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 Post subject: What's this position?
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 5:20 pm 
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In Uechi, what does this position represent? What are each of the hands doing?

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 7:55 pm 
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Mike

That is a very, very old posture seen in both Chinese and Okinawan martial arts. For example, variations of it can be seen in a Chinese crane form I have taught (which I learned from a mainlander), Tsukenshitahaku no sai, and Hamahiga no tonfa. Since the posture is ubiquitous in the martial arts, I would be careful about fixing what "it" is.

FWIW, I do mine just a slight bit different from the way you see Uechi Kanei doing it here. I have my reasons... I believe I know why his upper arm looks more like a "salute" than something just slightly different. But that's his way and good for him. He da man, after all... 8)

Also less obvious from this angle and perhaps because of the age of Uechi Kanei here is the fact that the lower-half of the lifted leg should be angled slightly in. That's very, very important. Visualize someone trying to do a football-style kick right up between the legs. The front leg should serve as a ramp to guide it right off to the side.

Some of the "obvious" applications are the following:

* The upper arm is a classic defensive posture for a lateral technique to the head. In boxing, it's "answering the telephone" which is the defense for a hook. With the sai (for example) you completely pronate the forearm (palm out) so the sai blocks the "incoming." It can be a hard block (force meets force) where the forearm is perpendicular to the angle of attack It can also be a more classic softer "Uechi" block where you're redirecting force via the angle of the forearm w.r.t. the "incoming."

* The lower arm is the classic harai sukui uke, or downward scooping technique. It's one of the classic ways Uechika catch kicks. There's a right and a wrong way to do that. I'll be happy to show you next time you bring your butt to class. ;)

* The leg is classically getting out of the way of something. Less obvious is using the leg like the upper arm to redirect "incoming" like a front kick. This is often done with slight movement. Think arm rubbing only with shin on shin.

* A less obvious application is using this posture to dump someone. The heaven-and-earth arm movement pulls someone's weight onto one of the legs, and then the lifting leg pulls that leg right out from underneath them.

* When doing this posture or variations of it in classical Okinawan kobudo, the raised leg is often with foot tucked behind the back of the supporting leg. Why? Think samurai sword. :twisted: I guess the Okinawans kinda valued their feet. ;)

That should get you started, Mike. There's a lot more to the posture, but at least we got you thinking.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 8:31 pm 
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Mike

The stylized posture Uechi Kanei is doing above is often called "Crane on a Rock." Here an artist plays with the metaphor. Note the "tucked leg" version, the clenched fists rather than open hands, and the slight variation on the heaven-and-earth arm posture.

Image

Put a pair of sai in this guy's hand, and you have the closing posture of Tsukenshitahaku no sai.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 8:43 pm 
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What got me wondering was the hand form (aka the salute) looks similar to a hand form in Kanku, and the posture in general looks similar to the signature posture in Gokanku (Crane on Rock) in Shotokan.

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* When doing this posture or variations of it in classical Okinawan kobudo, the raised leg is often with foot tucked behind the back of the supporting leg. Why? Think samurai sword. I guess the Okinawans kinda valued their feet.


I don't know about being a defense against a sword but that is exactly the foot position in Gokanku except it's done facing sideways. I was told to use it against kicks with the downward hand hitting the foot, or the arm is sweeping the leg of a higher kick away. (We cross posted, the picture is exactly the form in Gokanku).

I'd like to hear your interpretation of the "salute" he's doing and why the variation in his performance.

If I can keep the kids from getting into extracurricular activities on Tuesdays I'll finally be able to get to a class or two. Been too long Bill.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 9:04 pm 
I use it in the clinch range when in half inside half outside position. I step back and use the movement to gain positional dominance.

Salute hand graps opponent by the back of head and pulls it in beside your head. Down ward scooping block swims over arm and clears it to the outside. This gives you inside position and control.

Opponent is bent in front of you and you spike a knee strike to the plexus sternum region. I don't fight with swords or sai so had to come up with some empty hand apps that worked at the range I train.( actually stole this from Rachelle not my own creation) I don't buy into sword jumping :wink:


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 Post subject: Chebucto Head
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 9:16 pm 
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Bill...kinda off topic but that`s Chebucto Head Nova Scotia!
The house next to the lighthouse burnt down but man that lighthouse jumped out at me...wish could relive those memories of days long past :wink:
Now back to our reguraly scheduled program...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 9:24 pm 
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Nice application Willy. I think I'll adopt it if you don't mind. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 10:09 pm 
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Willy, is what you're talking about the position shown in this article under the heading "pinch grip tie?"

http://www.geocities.com/global_trainin ... clinch.htm

To escape this grip (as pictured), I would probably drive my elbow and should that has the other guy's underhook down and back, away from him, to tilt him, and use my other hand on his neck or head to pull him into a knee strike. What do you think? Is it similar to what you were describing?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 12:55 pm 
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Mike

Your Shotokan move is basically the same move. You are seeing the Uechi version of it. It's all the same. Study this style long enough and you'll understand the subtle differences. That fits in to the way things typically are done in Uechi vs. the way they are done in Shotokan. But it's like speaking English with a Bostonian vs. Texas accent. It's still English, and it still communicates. The differences just tell us where you came from.

There are so many variations of the position that I'm hesitant to say "the salute means..." I've heard people talk about touching a chi meridian just above the eyebrow, blah, blah, blah.

Balderdash!!

We do things open-handed because we like to grab and gouge in Uechi. Thus hands must always be ready to... We are more frontal because that's the way we fight and that's the way you'll be when in bad-breath range. We have the upper arm closer in to body and forward because of our penchant for being on the inside and doing things "smaller." The upper arm is on a slant vs. straight up and the lower leg is slanted the way it is vs. tucked in because of the kind of "slipping" we like to do in Uechi. Arm rubbing teaches us how. This explains Uechi's "accent" vs. the one in the painting above. Sanchin's principles dictate the Uechi Ryu "how" of this motion. If you had never seen the move before but had studied Sanchin from me, you'd likely end up with a very similar final posture.

Willy has the right idea here. There are myriad ways to use good movement, and he just showed you a really good one. But throw someon in a yet-to-be-determined scenario, and you'll find a completely different use for the motion.

Kata are a study of human motion. There's a biomechanical logic about the movement the way standing and punching like a white belt has biomechanical logic.

Just as when you thrust out with one hand and chamber with the other it creates complimentary action-reaction motions within the body, so to does a heaven-and-earth movement create a sort of biomechanical logic. What happens when you are pushing down with the left hand here is that the reaction would cause your body to lift. The upper movement can serve as the counter force for the downward movement - with or without it actually grabbing something.

Many grappling moves involve causing big things to happen by moving someone in a "smart" way. One way is to rotate someone about their center, which is a lot easier than actually moving their center from point A to point B. The easiest way to do that would be by grabbing someone at 2 points equidistant from the center, and then "turning the wheel." Pick any point on the body away from the center, and the other hand can find a spot 180 degrees from that. Then do the heaven-and-earth thing. The body will move. That then creates "opportunities" for you to do something with that extra leg. It could be hitting with the knee, it could be catching someone with the hook of your flexed ankle and dumping them, etc., etc.

Aikido actually has something called a "heaven and earth" throw. But it doesn't have the attitude of the extra leg. :twisted:

It should even work when grappling on the ground. Everything is the same but your orientation w.r.t. mother earth. I would even argue that groundfighting will offer you MORE opportunities to use the move than upright fighting. One example in forms which confirms this is a way I learned the movement in a crane form. In Uechi you jump back on one leg, standing upright. In this crane form, you jump back and duck down on one knee. It's different, but then it's the same principle applied at another level - literally in this case.

Rory is the kind of guy who thinks like this, and can show you countless ways to use a simple principle in grappling.

So when you think about it, you should be able to come up with an infinite number of possible applications just by applying the principles I explained above.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:08 pm 
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Here's another nice variation on the way the movement is done in Uechi Ryu. Below is a younger, very athletic Bob Campbell showing off his stuff. Note in particular the slant of the lower leg that I described earlier. Note also that he isn't "saluting." I don't like the "salute" because I think it's distracting. It makes people think all kind of dumb things about that arm.

My particular upper arm position is a relatively straight hand going just above the temple. Elbow is ramped halfway between straight to the side, and straight forward. I have my reasons... ;)

Bob's athleticism is demonstrated via the final position of his raised leg. While an older Uechi Kanei has his knee at a level just below the diaphram, the youthful and athletic Bob's knee goes to about nipple level or maybe even slightly higher. I like doing my front leg Bob's way - because I can. 8) When I am 100, I may change my mind. That's my prerogative. ;)

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- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:18 pm 
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Here is aikido's tenchi nage, or "heaven and earth throw."

Image

Posture look familiar? ;)

Here's another variation on the tenshi nage theme.

Image

Here's what you can do when you are really good, and the person has given you a lot of energy to play with.

Image

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 3:08 pm 
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Take another look at this photo.

Image

Where is the weight of the person in the foreground? Now, what would happen if the fellow in the background swept that one leg on the ground with his left leg, sort of like this?

Image

Don't freeze your mind on this being the only application. But it's a dandy. ;) In practice though, I like using the right leg to do the sweep, using the hook of my flexed right ankle. If you look at the way Seisan jump is done with the setup, right leg lift, and then left leg lift, it makes perfect sense.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 10:07 pm 
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Bill, how is that move framed in Uechi seisan? It's been my experience that the moves on either side of technique X could determine what the intended meaning of the move is.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 10:31 pm 
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Indeed.

1) Start in left sanchin stance after having done three step/circle/supinated-nukite combos. The starting position is left palm forward and right palm supinated.

2) Step forward into a right "Uechi" horse stance while sliding the right arm under the left. The finished arm position is still the classic Sanchin arm positioning, but both hands are now supinated as in Sanchin kata body. The right hand (leading hand) is slightly ahead of the left.

THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT MOVE, IMO. I can do stuff with it, and combine it with what follows. Or you can do it "as is" like the way Rory Miller enters a Bad Guy's space.

3) Do the "Seisan jump" back.

3a) Lift the right leg up. I lift it as high as possible, and don't worry so much about pulling it back with my center. It's faster that way.

3b) Jump from right-legged crane stance to the finishing left-legged crane stance. While doing this, the left arm does a downward scooping motion, and the right hand comes up to the "salute" position.

THIS IS THE POSTURE IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS

4) After a brief pause in the posture. One then jumps forward from left crane to right "Uechi" horse stance. While doing that, one simultaneously does a left circle, and "chambers" a right elbow movement. Some folks (including yours truly) slashes that right hand forward (shuto-like) while transitioning into the right chamber. Some folks (including yours truly) kicks out the left leg before jumping to the right horse stance.

5) Do a right elbow/backfist/shoken combination. The left circled hand slaps the right elbow before going back to its Sanchin-forward position while the right hand finishes the backfist and shoken. This sequence is seen also in Sanseiryu, but with a charging rather than jumping horse stance and no crane-on-rock prequel.

You can put it all together in some funky ways, Mike, or leave it pulled apart. Pieces and parts of the movements appear elsewhere in different combinations and orientations. So there's nothing super sacred about the sequence from 1 to 5 (above).

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:23 am 
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Thanks Bill. I have a Uechi book that has some skinny kid doing Seisan in it, so I'm going to follow your explaination and the pictures to get a visual. :lol:

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You can put it all together in some funky ways, Mike, or leave it pulled apart. Pieces and parts of the movements appear elsewhere in different combinations and orientations. So there's nothing super sacred about the sequence from 1 to 5 (above)


I agree Bill. I think a single technique can have a great number of possible applications, but once it's in a kata the number dwindles, and sometimes it dwindles down to one (a sequence in Kanku comes to mind). But you can always change a kata and that's what interests me. It's not that sequence X of kata Y may have 100 possibilities but that many times it's been tweaked to fit someones style and abilities. Something I think the hardcore Ryu preservers forget.

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