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 Post subject: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:14 am 
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Now and again there are discussions in class about the classic way of performing the Uechi-Ryu Wauke...and we have seen many variations of it and individual preferences.

Given that Walter Mattson travels to Okinawa every year and works out with all the old time Masters...I asked him to write me a blurb on his views about the Okinawan manner of practice.

Walter
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After the base line is laid down, I teach from the perspective of addressing individual strengths and weaknesses. Rather than teach points, (finger tips shoulder height etc.) I try to develop the applications that fit the student in front of me at the time.

The standard to seek is not similar appearance ,but, similar speed and power in application.

The consideration of karate as "art" doesn't reference flowery dances passed off as "kata". It refers to the process of using an established system and its Masters as resources in the quest for excellence. Should one be so inclined.

Someone who is practicing all the kata through Sanseiryu, (probably Yondan and up)
should try to do without Master Uechi's "training wheels" for Wa-uke practice. (the basic training he taught of posting the upper hand/arm against the arm that describes the full circle)

That was his idea (and an excellent drill) to keep the Wa-uke circle coming principally from the elbow not the shoulder and to restrict the diameter and thereby increase the speed of the circle.

What that drill produces is a small circle/oval , (performed by the elbow), within a larger circle/oval (performed by the hand and forearm ) all the while minimizing the exposure of the rib cage in terms of duration and size of the opening.

After ten years or so of practice, Master Takara's opinion is at Yondan, we should have the ability to perform the block correctly without needing the upper hand /arm to restrict the circular motion of the lower arm.

At that point, the wa-uke in all kata, including Sanchin, is seen as a closed circle, beginning and ending at the same point.

I relate it to the numerals on a clock face. Looking at a student front on, the right Wa-uke starts and ends at 9 o'clock (counterclockwise) and the left at 3 o'clock (clockwise).

In Seichin, Kanshin and Sanseiryu, the blocks start at the same point as in the full Wa-uke, but, the circle terminates at roughly the half circle point as the opponents kick starts to be lifted vertically and you move your elbow out of Sanchin to keep his toes from reaching your chest.

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:05 am 
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Is clearly more natural and effective

But... Good luck with the operant conditioning from doing it differently for so long

Gives you something to work on though


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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:49 pm 
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A great explanation from Walter Mattson Sensei. Thanks Van for posting it. This trademark block is a great discussion throughout the Uechi-Ryu world. I've been in numerous talks about the proper way to do this block. There are personnel preferences though. When I travel around teaching, I never "correct" anyone's wauke. That's the way they were taught, and I prefer to let them see how I perform the block, rather then get into what is the best way to do it. I prefer to get to the weapon of the attack as quickly as possible. A punch or kick doesn't matter. I like to get my hands firing at that attack quickly. Simply put, I do not have any bottom to the wauke. A slight arc to get it started, but the hands do not drop. To use the clock face to explain it is easiest. The hands begin at nine and three. They fire right from there, passing through twelve and finishing back where they started. Take both hands through the entire wauke for better speed and power. This gets me to the attack in a blink. I never understood the hand beginning at six and ending at nine or three. The last thing I want to do when something is coming at me,is drop my blocking arm straight down. This is how I see the wauke. Is this "wauke proper"? I don't know. It's just the way I see it. The wauke ---Uechi-Ryu signature block. -------Art

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:54 pm 
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Good points Art. It all comes down to how it is put to use effectively.

I personally see it as a 'pie in the sky' where I can reach for a piece wherever I see an opening.

The way I perform a 'power wauke' gets one of my arms to drop, as in 'deflecting or catching a kick' while the other 'slaps centerline'...with the 'dropped arm' then rising in a shearing movement.

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:44 pm 
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Put yourself in this fight that broke out in a pool hall...another of my cases that I investigated.

One pool player went after another with the cue ball in his right hand and the cue stick in the left hand.

At a distance of about 12 feet, the assailant first threw the cue ball as hard as he could at the other guy's head.

The guy flinched, raised his arms and ducked...

the assailant kept coming at him now holding the cue stick straight forward with two hands[like in a bayonet charge] and put the victim's left eye out.

I'd like to see how some of the readers here 'karate' practitioners...would have reacted to that type of assault...which in the real world is not that far fetched.

An attack upon you may well begin with some flying object incoming.

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:31 pm 
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In the stuff I'm learning, there is a movement before any kick. The kicking side hand describes an inside circle to protect the groin, and the opposite hand performs an inside circle to protect the face. What I just realized is that this brings me to the same position I would be in at the start of a uechi spiral, the way I was taught. One hand would be the parry, and one would drop to begin the circle.

This makes me look at the movements after this position as a follow through to the "block" or cover.


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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:45 pm 
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I watched a demonstration of some flinches by someone who was using principles from aikido, and one of the positions involved the forearms parallel to each other at a 45 degree angle from the ground. The arm closest to the direction of attack is pointed down, while the other arm is pointed up. Pretty much the same principle.


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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:12 pm 
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It just occurred to me that if I take the covering movement from san soo and unwind it in reverse, I am doing the circle I learned in uechi.


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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:11 am 
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Good points, Sean, thank you.

I think we all realize now and then how much more there is to this stuff and to what any of the founding fathers had to take under consideration before developing any given system.

This from Walter's writings
Quote:
That was his_[Master Uechi]_ idea (and an excellent drill) to keep the Wa-uke circle coming principally from the elbow not the shoulder and to restrict the diameter and thereby increase the speed of the circle.

What that drill produces is a [b]small circle/oval , (performed by the elbow), within a larger circle/oval (performed by the hand and forearm ) [/b]all the while minimizing the exposure of the rib cage in terms of duration and size of the opening.


From this we learn that the WAUKE is made up of two circles, one inside the other, for the obvious reasons that those fixed technique parameters mimic the body's natural movement...and that the great majority of style movements were devoted to no other end than navigating the most common problems posed by violent incidents.

The greatest stumbling block is our understanding of them...and I don't think there is anyone out there, age wise, or rank wise...that has all the answers...we keep on learning until we die.

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:01 am 
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If I live another day, it is not because of a movement I have learned. It is because of what I have learned from that movement.


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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:49 am 
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Well said my friend.

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:33 pm 
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You're correct Van. No one will ever know the answer to the wauke. One thing is certain, there are two blocks involved. This is a real good example of having both hands involved. I like having both hands (arms) involved in pretty much everything. It makes sense to me, and it feels much faster and stronger. Personnel preference. That"ll always be the case I guess. ----Art

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:38 pm 
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I agree Art. It is matter of individual preference and also matter of personal experience as well. The wauke 'format' if you will...is made up of a number of defensive and offensive 'natural body mechanics' taken to a highly sophisticated level of action/reaction performance.

These components can be put to use singly or together depending on preference, types of incoming force, and kinds of incoming attacks...with a view to an end result _intent_ of any application.

You wrote once that the 'fighters' of the vicious tournament days and of some unfortunate real life situations...tended to use the wauke moves with two hands.

I agree because when we fought we came up against some extremely powerful and big opponents throwing techniques/kicks they were practicing against trees, like the great TSD fighters of Bobby Cheezic we fought in the Boston area.

I know you remember the 'wars' with Bob's students...strongest fighters I ever recall. http://usamartialartsct.com/CheezicTangSooDo.htm

As you know, there will be attacks out in the world that will penetrate any type of blocking defense, so it is best to ingrain the use of two arms as major elements of a defensive shield to the body.

The beauty of the wauke 'format' is in the million and one _ways_ it can be put to use by practitioners, defensively and offensively.

Here is an old thread with great comments by Bill Glasheen and Dana Sheets...

viewtopic.php?p=166478

Some elements for discussion
Quote:
Alan Dollar's book refers to both " Hirate Mawashi Uke" and "Wauke".
His distinction is that the first uses only one arm, the second uses both arms (adds the secondary block).


Dana
Quote:
...rise...drill...overturn....fall...

The words above all contain elements of wauke. Hirate mawashi uke to be specific. Flat hand circle block is a literal translation of a japanese name for a chinese principle of body movement.

Mr. Nakamatsu has shown us a way to use the same motion to cut across the incoming force at a 30-45 degree angle.

I use and train them all because I use and train the one. The shape of the circular movement is decided by how you're transforming the incoming force.

Do I want to turn uke in place or do I want to drill up uke's arm into their face? Do I come crashing down on uke's arm like a ton of bricks with my weight or do I seal his elbow into his ribs? Do I bust uke's balance by slamming across uke's neck or do I let uke enter and pass by only to be seized and tossed as I use two parts of his body as pivot points?

The circle is a principle not a pattern.

It can be an oval, a sphere, or even have some part that is straight, it can look like the letter "O", the letter "D", the letter "J", the number "0", the letter "S", or even a "C". At what point in the circle are you driving up from the ground? At what point are you dropping your weight into the circle? How fast is the attack coming, how slowly, are you ahead of it or behind it? All these things will decide the shape.

If you try to use one shape to answer every force you will fail most of the time, though even a broken clock is correct twice a day. In my way of thinking at this time, if you use the principle of the circle then you will use the right kind of circle with the right kind of force to achieve an outcome that puts you at an advantage.

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:48 pm 
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Then we have the 'famous' watari uke...you know the one we use at the end of Konchin and beginning of SANSEIRYU...

Dana
Quote:
AND - just for fun...
I've been shown at least 6 different versions of watari-uke...and, from what I can see...they are all correct


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEsZFlr4zfs

Just about everyone seems to have a version of it...with mine I use it as an entry attack [crane and snake] that with practice becomes blindly fast.

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 Post subject: Re: Wauke Proper
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:53 pm 
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This is my preferred manner of execution of the Watari Uke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEsZFlr4zfs

The applications are endless.

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