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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:31 pm 
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I like Kanshiwa. It should not be considered just "a beginner kata" because it consists of some very practical movements. It is also our only kata that uses fist strikes.

I enjoy watching students practice the Kanshiwa Bunkai. Being someone who encourages thinking outside of the box (as mentioned repeatedly in my youtube videos), I would like to offer an alternative approach on doing this bunkai. For the folks who are already doing it, please let me humbly say-- bright minds think alike :P .

Typically: The defender stands in the middle facing three opponents, one to his left, one to his right, one in front. He blocks and punches to the left, then to the right, then to the middle, then---, movie style. The opponents patiently waits for his turn. Think about it.

OK, it is only a dojo training for beginners some might say, but, I suggest we train everyone realistically. This specific "typical" approach may not exactly ingrain the right idea on defending against multiple opponents.

In a real self defense situation, the defender would be lucky if he could finish the first punch before being attacked or taken to the ground by one or both of the other two.

Of course, no one should even try to defense against three thugs, no matter how good he is--- but if push comes to shove and your own safety or the safety of your love one is in jeopardy, may be you are stuck without options.

So, let's train properly, and the Kanshiwa Bunkai is excellent for training against multiple opponents, even if we have to follow the kata movements for the sake of doing a bunkai.

My suggestion: From the middle where you face the three opponents, maneuver yourself to be in line with the three thugs so they are one in front of the other and blocking each other. The hope is that the other two will be blocked by themselves while you are taking out the first thug.

Let me emphasize here. Never practice ineffective or whimpy strikes or they will be ineffective and whimpy when you need them. In this situation the strikes must have knockout power. You only have one chance. Since there are three of them, you probably do not want to punch his head either. If you break your knuckle -- well---, hope you can deal with the rest with one hand. But the kata uses fist strikes here, so, go for his groin. Boom!! :mrgreen:

In your bunkai practice, after striking the first thug, go after the second in line and make sure he is blocking the third, then go after the third.

To continue with the kata movements, you then maneuver to side kick the first one, at the knee or behind his knee with the goal of breaking; then maneuver to side kick the second thug at his knee, then the third. Then, you can play with the rest of the kata.

By the way, for the sake of at least this bunkai anyway, let's practice the Mawashi-uke (circular block with palm strikes) with the higher palm strike to the opponent's face/nose area instead of the side of his upper chest. I have no confident with my strikes to anybody's chest but that is just me the little guy talking. No time to be nice when dealing with three thugs who are attempting to really hurt me here so I will aim to break his face.

The point is, practice as realistically as possible.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:45 pm 
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When I learned it initially I was taught three shokens at the beginning. Sometimes I still do that since I see the movement pattern as being the most important part of it. Also, after the first five attacks I don't wait for the club attack, I just attack them. It makes no sense to train and wait for someone to swing at you.

There are a lot of variations I do at my school. I might put the first three attackers in chest guards so they can take a harder shot, most of the time people are not rooted enough when they strike. We also train using the attacker as a body shield against the next attacker. There are also opportunities for take downs here and there, depends on the group.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:16 pm 
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Great, Fred.

Bear in mind though, I am sure we all know this but please bear with me: When there are multiple opponents, the best you can hope for is disabling the first thug with one effective strike so you can deal with the next before they all have a chance to jump on you. Kanshiwa Bunkai should be a good one for that scenario practice.

The "typical thug" we should envision during our practice is not the typical nice guy in a dojo. This thug is young, muscular, tough, has been in numerous street fights, and is probably wearing some kind of jacket which diminishes your striking power or the penetration of your Shoken to his body,

In a life or death real self defense situation, only use the most devastating strike you can do and practice accordingly.

Also, by the way, don't even think about taking down anyone in a multiple opponent scenario.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:10 pm 
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Good thread Henry, and I agree with your thinking.

Here are my comments:

1. > It is also our only kata that uses fist strikes. <

We all know that a powerful punch is fairly safe when thrown to the body of an opponent, as opposed to the head…where one risks hand fractures or deadly infections if teeth pierce the skin on the knuckles and draw the infection deep inside.

What's our best answer as to the why the original style from China did not include closed fist strikes other than a shoken and back fist?

2. > Typically: The defender stands in the middle facing three opponents, one to his left, one to his right, one in front. He blocks and punches to the left, then to the right, then to the middle, then---, movie style. The opponents patiently waits for his turn. Think about it. <

I don't know what the original intent was behind this 'formative Kata' but it's fairly obvious that the 'fight' has already started once you sense being approached by flanking opponents…and to wait for someone to first take a shot at you, is just folly in a street fight.

And practicing this over and over while thinking that Uechi is a 'defensive style' will ingrain some very bad responsive action.

I find the first three moves very useful in teaching 'tenshin' moves…the 'getting off the X' moves…especially in, as you say, to learn to 'stack' the opponents by moving outside the periphery of the group, where, if you must fight at all, instead of running, you want to attack and really hurt the first one…then use him somehow to use him as a shield.

Here I teach that after you get around them [stacking] and hitting the first guy…

then place both palms against his face and 'shove' him forcefully into the next opponent, disrupting his ability to strike…while, at the same time that you throw one guy at another…you follow the line of the throw…and then strike the second guy as he gets disrupted.

It is best to 'shove' someone by the head instead of pushing his body….because the head swivels on the neck and where the head goes the body goes.

And when attacking…always think of striking with a weapon he cannot really see or expect in addition to a weapon that has the best chance of causing hurt…such as the low chopping kicks with the conditioned shin…against the legs of the opponent that will be very effective…do not attempt to strike with the instep or you will be sorry…despite dreams of 'uber conditioning'

Also to remember is that you will suffer tunnel vision and auditory exclusion where you will lose peripheral vision…will not hear too well…and are apt to be sucker punched or taken down.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:54 am 
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2. > To continue with the kata movements, you then maneuver to side kick the first one, at the knee or behind his knee with the goal of breaking; then maneuver to side kick the second thug at his knee, then the third. Then, you can play with the rest of the kata. <

Here I find that because of the chaotic nature of having to face multiple opponents, such as this bunkai tries to familiarize us with...

performing the side kick in more of a 'gross motor move way' has a better chance to do damage.

I prefer to stay away from any 'bladed' side kick to the ribs or knee area...but prefer a stomp kick ...

Have you seen a Charlie Chaplin movie? Remember how Chaplin walks? With his knees spread out and his heel landing on the ground first?

That’s pretty much how you throw a stomp kick.

It's short and fast, and the force is delivered down with the heel. The main targets are the knees, shins, and ankles.

The kick sort of 'dives' down adding gravity to the force of impact.

All this combined also makes the stomp kick difficult to see and counter.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:00 am 
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Try to practice concussive punches and palms....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jxgFWaIPJw

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:06 am 
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I like wave dynamics Van but I really think its just a good way to trick folks into arriving at the right time with there weight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmgHY6rk0QE


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:27 pm 
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I must praise the Uechi masters of yore on creating Kanshiwa otherwise we wouldn't have any punches or side kicks, not in our katas anyway. I love all eight katas by the way. One more or less would not be quite as satisfying to me. Can't understand why anyone would just do the big-3 but that would be another thread.

Quote:
What's our best answer as to the why the original style from China did not include closed fist strikes other than a shoken and back fist?


I speculate that the old masters who created the original big-3 have "been there done that", and correctly concluded that fists are not worth the risks in a real fight due to their prone to damages. Smashing a makiwara day in and day out and disfiguring ones fists and risking arthritis so he can punch someone just doesn't seem practical or wise. Boxers and MMA fighters wrap their hands plus wearing gloves for good reasons, and not for protecting the opponent's face :twisted: Having said that, Hung Gar Kung Fu (which I practiced at one time) uses plenty of punches though. Umm. Some students do pound sands.

Let's exclude dojo sparring and tournaments. I never had much luck on punching with front or back fist back in my old troubled street days. Broke a knuckles using the regular front fist and in another occasion broke a different knuckle using a back fist. OK so I am just a weak little guy but nevertheless I discourage my students to use fists except for strike to the solar plexus, liver and groin but never to the head, may be to the chin for an upper cut though.

I had never used shoken other than during kata practices either because I just do not have the confidence on its effectiveness, for me anyway, especially if the thug is wearing a jacket (although I remember, I am sure you do too, Van, that big ugly bruise on either Mike Deludi's or Al Ford chest from a shoken by one of you three to the other up at the Columbus Ave dojo :P . ).

My favorite quote in my self defense classes: "Only use the techniques you feel the most confident in taking out the thug". A fabulous beautiful technique might be great for someone else, but if you do not have the full confidence in being able to disable the thug with your first strike/kick, don't use it in a real multiple opponent situation.

Quote:
It is best to 'shove' someone by the head instead of pushing his body….because the head swivels on the neck and where the head goes the body goes.


"where the head goes the body goes" is also my quote when I teach my version of the Uechi ground escape. It is in my advanced self defense course and I have not shown it in any of the fests or YouTube videos yet. I usually don't enjoy giving out freebies. :twisted:

Quote:
Also to remember is that you will suffer tunnel vision and auditory exclusion where you will lose peripheral vision…will not hear too well…and are apt to be sucker punched or taken down.


--- and not to mention confusion, loss of fine motor skills, brain-fa*t, etc. It seems that no matter how many times we say this (and I bet at least a thousand times by Van alone) we still see people practicing techniques in some so called self defense classes totally ignoring this ugly reality.

Quote:
I prefer to stay away from any 'bladed' side kick to the ribs or knee area...but prefer a stomp kick ...


Stomp kick is a good one, especially wearing shoes! In my opinion though, kicks are too risky to use in a multiple opponent situation which is what this thread is about. You just can not afford to use any technique that is not the best in your arsenal for the immediate disabling of the thug. Kicks can be devastating but I got kicked heavily in my chest and ribs several times and they did not stop me so I would not count on them to stop any thug. I have also used the front snap kick aiming at the groin in two encounters and missed both times (probably due to adrenaline, yes and my lack of practice, blah blah blah--).

And don't forget, you don't want your kick getting caught in a multiple opponent situation.

Quote:
Try to practice concussive punches and palms..


Yes, palms, elbows, knees. All in Uechi Ryu long before MMA made them popular.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:26 am 
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I speculate that the old masters who created the original big-3 have "been there done that", and correctly concluded that fists are not worth the risks in a real fight due to their prone to damages. Smashing a makiwara day in and day out and disfiguring ones fists and risking arthritis so he can punch someone just doesn't seem practical or wise. Boxers and MMA fighters wrap their hands plus wearing gloves for good reasons, and not for protecting the opponent's face :twisted: Having said that, Hung Gar Kung Fu (which I practiced at one time) uses plenty of punches though. Umm. Some students do pound sands.


Pretty much my take I don't need closed fists , just not the most effective method IMHO even though I can use them, but each to their own.

I prefer the more combative nature of the original three and less sportive sparring preperation of some aspects of the modern sylabus , but that is another thread , but it basically comes down to what you want to program. I'm in the doing a lot with a little camp. Narrow but deep.

replacing kicks with stomps , kicking in the clinch to low targets etc , good options , not flashy and not impressive , but damned effective.

Bunkai from kata is everything IMHO , introduce the HAPV , find the move that fits , work it until you can deal with the variations.

I have a different take when the kata often shows up threes ... I dont think of three attackers , but rather it's often showing you either side and then taking you back to the beginning to show another option, also often its not turn to face another attacker , but turn to take the blindspot of the attacker etc.....

being creative is an important skill , being flexible , adapting , we can call it Bunkai , or we can call it scenario work , and it's only limited by our research and Imagination , the old and new in alot of ways are the same depending on how there used.

The masters of Yore were onto something !


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:34 pm 
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Just noticed this topic and the reference to the closed fist.
Actually, Konshiwa was originally created and performed for many years using the shoken and not the closed fist. In the 80s, most dojo and seniors were teaching it with a closed fist for safety reasons. [Use of the shoken during the bunkai was felt to be very dangerous to the Uke.] The side kick was something many teachers misinterpreted and students continue to perform in an awkward manner. As originally taught, the heel of the kicking foot remained neutral until just before the strike, at which point emphasis and targeting focused on the heel and knife edge of the foot moving slightly outward.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:59 pm 
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It looks like another good thread, Henry, you know the good ones to pick. :)
because it all comes down to the 'how effective' and the 'how kind' _ TO YOU_ will that technique be _once you use in the chaos of a street fight in attempting to survive a serious beating.

before we proceed with this discussion it would help if we could visualize the ugliness of street fights and what can happen to any us and our training.

So lets look at some of this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGm9Ex6LimM

How many of us imagine 'our fights' to be like we see here?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:03 pm 
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It is also worth a look here at the 'primal' fist.
Quote:
Fist
If the question is which of the two is more natural to use, the choice obviously is the fist. Forming a fist when agitated to fight has always been a natural instinct of humans.

In an article titled Human hands have 'evolved for fighting' published in The Telegraph, Professor David Carrier, from the University of Utah said that forming a fist is a genetically ingrained instinct and is an outcome of man’s evolution, “If you are angry, the reflexive response is to form a fist,'' said Carrier. ''If you want to intimidate somebody, you wave your fist.''

Turning the hand into a weapon was driven by the primal instinct to survive and dominate according to Carrier, ''Individuals who could strike with a clenched fish could hit harder without injuring themselves, so they were better able to fight for mates and thus be more likely to reproduce,'' he said, adding, “If a fist posture does provide a performance advantage for punching, the proportions of our hands also may have evolved in response to selection for fighting ability, in addition to selection for dexterity.''

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Quote:
Carrier also conducted an experiment proving the superiority of the fist as an impact weapon over the palm and other hand forms. Volunteers aged 22 to 50 with martial arts and combat sports backgrounds were used in the experiment. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

“In one, participants were asked to hit a punchbag as hard as possible from different directions with their hands in a range of shapes, from open palms to closed fists…


A punch delivers up for three times more force to the same amount of surface area as a slap. And the buttressing provided by a clenched fist increases the stiffness of the knuckles fourfold, while doubling the ability of the fingers to deliver a punching force.

'Because the experiments show the proportions of the human hand provide a performance advantage when striking with a fist, we suggest that the proportions of our hands resulted, in part, from selection to improve fighting performance,’ said Prof Carrier.”

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:07 pm 
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Quote:
Palm
The biggest problem with using the fist in combat is the higher chance of injury. Even professional boxers after taping their fists and donning gloves sometimes sustain fractures in their hands because of hard impact.

Sports physician Dr. Andrew Feldman in his book The Jock Doc’s Body Repair Kit wrote, “One of the most common fractures I see is what’s called ‘the boxer’s fracture,’ a characteristic break of the bone leading to the fifth metacarpal or pinkie, specifically. Almost invariably, it is caused by someone punching a wall – or a person.”

Because of its complex design, an injury can severely hamper the natural functioning of the hand. On this Feldman wrote, “Hands also differ from the feet in that, when injured, they must be restored to perfect preinjury functioning. Even a slight misalignment will have deep, deep consequences for a limb as dependent on anatomical microtolerances as the hand.”

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Quote:
You have less chances of injuring your hand if you use your palm in delivering strikes. The fleshy surface of the palm can take harder impact without injury compared to the bony areas of the fist.

You have also eliminated a weak link, which is the wrist, when using a palm instead of a fist when delivering a straightforward strike.

Besides the fact that it is more unnatural to the majority of people, you have lessened your reach by a couple of inches if you chose to hit with your palm instead of your fist.


The wrist is something that we rarely discuss here, maybe on the assumption that our wrist joints will be impervious to injury/dislocation when even hitting an opponent center mass rather than his head.

I see this also when students practice their low kicks to the legs, impacting with their instep ....Image

on the assumption that since their instep has been 'conditioned' maybe against the makiwara etc. they will not suffer any debilitating injury...in a fight- were they to hit the pointed part of an opponent's knee ...or hit the well planted leg of a massively built opponent....like this guy...

Image




where his leg remains planted...but your ankle joint will either break or sprain ...ending your fight.

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