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Chris Wissmann
Chris Wissmann's picture
augmented knife hand

Hey, everyone:

My first post here.... I've been watching Shihan Abernethy's videos for a long time now and have found them incredibly enlightening. I've also enjoyed reading many of the discussions, and I hope to contribute a few ideas sometime if I can ever sit down and write them up.

I found a video of his some time ago that talked about what we would call in our style the augmented knifehand or shuto block. Here's an example, at the beginning of our Taikyoku Shi:


It's also the concluding techniques in Heian Shodan/Pinan Nidan (our Pinan Ichi), if that helps.

The video in question explained that when the shuto of what we would call  the augmenting hand comes to the solar plexus, it's about control of the attacker's elbow, and when it comes to the side (we would place it under the floating rib) it's about control of the attacker's wrist.

Here's my delimma: I can't remember which video that is, and there's so many clips out there! I've literally spent hours running through the YouTube channel but can't find it, though I've found many great examples where he explains how that motion can turn into or set up arm bars, throws, and so forth.

I'm wondering if anyone can remember which video I'm writing about…. I'd like to share it with one of my students. I think it would help him understand parts of one of our kata much better than I can!

Meanwhile, thank you all so much for the productive, positive martial arts discussions!

Marc's picture

Hi Chris,

I can't can't point you to a video of Iain's, sorry.

However, there is a video by John Burke in which he explains the same idea. Maybe that could be helpful to you:

Take care,


AllyWhytock's picture

Hi Chris,

Perhaps this one?

Kindest Regards,


Chris Wissmann
Chris Wissmann's picture


Really close— I've gone through other videos from that seminar and Shihan Abernethy is just a nudge away from saying what I remember him saying. Unless...

Marc: It wasn't Shihan Abernethy in the first place, and maybe it was John Burke instead! That may be it.

I'll keep looking just in case.

Meanwhile, thank you for the kind help! And please forgive the late reply— among other things, the power supply went out in my computer, so I haven't had a chance to express my appreciation till now!

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

It could also be one of the videos in the app?

I think you’ll struggle to find it because it’s a core principle that applies to all kata … and therefore it could be in any of the videos. I show the idea all the time by standing still and moving my hand up and down my partner’s arm. Grip the wrist and the hand is on the hip looking like a fist (classical hiki-te). Slide the hand forward and it’s on the elbow and more open, because elbows are bigger, and hence it looks like the arm across the chest position we see on knife hands, start of Kushanku, etc. It’s a key way of knowing if the kata wants to control at wrist or elbow.

Because I frequently show and explain that, I am 100% sure it must be on one of the videos … but it pretty much could be any of them, and there’s hundreds to watch. Probably simpler just to show them the demo yourself :-)

All the best,


Chris Wissmann
Chris Wissmann's picture

You explained it a lot better than I could, or I would just demonstrate it myself!

But indeed, there are hundreds of videos, and I'm wading my way through them when I get the time. Worst-case is, even if I don't actually find the video for which I'm looking, I'll end up with tons of great instruction/ideas/perspectives. Not a terrible fate.

Thanks again for the replies!