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 Post subject: Secret?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:22 am 
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Location: Lake Worth Florida
Bill I love the thought about uke not meaning to block. Receive, redirect, reject or suppress and counter depending on intention. I was taught that to block was to get hit! I found during my competition years that either Koino Shipo or Sukui worked well against a strong Shotokan front kick. Then when a little Tai Sabaki is added it was really effective. I had a close friend who studied extensively with Nishiyama Sensei and he told me that Nishiyama told him this was "Okinawan way".
Kata gives us direction and basic technique. It is up to the Kobushi Sha to find the meaning and variations. We are too often stuck in Omote and don't look for what happening between the moves.
I trained with a Matsubayashi Shorin student of Chokei Kishaba and Katsuhiko Shinzato, Ken Ruiz who came by the Dojo frequently. His Uke was always done with the two forearm bones parallel to the initial impact with the twist of the forearm acting as a cam to redirect the attack. Simple mechanics. Efficient and not reliant on strength alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:05 am 
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Hello, Rick!

Rick Potrekus wrote:
We are too often stuck in Omote and don't look for what happening between the moves.

Some years back Tomoyose Ryuko told me that the most important part of kata was the moves between the moves. At the time I didn't quite understand what that meant, but I parked his comment in my brain. As I've gotten to understand kata more and work more on movement, I've discovered that the turns are often the most important part of the subsequent move. In other words the turn/shift was indeed part of the move.

Rick Potrekus wrote:
I found during my competition years that either Koino Shipo or Sukui worked well against a strong Shotokan front kick. Then when a little Tai Sabaki is added it was really effective.

Good stuff!

As we discussed recently in another thread, I accidentally broke someone's arm on my shomen geri when he stood and did a proper gedan barai. It felt like a knife going through butter to me.

Meanwhile... I never forget the sparring match I had with (the late) Rad Smith - my first Uechi instructor. I had the temerity to ask him after class if he'd spar me. He obliged. What I remember about that match was spending half of it on my butt. At the time I was coming from Nippon Shorin Ken and didn't know what this Uechi cr@p was. But that sparring match sold me. I didn't know what the hell he was doing to me, but... The floor told me everything I needed to know. :D

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Hi
I am new to the forum and found this topic very interesting. I am not a fan of any of the two dimensional blocks and consider them a last resort to be used only when I have messed everything else up and it is a choice between a hard impact on my arm or my head.
However I do feel sorry for people trying to block shomen geri with gedan barai. The action of the kick does not conform to what anyone outside Uechi Ryu expects of a kick and seems to be designed to cause damage to anything that crosses its trajectory.
I am lucky to have the opportunity to spar on a regular basis with martial artists from other styles on a no ego basis and one of the things they find difficult to cope with is the shomen geri. The fact that we can kick with either foot at close range without any giveaway signals from our upper bodies drives them insane. Even when they do see it coming they tend to react to the knee rise rather than the forward strike with the toes. This tends to cause any hard block to be mistimed and they either miss it entirely or present a bone for breaking.
Needless to say I tend to moderate the speed of the kick during sparring and will pull the kick if I see someone about to do something stupid.
Wether by design or intention shomen geri is the nemesis of the ulna.


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:31 am 
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Going back to Rick Sensei's post.. A Gedan Barai properly executed should feel more like a puff of air than a hard block IMO..Why exept the energy if you can defuse and redirect it? For that matter, why not turn the Gedan Barai into a strike instead and go a little farther in to the nerve center just above the knee on the inside? Grab a handful of that flesh and see how the opponent reacts... :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Nakahodo sensei showed me once, the most effective and destructive way to 'block' a front kick.

He did not 'gedan' at all.

What he did was to 'redirect' the kick while at the same time 'destroy' the leg.

_ Visualize the number 3 sequence of Dan kumite, where after you punch, you must 'gedan' the incoming right kick on the inside with your left arm_ then swing the left arm over to the right and with your right arm in sanchin_ to 'block' the incoming left roundhouse kick of your partner.

_With this in mind_ now Imagine the right front kick coming at you.

Instead of you using your left arm to 'gedan' [where the ulna will make contact] _ you use your right arm dropping and swinging in [with the radius side of the forearm] while at the same time folding your left arm in sanchin position and in a down stroke closing the gap with your right forearm.

Nakahodo sensei would catch your upcoming kick, redirecting it with the inside of his 'blocking' right arm, while 'impaling' the kick on the tip of his left elbow plunging in.

My favorite way of teaching this 'block' at close range.

Also, by using this sequence, you would find yourself in a position close to the opponent and able to forestall his left roundhouse, if he is still able to function.

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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Now we're into it! How many remember the original number three? Right punch, Uke right Mawshi Uke then Sokuto Geri with a spin back kick? It was changed for safety WTF?!? Why not teach students how to handle a back counter when over sweeping on Gedan Harai? All techniques are designed to fail. If not, how do we learn to counter the counter?

Going back to when Bill talked about the turns. Think of Kanshiwa and it's Bunkai. Now picture the attack from the front taking a neutral pposture with your hands down at Sanchin opening position. When the punch comes use Mawashi Uke to redirect and complete a rear turn, left or right depending on the attack. When you find yourself in back of the attacker it is a nice feeling indeed. Itokazu Sensei told me one time that Okinawan Karate does not do stances we do footwork. He used to say that if you understand Uechi Ryu you can fight in a Phone Booth. HMM. It took me along time to grasp that. Kata gives us direction and techniques. We need to explore what is happening between the moves.

When you get directions to get from one place to another, do you always go the same way or do you try to find a better route? Most times we are given the simplest route. It is up to us to learn the alternatives.


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:17 am 
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Rick Potrekus wrote:
Now we're into it! How many remember the original number three?

I do. In my not-so-humble opinion, the change to what is done today was moronic. In all the prearranged choreography we do, that one is just flat wrong. It works only if you play this Uechi choreography in a one-dimensional, step-forwards-step-backwards manner. But if you zig and zag as I teach - constantly staying off the line of force - then you shut number 3 down before the person can finish it.

The original number 3 was changed because too many people were getting hit/hurt. I did it once in fact. I accidentally knocked someone out with my spinning hook kick.

The problem? Obviously not the offense... it WORKS! No... the problem was the idiotic "cross blocK" used to address a spinning hook kick. If you get in close and you have elevation, that single contact point just makes the heel whip around all the more viciously.

One day I was sitting watching a Korean TKD master teach his sparring class. This guy could do a yoko geri straight up at dead noon. His spinning hook kick was deadly. During the sparring class someone asked him how to block the technique. He turned his body towards the kick and put his arms up - in a Sanchin-like posture. To say that I had an epiphany was an understatement. I almost fell out of my chair. But there was a TKD guy showing his class a Uechi posture to use which made it impossible to whip the kick around a single contact point.

George saw me do this one day and got his own variation. He essentially does a hip bump to the buttocks while having his arm in the double palm thrust position of Sanchin. That works as well.

So the moral of the story in my dojo... Tolerate the fact that somebody came up with an "alternate" to Dan Kumite number 3 which makes no sense - especially if you move the way we move. Then create a number 7 which is the old number 3 - done in a manner which works. Since I created my own response, I haven't had a single injury in my class from it.

Rick Potrekus wrote:
When you find yourself in back of the attacker it is a nice feeling indeed. Itokazu Sensei told me one time that Okinawan Karate does not do stances we do footwork.

It appears we're completely on the same page.

When you get that epiphany, then you find yourself constantly working to get on your partner's back. Show a student how to set up a rear naked choke - using what we know - then you can seal the deal every time.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:06 am 
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Stevie B wrote:
Going back to Rick Sensei's post.. A Gedan Barai properly executed should feel more like a puff of air than a hard block IMO..

Properly executed is key! ;)

We agree here.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:12 pm 
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I love these discussions.

Are there any videos of the old #3 floating around out there??

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:46 pm 
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It's back to the basics of engagement dynamics of attacking the attack…or 'suppressing and redirecting' as Rick puts it_ and as 'shutting down' an attack before it gets any momentum.

This becomes even more critical if the adversary is already in your reactionary gap distance, and in real life he might well be, as you could experience some taunting, gesturing, pointing, verbal attacks, then threats of physical violence.

Something that can easily happen in incidents of road rage, where both drivers are out of their cars arguing _ a bar beef_ some loud mouth at a party_ some punk[s] in a restroom etc.

Under the mental and physical chaos of a fight, preceded always by a sudden infusion of the chemical cocktail, being precise in executing movements becomes difficult, many mistakes will be made in trying to block right or intercept any attack.

Somehow this lesson never gets driven home.

Bill is on the money with the moronic way of the old no 3 in Dan kumite/cross block against a spinning kick. Only the people who have fought dynamic TKD or TSD fighters learn this lesson well, after dealing with the hook kicks or spinning kicks at close range.

See Billy Jack…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v325wdgoFH4

Now when should the 'defense' against that kick have begun, how and why?

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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:58 pm 
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At the very latest, when Billy said "........I'm gonna take this foot....."


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Quote:
At the very latest, when Billy said "........I'm gonna take this foot....."


Reasonable enough I would think, since the fight had already started when Billy Jack had closed the distance well within the reactionary gap.

No way to block such a kick, sanchin or no sanchin. By the time you are still thinking of getting your hands up, you will be KO'd most likely by one of those Hapkido kicks.

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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:20 am 
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We had a hapkido black belt (Lloyd Fall) in my first Uechi class. He was one of my favorite sparring partners. I managed to learn how to shut down his kicking game by bridging the gap and crowding him. I was better than him with my hands, so would grab on and start pounding. Others who didn't appreciate his power and range would make the mistake of standing at a distance. One very good fighter I know was pisssing blood from a yoko geri shot to his kidney.

I happen to be able to throw that reverse crescent kick fairly easily. I do it as a class warmup all the time. The key to getting power with it is via a 90-degree rotation (shifting) off the support leg. If you look in the video, you see Dan doing that. When I sparred I didn't throw it much because you can't control it. But it seems I could get it in at will. Why? The normal reaction of most when you lift your knee is for them to drop their hands. Even with black belts I could get that shot in cleanly, as long as I had the element of surprise. The big problem with it is it puts lateral forces on the knee. So I never messed with it much except just to have something different in my back pocket.

I agree with Steve here. Any time someone announces they're going to kick your asss or some equivalent - especially with a dozen witnesses - well that's all the permission you need to preempt. Monkey dancing is for monkeys.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:35 pm 
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Agree with Bill... Have to spar with TKD guys enough to understand their timing and signals... Have to close the gap and quickly! Sanchin is definately key to having the physical conditioning, ability, and Mindset to be able to..Do NOT fight them at their range!! Bring them into the "PHONE BOOTH"... Wonder how many of the younger readers will even know what a Phone booth is?? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Secret?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:31 pm 
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"Wonder how many of the younger readers will even know what a Phone booth is??"

Now that's a good question....... :multi:


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