18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Marc
Marc's picture
Application for Mae-Geri landing in Oi-Zuki (as in Kata Wankan)

Hi everybody,

in Kata Wankan (Shotokan) there is a sequence of three times Mae-Geri landing in Zenkutsu-Dachi with Oi-Zuki (left, right, left). It is preceeded by a right hand Tettsui-Uchi in Kiba-Dachi and followed by a 180° right turn into Yama-Zuki.

I have jumped out of the box and back in, yet I cannot really come up with a convincing, practical application for these triple kick-punch moves.

Can anybody here give a hint?

Thanks Marc

DaveB
DaveB's picture

I'm sorry I must have missed something. Are you implying that there is something impractical about kicking an opponent then punching him shortly after? Sometimes a punch is just a punch. Doing something 3 times might just mean it's important and should be practiced.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Yeah..i'd say that is sort of an "what you see is what you get" type thing.

If you utilize different angles with it you can do more with it, but IMO it pretty much speaks for itself.

Looking for complex joint locks, or sequential bit etc. is the wrong direction to go in with something like this IMO, .just get someone to stand in front of you as uke hitting you, gaurding, whatever - then fire away and there's your application.

I can think of a simple but effective one: Just enter with the kick (whatever target is appropriate-( depends on what leg is forward and/or if you are kicking at something else entirely - knees are much more vulnerable at angles obviously!) at an angle, stomp the foot down on the ground or the opponents foot as your "oi zuki" is now something akin to a short overhand, and hit the jaw.

danpt
danpt's picture

In this video I think Iain explains his take on why things are sometimes in threes in the kata, and why you have the angles. Maybe watch it and see if it's helpful to you?

http://iainabernethy.co.uk/content/what-angles-mean-and-why-things-are-threes-video

Marc
Marc's picture

Thank you for your suggestions.

Of course there's nothing wrong with kicking and punching. Especially a front kick can be effectively utilised to stop somebody who's rushing at you.

Yet, there are a few things that make me wonder whether there might be more to it. The things are:

  • Distance: After kicking from kicking distance I might be to far away for the following punch to have the necessary impact.
  • Hikite: When I thrust my one hand forward with the punch, I pull back my other hand into chamber. This pulling back should have a function (like grabbing a wrist or an elbow). Otherwise I would prefer to keep the hand up in a guarding position.
  • Chudan-Level: The punch is at mid-level. So either the preceding kick should position my opponent's head just right for the punch to hit it, or it might be that it is not a punch after all. I could also be quickly reaching forward to grab something which is than pulled back with the Hikite after the next kick.

 

Zach Zinn wrote:

If you utilize different angles with it you can do more with it, but IMO it pretty much speaks for itself.

[...] knees are much more vulnerable at angles obviously!

Good thinking! What if the kick/punch combination is not meant to be used face to face?

For example: If I would stand behind my opponent, then I could kick into the back of his knee. That would make him go down a bit. Thus his head would be positioned nicely for the mid-level punch. The pulling back of my other hand could be used to pull his shoulder back which would twist his shoulder/neck to that side, exposing the side of the head. The head would then be twisted back the other way by the impact of the punch on the side of the head. Pulling back the shoulder would require me to reach out to grab it first. So there's there's even the quick reach forward to grab something.

But: Does the Kata instruct us to get behind the opponent? There is no turn associated with the kick/punch combination. And as far as I understand it, just walking back to the Kata starting point along the Embusen does not suggest standing behind the opponent.

What do you think?

Marc

JWT
JWT's picture
Depending on your starting position the kick can be just a kick, and the punch can be just a punch.  If you were holding the guy as you kicked him your punch could also be an arm bar with the kick as a softener.
 
In the video below you can see a front kick used at 0:39.  To put this in context this was slow/medium/fast scenario acclimatisation training with the kick I'd like to look at happening in the medium (second) event.  Although the trainee is a Dan grade, this was their first experience of applying Karate in a contact self protection training environment.  As you can probably guess from the clip, although there are 'very' serious training moments with people under pressure, the overall tone of the day is light hearted.
 
Here the Karateka kicks to the groin.  He chooses to step back, but you can see from the distances that he could have stepped forward with a head punch and finished the fight.  Looking at ranges, this kick could have been done while holding the assailant (in a position not disimilar to the hammer fist) - in fact that side on posiiton is quite common when people are breaking free and turning away from attacks.  In terms of follow through from punching, if I wanted to I could interpret the turn as a shoulder wheel throw as shown in Karate Do Kyohan.  Personally I'd drive forward into controls from that kind of sequence, but if I had a threat behind that I wanted to distract, or to shield myself from, then the turning and shoving of one assailant into another is a viable strategy.
 
THIS VIDEO CONTAINS SWEARING FROM THE START.
 

PS I would have posted vidcap pictures but I have no idea how!
 
John Titchen
nielmag
nielmag's picture

I actually do a drill where i stand in a natural stance in front of a bag.  I use a mae gari, followed up by an oizuki, gyanku zuki just as my foot is landing.  My theory is, if i ever do kick (not my first option, but practice it just in case!) it will probably be to hip/groin area, they will probably bend at the wiast whether or not kick connected.  That will lower their head/bring it closer, and as foot landing, I use forward momentum to hit their lowered head

Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

I do find that a kick to the Spleen points (10 & 11) inside of the thigh are effective on bringing the head down to 'chudan' level for a follow up punch, utilising hikite for grab and control.

I'm generally 45 degrees to target when doing this - not face on.

FYI - 'spleen' points used simply to reference target area not chi meridians. ;)

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Marc: This one has got me thinking..so i'm gonna ramble a bit..sorry if it's too much lol!

On the kicking distance thing, this is true if you utilize mae geri in the 'standard' modern Karate-do manner as a big, gap-closing technique (not  a bad thing necessarily), the distance is off. However if you use the front kicking methods you sometimes see in the older Okinawan stuff you can fit in the punch and be at the appropriate distance, if anything you end too close rather than too far!

Offhand the only video with a few examples  I can think of to take a look at is Taira sensei's stuff, you can see how he uses the kick at a close range to targets on the the leg, use of quick close knee-spike type applications et

 

Quote:

But: Does the Kata instruct us to get behind the opponent? There is no turn associated with the kick/punch combination. And as far as I understand it, just walking back to the Kata starting point along the Embusen does not suggest standing behind the opponent.

What do you think?

I think as a general rule if it can be avoided, 'face to face' should be avoided. The only reason to not seek a blind spot on someone is if you cannot - such as being on the receiving end and getting caught in between their limbs.

This may be a difference in kata interpretation with many here (I adhere mostly to stuff learned from Kris Wilder, and some of my own craz ideas;)), but I don't think you need turns in kata to imply angles, in other words you shouldn't avoid using  body shifting because there is nothing explicity showing it in the kata movement, this would imply that the only places you should think about good positioning are those where you are explicity shown.. this does not make alot of sense to me.

On hikite - it can be an 'application' or grab, it can also mean a hand simply retracting in order to hit again. Hikite is actually a built in part of how you learn to punch in most Okinawan Karate, so there is no need to look for specific meaning behind hikiite in every single instance it appears... If you want an simple example, take a look at any kata with a double punch motion, are we to suppose that the only reasonable interpretation here is one that must involve a grab every single time a hand gets retracted?

I'm sure someone will like to argue with this, but you can even find the words of Motobu talking about hikite, and how intrinsic the use of the retracting hand was to simply learning punching in "old style Karate"..the only difference is that he seemed to dislike the drill which is used in modern days of specifically training it punching from the hips, as well as some of the other modifications that came with modern Karate-do punching. Point being, whether  modern exponents think hikite is important outside of grabbing applications or not, I think there is some real evidence that the kata creators sure did, and  that it was and is taught in Okinawan karate as part of the punching method, so there is no reason to assume the rule about a retracting hand holding something is an absolute, categorical; thing..sometimes it really is just a punch.

Far as being at chudan level..there are very few places in many kata where punches aren't done at chudan, again if you interpret things that literally and categorically you are bound to come out with some weird results, such as Karate where 75% is chest punches lol. Kata cannot show you every single target, angle, body adjustment of the opponent, .that is part of putting the stuff together on the floor I think.

I really like Jon's answer to this..but I also thhink there is no reason to have restrictive view of "rules" about kata interpretation, I feel like in instances like this having a rigid adherence to them might be avoiding more obvious, effective, and most importantly simple answers.

Marc
Marc's picture

JWT wrote:
Here the Karateka kicks to the groin. He chooses to step back, but you can see from the distances that he could have stepped forward with a head punch and finished the fight.

Thanks for the video, John! I see what you mean. Yes, he could have just as well moved forward to deliver a direct punch to the head. Maybe he didn't because he is mild mannered. :-) Anyway, the distance was right.

Ideally, before you punch, you get hold of your oppenent, so you feel where to hit (as Iain often points out). The gentleman in the video didn't. Maybe that's why he did back off instead of going in.

JWT wrote:
in fact that side on posiiton is quite common when people are breaking free and turning away from attacks.

So maybe that was the clue that I missed when visualising the moves: You do go straight forward, but from an angle that you naturally found yourself to be in.

it seems to me, that the method of grabbing your opponent, kicking to the knee to bring him down, pulling in while delivering a punch to the head, should work well from basically any angle except from the front. The problem with the kick to the front of the knee is that the knee would not give in (when bent).

But the Kata might also give us a solution to the face-to-face situation:

JWT wrote:
if I wanted to I could interpret the turn as a shoulder wheel throw as shown in Karate Do Kyohan.

Did you mean something like this:? If you are right in front of your opponent, you could grab his left arm or his neck with your right hand, kick his knee cap with your left foot (Mae-Geri). Then set down your left foot on his right or between his legs and shoot your left arm forward under his right arm (Oi-Zuki) while pulling his grabbed arm or neck close to your body (Hikite) to unbalance him. The Kata then follows with a 180° right turn into Fudo-Dachi with Yama-Zuki. This will throw him over.

Thanks for leading me onto the right path.

Marc

DaveB
DaveB's picture
Zach beat me to it. The old school snapping front kick fits into the same space as the punch. Alternatively you can use low targets between the groin and ankle, or you push off the supporting foot to shift into the target. I agree with Zach's suggestion of understanding combatives and not letting the form restrict you, however I also feel that more often than not a kata does imply an angle of insertion and that there are lessons surrounding that which is why each kata is how it is; offering a syllabus of study. I think the broader experimentation that Zach talked about is a step on in the process of going from dead pattern to live fight. Additionally I think that there is an important mechanical dimension to forms study. It's fairly basic but connecting the landing of your foot to your thrust is a useful power generation method that will aid short power.
Marc
Marc's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:
Marc: This one has got me thinking..so i'm gonna ramble a bit..sorry if it's too much lol!
Please, Zach, have you aver seen any karateka being able to stop talking about karate? Neither have I! :-)
Zach Zinn wrote:
On the kicking distance thing, this is true if you utilize mae geri in the 'standard' modern Karate-do manner as a big, gap-closing technique (not a bad thing necessarily), the distance is off. However if you use the front kicking methods you sometimes see in the older Okinawan stuff you can fit in the punch and be at the appropriate distance, if anything you end too close rather than too far!
True, but then again, the punch would also be used in a shorter distance, hitting about half way through the full extension of the arm. Anyway, I guess by kicking low the distance issue may well be neglected.
Zach Zinn wrote:
I think as a general rule if it can be avoided, 'face to face' should be avoided. The only reason to not seek a blind spot on someone is if you cannot - such as being on the receiving end and getting caught in between their limbs.
Sure, I'd rather be in a blind spot. (I'd rather be somewhere else entirely if possible.) And often the Kata have turns to remind us to get off-line. At other time I don't need to shift because my technique rotates my oponent to an angle.
Zach Zinn wrote:
On hikite - it can be an 'application' or grab, it can also mean a hand simply retracting in order to hit again. Hikite is actually a built in part of how you learn to punch in most Okinawan Karate, so there is no need to look for specific meaning behind hikiite in every single instance it appears... If you want an simple example, take a look at any kata with a double punch motion, are we to suppose that the only reasonable interpretation here is one that must involve a grab every single time a hand gets retracted?
Good point. Kata have certainly undergone changes over time. Maybe retracted hands have been normalised to always be pulled to the hip. Maybe in earlier versions they were pulled back to the head in some cases. If you would go for multiple strikes firework then you should definitely train to retract your hands to the head to guard it (because if you don't train it, you won't do it).
Zach Zinn wrote:
Far as being at chudan level..there are very few places in many kata where punches aren't done at chudan, again if you interpret things that literally and categorically you are bound to come out with some weird results, such as Karate where 75% is chest punches lol. Kata cannot show you every single target, angle, body adjustment of the opponent, .that is part of putting the stuff together on the floor I think.
Yes, of course you must try it with a live partner to see how it all works. And I suppose we all agree that chest punches are mostly a waste of energy. On the other hand, for most mid-level strikes you will find a preparatory move that will bring your opponent's head down to that level (or rotate your opponent so that you would target at the floating ribs of course).
Zach Zinn wrote:
I really like Jon's answer to this..but I also thhink there is no reason to have restrictive view of "rules" about kata interpretation, I feel like in instances like this having a rigid adherence to them might be avoiding more obvious, effective, and most importantly simple answers.
Very possible... Thanks for all your comments. It's good to look at that simple problem from many different angles (pun intended). Marc

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

 I can definitely see extrapolating a couple other things from ths kata bit..but a front kick with an oi zuki can actually be used as is with little modification, it's pretty bare-bones stuff..in a good way.

I get the objections about hikite and such to some extent, but  do you think it's likely the kata creators intended some kind of  multi part locking etc. sequence by showing (possibly a gedan uke?) a simple front kick and oi-zuki, and if so, why would they choose to disguise it with these techniques.?

I haven't done Wankan for a long. long time but I thought in the shorin ryu version these techniques were preceded by a gedan uke motion..if that's the case, I could see something like arm press to lower the head, kick it, the follow in with oi zuki on landing..beyond this, and maybe the arm shearing technique someoen mentioned earlier,  personally I can't visualize much of anything else you could do with this series of techniques..though i'm very interested to hear anyone who has other ideas.

JWT
JWT's picture

Hi Marc et al

Although I showed kicks to the inside and outside leg in Heian Flow System I don't generally teach them any more.  As Iain put it so well in his most recent podcast, it comes down to context.  I mainly do bunkai with a self protection context in mind these days.  Against a static/staionary opponent who currently presents no threat to me in a low pressure environment I can pull off knee kicks and kicks to the inside and outside leg.  What I find time and time again though is that in self protection training if I have the distance to do this then either

a. there is a better target available (in terms of finishing the fight in a shorter number of techniques) or

b. there is a higher percentage technique available (in terms of a kick to a small precise target like the leg being harder to get right than a torso or head kick (particularly if the head is low)) or

c. the other person is moving towards me at speed with an intent to cause harm and the last thing I want to be focusing on is kicking a moving target like his legs while I'm worrying about his arms or

d.  there is no justification for the technique - in other words the other person does not currently pose a threat.  

I have no qualms with the usefulness of targetting the legs, in fact they are one of my favourite targets, I'm merely questioning the choice of weapon and context.  I knee and nudge the leg all the time.

John Titchen

Marc
Marc's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:

a front kick with an oi zuki can actually be used as is with little modification, it's pretty bare-bones stuff..in a good way.

It sure is, no problem with that.

Zach Zinn wrote:

I get the objections about hikite and such to some extent, but  do you think it's likely the kata creators intended some kind of  multi part locking etc. sequence by showing (possibly a gedan uke?) a simple front kick and oi-zuki, and if so, why would they choose to disguise it with these techniques.?

I'm not implying that there must be something complicated about it, but just some 'feature' I was missing. Look at this video of Iain's for example:

I wouldn't say the joint manipulation is disguised with the Age-Uke/Gyaku-Zuki. It is an integral part of the combination.

In fact, now that I revisited this clip. I can think of another face-to-face application of Mae-Geri/Oi-Zuki:

My opponent grabs my lapel with his right hand. I answer that by grabbing the inside of his right elbow with my right hand (not without slapping his face on the way, of course), then kicking his shin with my left foot (Mae-Geri), pulling his elbow over to my right hip (Hikite), thus creating an angle, and hitting his spinning head with my left fist (Oi-Zuki).

More ideas?

Marc

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Quote:

My opponent grabs my lapel with his left hand. I answer that by grabbing the inside of his right elbow with my right hand (not without slapping his face on the way, of course), then kicking his shin with my left foot (Mae-Geri), pulling his elbow over to my right hip (Hikite), thus creating an angle, and hitting his spinning head with my left fist (Oi-Zuki).

More ideas?

Marc

Personally, i'd just hit him.  ;)

Seriously though,  seems plausible, have you played with it yet?

I find when I work that kind of arm drop with someone grabbing me, it immediately goes into either an elbow, or some kind of clinchey-thing..not bad, but 90% of the time I am not at distance to punch. I'll mess with this next class, thanks..I now have part of my lesson plan covered heheh.

Marc
Marc's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:

Quote:

My opponent grabs my lapel with his right hand. I answer that by grabbing the inside of his right elbow with my right hand (not without slapping his face on the way, of course), then kicking his shin with my left foot (Mae-Geri), pulling his elbow over to my right hip (Hikite), thus creating an angle, and hitting his spinning head with my left fist (Oi-Zuki).

Personally, i'd just hit him.  ;)

Yeah, hit him! I mean, first things first, right. As I said, "not without slapping his face on the way, of course". - That, by the way, sounds like a light touch, but have you tried a hard slap on a focus mitt? I mean really hard, with follow through? I wouldn't want my head to be on the receiving end of that.

Zach Zinn wrote:

Seriously though,  seems plausible, have you played with it yet?

Not really. Just checked that the mechanics (i.e. creating the angle) would work, today. But didn't have a chance to pressure test it. I guess it should work similarly to the Age-Uke/Gyaku-Zuki thing in Iain's video, though.

Zach Zinn wrote:

I'll mess with this next class, thanks..I now have part of my lesson plan covered heheh.

Glad to be of any help, lol ;-) Please return to tell us what you will have learned, if you'd like.

Thanks, Marc

Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

JWT wrote:

Hi Marc et al

Although I showed kicks to the inside and outside leg in Heian Flow System I don't generally teach them any more.  As Iain put it so well in his most recent podcast, it comes down to context.  I mainly do bunkai with a self protection context in mind these days.  Against a static/staionary opponent who currently presents no threat to me in a low pressure environment I can pull off knee kicks and kicks to the inside and outside leg.  What I find time and time again though is that in self protection training if I have the distance to do this then either

a. there is a better target available (in terms of finishing the fight in a shorter number of techniques) or .... [SNIP]

There's a good thing to note from John's comment here in that karate or bunkai isn't always about life or death confrontations. Sometimes you need a lock or control that doesn't destroy the other guy. It might just be your drunk Uncle Bert getting a bit too lairy at the family wedding, your talk down has failed, he's thrown a silly punch he's going to regret when he's sober etc.