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Wastelander
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Flow Drill for Chibana's Three Kihongata

Hello, everyone,

I finally put together a video breaking down a flow drill that I teach to go along with the three Kihongata that were created by Chibana Chosin, founder of the Kobayashi branch of Shorin-Ryu. These are the first kata I teach in my curriculum, and while they are very simple kata (really more like moving kihon line drills), they teach a lot of good stuff--and this isn't even getting into the details on the mechanics they teach, or the variations/henka not included in the drill.

Iain Abernethy
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Hi Noah,

Not a kata I am familiar with, but that’s a nicely constructed drill. Well explain too! Thanks for sharing!

All the best,

Iain

Wastelander
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Iain Abernethy wrote:

Hi Noah,

Not a kata I am familiar with, but that’s a nicely constructed drill. Well explain too! Thanks for sharing!

All the best,

Iain

Thanks, Iain! As I mentioned, the kata are super simple, so even if people don't have them in their curriculum, they probably still have the basic techniques, so hopefully it's still helpful! For reference, though, this is what these kata look like:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CRVWkJUpmSL/?utm_medium=copy_link

Frazatto
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Hello Wastelander o/

I liked the demonstration, at first I thought your friend was being too compliant, but watching a second time I noticed you are actually keeping him out of balance for most of the time without much of an effort.

How exactly is this happening?

Is it the way you position yourself or the defense/offense shift keeps him from standing properly?

Wastelander
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Frazatto wrote:

Hello Wastelander o/

I liked the demonstration, at first I thought your friend was being too compliant, but watching a second time I noticed you are actually keeping him out of balance for most of the time without much of an effort.

How exactly is this happening?

Is it the way you position yourself or the defense/offense shift keeps him from standing properly?

Since it is a flow drill, there has to be a degree of compliance to it, otherwise you leave the drill--which is totally fine at a certain point in training, but would make it a bit tough to teach the drill, lol. That said, kuzushi is a big part of it, because if you keep the opponent off-balance, they will have a harder time mounting an offensive. It's really the use of hikite and the shifting of my body weight that's doing the work of keeping him from maintaining his balance. These kata explicitly show you what hikite is used for (grabbing and pulling), whereas most kata do not, which makes them an excellent introduction, but they also introduce the idea of shifting your weight forward into your opponent using han-zenkutsu-dachi, before shifting backward with your opponent using neko-ashi-dachi. By applying those concepts in sequence, you're basically jerking your opponent back and forth, the way you might during a Judo match to try and set up a throw, but you're striking them at the same time, or wrenching joints, so not only do they have to think about maintaining their balance, but they also have to think about the fact that you just punched them, or smacked their neck with your forearm, or tried to make them eat pavement by forcing them to the ground with an armbar. I actually have some variation/henka applications I like to occasionally throw into this drill to incorporate sweeps, as well, which fit will into this format.

Now, I will say that hikite is not always easy to maintain, whether it be because of a lack of strength, or being too sweaty, or simply having an opponent with massive forearms :P. The way that these kata, and this drill, apply hikite, however, makes it a bit more reliable than if you just try and grab somebody's arm out of mid-air. The opening movement, for example, has you step in as you collect the arm, which means that you have the opportunity to potentially grab as high on the arm as their triceps, rather than just their wrist, but if they try to pull their hand back--which they probably will--you're already stepping in that direction, so it's easier to catch a hold of it. The punch to the body will generally give you a second where the arms go a bit slack, as a natural reaction to the impact, which is why you transition immediately into the chudan-soto-uke to the neck. Of course, the opponent may actually help you in that, because after the arms go slack and you start to pull, they will probably try to pull their arm back, which should have the effect of helping you pull them into the strike. It's important, for that technique, that you are anchoring their arm to your body and shifting your body back and down with your stance, rather than just trying to use your arm, of course. When they block that strike, though, they are going to be trying to push away from their body in order to resist the force of your blow, which means that their arm is being engaged in extension, making the armbar easier to get than if they were pulling. I think the off-balancing aspect of the Kihon Sanbon section, with the jodan-uke/chudan-uchi-uke is probably fairly obvious, since you're directly manipulating the head with both impact and structure, and then wrenching their arms to the side as they either reel back from the blow or try to keep driving into you. Hopefully that helps flesh things out for you!

Frazatto
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Wastelander wrote:
 Hopefully that helps flesh things out for you!

Oh yes, a very complete explanation, thank you :D

Sure, there must be a degree of compliance or you would need to properly hurt each other to make it work. But this begs the question, how much force do you both actually have to use to keep things in check? Have you tested where is the pain threshold for the sequence?

Wastelander
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Frazatto wrote:

Wastelander wrote:
 Hopefully that helps flesh things out for you!

Oh yes, a very complete explanation, thank you :D

Sure, there must be a degree of compliance or you would need to properly hurt each other to make it work. But this begs the question, how much force do you both actually have to use to keep things in check? Have you tested where is the pain threshold for the sequence?

I may be misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you're asking how I determine how rough I can be with a drill? That is much more art than science. Every single person you train with is going to have different pain tolerances, ranges of motion, levels of strength, and more, so it's not possible to decide on one universal level of contact. You start soft and work your way up until your partner needs you to back it off a bit, and they do the same to you. Even then, the more you train, the more you will be likely to be able to handle, except when you are dealing with injuries or health issues, and then you might be able to handle less. It's a constantly shifting level, and requires a lot of trust and communication between training partners to make sure everyone stays safe, while still getting an effective training experience. If you're asking about how forceful I need to be for the off-balancing aspects of this sequence to work, it's kind of the same process, honestly. As you start soft with the drill, you add some resistance, and at some point it stops working, so you have to increase the level of contact/roughness a bit, then start adding some resistance, and so on. Eventually, though, you have to sort of leave the drill behind and work its methods into various types of sparring/randori in a more freeform, unscripted manner.

Frazatto
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Hum, I was thinking more on something like in Judo.

Go slow and hold things for as much as possible until the grip breaks or someone taps.

Wastelander
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Frazatto wrote:

Hum, I was thinking more on something like in Judo.

Go slow and hold things for as much as possible until the grip breaks or someone taps.

What you're describing sounds more applicable to pins and submissions than to something ballistic, like the striking techniques in this drill. Even the joint locks that are in the drill aren't meant to be submissions--you're not going to hold someone in that armbar or shoulder wrench until they give up. They are meant to disrupt posture and do damage to make the other person less effective at fighting. You certainly can practice them as submissions, to see how far you need to go before you actually do start causing damage, but you have to understand that it's completely unrealistic to do so--the bad guy will yank their arm free way before they tap out if you apply those slowly enough to act as submissions.

Frazatto
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Wastelander wrote:
You certainly can practice them as submissions, to see how far you need to go before you actually do start causing damage, but you have to understand that it's completely unrealistic to do so--the bad guy will yank their arm free way before they tap out if you apply those slowly enough to act as submissions.

I see, thanks for the explanations o/