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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Conservation of Energy
"Things Are NOT as They Seem!"

I was training a small group of visiting Wado-Ryu stylists in “Slow Zen – Mindfulness” training this weekend and we began taking about kata. Sigh. . . .

They training in a version of Pinan III which has some variations not seen in Matsubayashi-Ryu. See Below:

Pinan Sandan – Wado-Ryu Performed by: Maicon Nonoyama

Mawashi Hiji-Uke (Harai) or a “Sweeping Elbow Block” In Matsubayashi-Ryu traditionally this is referred to as a shoulder block.

Seeing the move as a sweeping elbow block or a shoulder block cannot be, or should not be, the correct interpretation of the move.

I tried block a straight punch with first my elbow and then my shoulder. Even knowing when the strike was coming it was nearly impossible to effectively block and left me in a vulnerable position with my back exposed to the attacker. Don’t believe me? Try it.

I then experienced a “BFO” (Blinding Flash of the Obvious)!

It is neither a elbow or a shoulder block, it’s a side step, upper body only.

The strike is launched and you spin your upper body to avoid contact, but just barely. This placed you in a perfect position to execute a reverse back fist to the unprotected head of the attacker and positions you perfectly to trap their extended arm and take them to the ground or dislocate the shoulder, All in a fraction of seconds.

Watch Hanshi Ota, Eihachi perform the same kata. The avoidance of the strike is clear as is the position for counter attacking it places you in:

Pinan Sandan – Matsubayashi-Ryu Performed by Hanshi Ota, Eihachi

This is NOT a beginner technique, it is simplistically sophisticated! Not only that but it also adheres to Nagamine Shoshin’s doctrine incorporating his view of sidestepping to avoid contact while place yourself in an excellent position to counter strike.

How is it I never saw this before?

The old Okinawan saying is there are no secret techniques in karate. Apparently this is true, this was staring me in the face for 20+ years.

Time to go back an look at the Fukyugatas!


Cox Hakase