Pinan / Heian Yodan (Pyung Ahn Sa Dan) Flow Drill

In this video we show a flow drill for the first half of Pinan / Heian Yodan (Pyung Ahn Sa Dan). It was filmed at an event in Connecticut in July 2015. The video explains that this drill is a form of time-efficient practise, and that it is also important to practise the use of the discreet parts of the drill / kata in a more realistic combative context.

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Three Fighting Takedowns (video)

In this video we look at some fighting throws and takedowns. The clip is a summary of some of the throws and takedowns we covered at a recent residential course. The first throw is Gichin Funakoshi’s Kubi-Wa (Neck Ring) throw which has applications in both self-protection and fighting.  The following three all involve ending up on the ground and hence they are not suitable for self-protection due to the vulnerability to multiple enemies that they inherently create. They are however very useful in a one-on-one fighting context … they are fun to do too!

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Two-person drill for the bunkai of Jitte kata (video)

This video quickly summarises a two-person drill for the bunkai of Jitte kata. Uke begins the drill with a throat grab (application of the opening “salutation”) before Tori then utilises all the motions from the kata in the same sequence as they appear in the kata.

For the purposes of the drill, when the kata shows a motion a number of times it is only performed once. To ensure both sides are practised, you would simply do the entire drill on the other side.

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Tensho kata as a basic two-person sticking-hands drill (video)

This video looks at how Tensho (“turning palms”) can be used as a basic two-person sticking hands / muchimi drill. This is not combative bunkai, but instead a simple drill to practise sticking to the enemy’s limbs in order to feel what is happening, redirect the emery’s attempts to strike, and to open the enemy up for your own strikes.

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Kata-Based Tackle Defense (video)

In this video we look a four techniques related to karate tackle defence. The video was a quick summary of a longer period of study and it should not be mistaken to be an instructional video. Committed tackles – especially when skilfully executed – can be difficult to stop. It also needs to be remembered that all defences must be appropriate to the environment in which they are applied. Here, we are concerned solely with a self-protection context.

The four techniques looked at are as follows:

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Ground-hold following on from Naihanchi / Tekki bunkai (video)

This video shows a ground-hold following on from some Naihanchi / Tekki bunkai. It was filmed at a weekend seminar conducted in Stuttgart, Germany by myself and Peter Consterdine 9th dan (June 2015). This video concentrates on the final hold; which is a variation of a technique shown by Seiyu Nakasone (Tomai-te and Goju-Ryu).

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Wanshu / Enpi Throw & Jump (video)

In this video we look at the throw and the jump from Wanshu / Enpi kata. The throw in question is the kata-guruma (“shoulder wheel” or “fireman’s carry”). The kata is sometime given the nickname “dumping kata” because of this throw (and a possible reading of the name).

In the video we look at a possible entry into the throw using the rising and dropping palm heels followed by the “lower block” that precede the throw in the kata. We then look at how the jump could be used to follow up the throw.

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End of Seishan / Hangetsu Bunkai (video)

This video looks at bunkai for the end sequence of Seishan / Hangetsu. It was filmed at a session in Chicago in May 2015. The specific sequence looked at is the crescent kick followed by the “pressing kick block”. As is so often the case, when you look at the entirety of the move the application becomes clear. The hand that is kicked and the hikite (hand on the hip) all have a role to play such that an ineffective kick is revealed to be an effective takedown. From that position, it again becomes clear that the “pressing block” is better viewed as a counter to an attempted tackle.

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Bunkai for end of Bassai-Sho (video)

In this video we look at bunkai for the closing motions of Bassai-Sho (Shotokan version). Just as Bassai-Dai finishes with throws, so does Bassai-Sho. A forty-five degree angle is taken in relationship to the enemy (which is why the move is at that angle in the kata) as the forearm hits the neck. The foot goes behind the enemy’s leg before it is pulled backwards as the cat stance is assumed. This will lengthen the enemy’s stance such that a push on the chin at ninety-degrees to the line of the stance will take them off balance and to the floor.

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Basic Arm-Roll Drill (video)

This very short video shows a basic arm-roll drill. The footage comes from a seminar I taught in the Netherlands in February of 2015. This drill comes from my training in Judo, but it is now a part of my karate too.

It should always be kept in mind that, despite common misconceptions, karate is not an unchanging art with a direct line back to a single source. “Karate” is in fact a cover-all term for a wide range of systems that came to be practised in the geographical location of Okinawa.

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