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Jeb Chiles
Jeb Chiles's picture
Block strikes with partner
Iain Abernethy
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On your recent kicking post, I have just written how I see some commonality with Motobu’s drills … and I see the same here (photo below). The punch/deflect method appears in his 6th and 9th drills.

The exact same thing is also found in Tatsuo Suzuki’s second head punch defense (see photo below). There is a gap between fist and target in the photo (probably for safety) but in the text he is clear the fist should continue toward the face. This drill is also widely practiced in European Wado due to Suzuki’s massive influence on karate here.

Motobu taught Otsuka who in turn taught Suzuki. Suzuki’s method is therefore extremely likely to be a derivative of Motobu’s … especially when you consider the strong commonalities you see elsewhere in Wado i.e. The limbs control and elbow of Motobu’s 1st drill and the same in Otsuka’s Kihon-gumite 10; Motobu’s 4th drill and the redirection and strike found also in Otsuka’s Kihon-gumite 1, 6 & 9; etc. Suzuki’s Oyo-Gumite 4 also has strong commonalties with Motobu’s 6th drill.  

Following the parry/strike, Tatsuo Suzuki’s second head punch defense concludes with a grab and knee strike with the rear leg. Motobu’s 9th drill does exactly the same … but then follows with a same leg stamp to the enemy’s leg when they try to move their hips back to avoid the knee to the groin. Aside from that beautiful addition, it’s largely the same drill. It is therefore a safe bet that Otsuka learnt the drills from Motobu, Otsuka then taught it to Suzuki, and Suzuki then included it in his own two-person drills.

Motobu wrote the following:

The blocking hand must be able to become the attacking hand in an instant. Blocking with one hand and then countering with the other is not true martial arts. Real martial arts drive forward and block and counter in the same motion.

This motion is a good example of this, and it’s a pity the concept is not more widely utilised in modern karate.

All the best,

Iain

Jeb Chiles
Jeb Chiles's picture

Choki Motobu's two man sets are a big part of Matsubayashi's Yakosoku Kumite. Thank you for an excellent, informative, post Abernethy Sensei!

Iain Abernethy
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Jeb Chiles wrote:
Choki Motobu's two man sets are a big part of Matsubayashi's Yakosoku Kumite.

Shoshin Nagamine (founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu) was also student of Motobu’s so that make sense. Otsuka (founder of Wado-Ryu) seems to have ran with the concepts expressed by the drills – fusing them with methods from his study of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu – in this Kihon Gumite, but the drills were not passed on intact down that line. They are really good drills though. I really like them and feel they have a lot of useful “old school” concepts within them.

That said, when I see some practise them I can’t help but see the negative influence of “3K one-step sparring” i.e. starting miles apart, very formal, tick-tock motion instead of flow, etc. I therefore do my version of them which starts and remains close, begins from my preferred “fence position” (as opposed to Motobu’s “fingers down” one), moves quickly and continuously, and has more realistic feeds (not formal karate “attacks”). Motobu knew what a real situation was like, so I believe the more realistic way of doing them would be closer to his original intent. Either way, I definitely run with my take on the drills, so as to avoid any of the issues we see with “one step sparring”.

For my own practise, I have made a kata based on the drills which I call “Seinipo”; or “Juniho” if people prefer the Japanese take on the kata names. Both translate as “12 steps / stages” which seems a fitting name for a kata encapsulating my take on Motobu’s 12 drills.

Thanks for the post!

All the best,

Iain

Jeb Chiles
Jeb Chiles's picture

Iain Abernethy wrote:
For my own practise, I have made a kata based on the drills which I call “Seinipo”; or “Juniho” if people prefer the Japanese take on the kata names. Both translate as “12 steps / stages” which seems a fitting name for a kata encapsulating my take on Motobu’s 12 drills

I would love to see "Seinipo" sounds awesome! I had a lot of the same problem with the Motobu drills I've seen but I love Motobu's methods of close striking and combining principles. Thank you! Jeb

Iain Abernethy
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Jeb Chiles wrote:
I would love to see "Seinipo" sounds awesome!

At the moment, I’m the world’s only practitioner of the form :-) I think I may share it though as others may find it of interest. Watch this space!

All the best,

Iain

Wastelander
Wastelander's picture

I'm a big fan of these types of strikes, which I call "line-cutting strikes." I actually wrote an article on the subject while back (http://www.karateobsession.com/2015/05/compound-movements-cutting-lines.html) that looks at a variety of examples, and I threw together a little video of examples, as well:

 

Given that the style I practice doesn't include Motobu in its lineage, we don't have his yakusoku kumite drills, or necessarily even drills that were particularly inspired by him. That said, we do still have a good number of the techniques and methods present in those drills within our system. These are, in my mind, especially elegant methods, and I realy enjoy them.

And I would also be interested in seeing Seinipo/Juniho, as well, Iain.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Wastelander wrote:
I'm a big fan of these types of strikes, which I call "line-cutting strikes."

Oh, that’s a good label! I really like that.

Wastelander wrote:
I actually wrote an article on the subject while back that looks at a variety of examples, and I threw together a little video of examples, as well:

Both really good and great additions to the thread! I love the fact you’ve shown them being used both offensively and defensively too.

Wastelander wrote:
And I would also be interested in seeing Seinipo/Juniho, as well, Iain.

I’ll share it soon :-) It begins with a pre-emptive palm-heel from a fence position. I added that because Motobu was a great believer in pre-emption and I think it sets the context for the drills. I then do the first three drills forward end to end, turn back into a fence posture, the next three going back, and so on until all 12 of the drills are done (on the side Motobu shows them in his text) and I’m back at the start. It’s may take on the drills and my kata, but it is a homage to all thing Motobu and I enjoy it :-)

All the best,

Iain

Mark B
Mark B's picture

Following on from Iains post on my pad exercises sourced from Naihanchi - Motobu is the clear inspiration for my conceptual 2 person exercises which are based around Naihanchi kata. There are 11 drills in total, and they make up the core of my Naihanchi boxing system. I taught them at a seminar last Sunday. I will share the seminar recordings on the kata application tab in the coming days. Regards

deltabluesman
deltabluesman's picture

I enjoyed this thread, thanks for posting these resources.  IMHO, it's also important to try and keep the chin tucked when doing this sort of thing, just in case you miss.

Wastelander, I'm also a fan of that kind of strike.  I particularly like the outward-upward cutting variation.  Sometimes if I am sparring a guy who's left-handed (or a martial artist who switches his stance a lot), I'll step on the lead foot as I throw this strike.  It tends to work decently well against guys who are tired and aren't moving around as much.

Looking forward to more content on this, especially the Motobu-related material.