was I didn’t do the same with our art. But I am wondering is the kicks could be taught in a different order, such as tied to the kata being learnt.


Still students would learn the entire se, but the kicking would be directly tied to the kata. And kicks not in the kata as additional drills for everyone. I have no direct suggestions at this time, just a consideration.

My .pdf showing some of the depth behind goju kicking is interesting.

Or consider the .pdf of the kicking technique of Sesan Toun’Ryu


I have also recently created two pdf.s on kicks in SunNuSu (Sunsu).

Or the .pdf showing Andy Sloan doing the first ½ of Sunsu kata.


Another recent thought on the same thing, which also ties into the layers of learning.


First these varieties come from a variety of systems. There is nothing to suggest one should do everything, However knowing what others may use is often helpful.


1. To begin the standard in most systems the front kick with the ball of the foot.

2. a variation we use in Isshinryu where the front foot comes off of the floor at a 45 degree angle to strike with the ball of the foot.

3. a variation we in many Isshinryu schools where the front foot comes off of the floor at a 45 degree angle to strike with the instep.

4. The front kick with the instep.

6. Variations of the front kick where the kick moves past the target and uses the returning heel for striking from being.

7. The entire range of front kicks where the toes are used for the strike; there are many varieties of this kick. One example is found in the kicking developed for Uechi Ryu.

8. The front kick with a ‘stomp’ and the sole of the foot strikes into the knee.

9. The front kick with the ball of the foot, which then changes into a heel strike downward, as if striking the hip joint and then driving the kick down as if to break that joint.

10. The front kick with the instep.

11. The front stomp kick as in driving down the heel into the knee of someone.

12. The front stomp kick as in driving down the heel into a foot.

13. The front stomp kick driving the heel down into the groin, and then the toes ripping downward.

14. Even the way the Tou’on Ryu uses their front front kick is a very different variation from what others do.

I am quite sure that I haven’t considered all the possible versions. Nor the different methods of execution.


Then you might consider a variety of drills we use.


Itosu 8 point kicking reconstructed be me from a description in John Sells ‘Unante’



Mabuni 7 point kicking reconstructed by me from a description of the drill from Joe Swift.



The Kihon Ni Dan drill we use


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