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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:05 pm 
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(Tony - PM for you.)
---------------------------

Thanks Tony. I'm glad you can take a little ribbing. I have no doubt that you can hit hard - in part because you are able to open up your intent when you want to. So I think part of what happened for you is that your intent was stronger than your weapons. So your toes were kind of like little lightbulbs on the end of a big strong battering ram.

Bill's said in the past that one of the things he does is the sled at the gym with his toes in the sokusen position. He also has stated that whenever he presses his foot into the floor for a cat stance he does that in sokusen as well.

Now - one reason to train toe kicks is that even inside of shoes (and inside of women's dress shoes in particular) the toes are not that well protected. So if you do happen to drive the tip of your shoe into somone - you need to have strong toes to support that. And if you kick with women's dress shoes, or any slip on shoe for that matter, and try to hit with the ball of the foot - the shoe flies off - and then you /will be fighting barefoot in the street. Not really a happy place. However if I kick with my toes I get to keep my shoes on.

You also really have to work on the flexibility of your ankle to be able to extend a kick with the toes pulled back.

One place I've used the toe kick is to fire off one from the front leg right out of the sanchin position at the inside shin of the lead leg of the person opposite me. This gets them to change their stance in some way which usually opens up a little window for centerline attacks.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:37 pm 
Dana Sheets wrote:
(Tony - PM for you.)
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You also really have to work on the flexibility of your ankle to be able to extend a kick with the toes pulled back.


True, but if you place emphasis on ankle and knee rotation (in the Y-axis) it will develop on it's own. For example, when you throw your kick, front or rear lift up and extend your leg. You time your knee, which rotates either CW or CCW depending on the leg your kicking with with the rotation of your ankle which is the same as the knee. They should stop rotating at the same time. Now time that with the hip rotation (in the x-axis) and the "time on target" (kick a shield or a bag, don't kata kick for power) and all your flexibility that you need will develop without having to emphasis the toe kick. In fact, my kick is probably exactley like yours except that my toes are flimsy so that they'll move out of the way (or go up) when my sokutei hits something.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:52 pm 
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For the record - my toes are still quite "flimsy" but I still hold a candle for the day they won't be.

We train that motion you're talking about by actually trying to pull the heel up to the but and then rotate the hip. This is just a training tool though. But it helps to coordinate the hip rotation with the opening of the knee crease.

Tony in your experience it sounds like you've been more successful with driving kicks than snapping kicks. Any idea why?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:55 pm 
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On another thread refering to a photo of Nakahodo sensei doing a pushup on his toes and on only the tips of his index finger and thumb Bill said:

Quote:
You should try doing push-ups on the sokusen some time. It feels ridiculous at first, but you can get used to it pretty quickly (if you have a half-decent sokusen). Doing them at that angle (ankle flexed 90 degrees) conditions you for doing roundhouse sokusens. Because of that one exercise, I now do roundhouse sokusens a lot easier than I do front kick sokusens.


I've asked him to drop by.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:15 pm 
Dana Sheets wrote:
Tony in your experience it sounds like you've been more successful with driving kicks than snapping kicks. Any idea why?


I guess theres a difference... probably has to do with confidence in the technique (but thats not overcondifence either, theres always room for improvement).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:55 pm 
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This is an interesting thread. And the responses I see from various parties are not at all surprising. Everyone has their favorite way of doing things, and can rationalize it pefectly well. Whatever it is you do, you just need to learn to do it effectively.

I started in Japanese karate, where strong front kicks with ball-of-foot and strong side kicks with foot blade were king. If you've seen the 38 special form I choreographed, you see vestiges of my early training. Coming from cross country to Japanese martial arts meant I was kicking like a mule in no time. And a punch (the traditional Okinawan variety) was king for me.

It all stayed that way for years.

I often quote an old line from Flip Wilson when describing Uechi karate. When it comes to "Uechi pointy things", (I really should register for a trademark on that phrase...) the Flip Wilson line really holds. As he said in describing the punch line of a long story about a dragon-slaying knight, "It's one of those things that creeps up on you later, like them Fruit-o-the-Loom shorts."

Vicki and I were talking about this last week. Yes, the peanut gallery likes to make disparaging references to my point of view by using the phrase "Uechi pointy things." But like the "geek" moniker, I wear it proudly. After all, one day your kids may only be able to get a job polishing the BMWs owned by those "geeks." 8) Like math and science, the most disparaging remarks are made by those who can't do it. And like math and science, you're in REALLY good shape today if you can.

Just ask Bill Gates. 8O

Just ask Nakahodo Sensei. 8O

This is a fighting method. It isn't appropriate to criticize something because YOU can't do it. Most things worth having aren't easy to acquire.

Like that most unusual Wing Chun vertical fist punch with the radial wrist deviation at the end, you have to train it and perfect it to appreciate it.

Yes, these "Uechi pointy things" have crept up on me with age. I never would have guessed it. If you could see my hands, you'd never guess I could.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:12 pm 
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Dana wrote:
I'm curious as to how many people tuck the toes back for a classical sokusen and how many keep the toes flat to kick?

I have seen both methods practiced, Dana. George and Yonamine Sensei do the flat-toe (ballarina style) method. The classic picture in Uechi Kanei's Kyohon (big blue book) is the tucked toe method (the kind you pictured kicking into a tire).

Image

I prefer the classic method. Why? Because in this orientation, the toes have "give." This acts as a low-pass-filter (shock absorber) to high frequency components of an impulse (the nasty stuff). That reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis from damage to the articular cartilage in that big toe joint. Retired ballerinas have such issues.
Dana wrote:
Many styles kick with straight toes. Uechi (as far as I know) is unique in that we pull the toes back to kick. Takes a long long time to be able to kick this way effectively especially under stress.

You know... People say this a lot. And for the life of me, I have no idea why they say it, other than the fact that it's fashionable to criticize something in martial arts by talking about reptilian brain physiology.

You want primal? Let's talk primal. From The grasp and other primitive reflexes, Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2003;74:558-560 © 2003
Quote:
A group of foot reflexes allied to the palmar grasp were described by a number of authors from the 1930s onwards. Brain and Curran described the grasp reflex of the foot,9 Goldstein the tonic foot response,10 and Seyyfarth and Denny-Brown the grasp reflex of the toes.4 Although there are subtle variations in the responses described, all these authors conclude that stimulating the sole of the foot (particularly over the metatarsophalangeal joints using a distally moving object) leads to flexion and adduction movements of the toes, and that while the reflex is distinct from the Babinski response, the two reflexes may appear concurrently. As with the palmar grasp, this response is seen in infants, may reappear consequent to damage to the frontal lobe or its efferent connections, and may be particularly frequent with contralateral, medial frontal lobe damage.11


Quote:
It has long been recognised that both these reflexes are present in newborn infants, disappear during normal development, and may reappear in disease states, suggesting that these responses are suppressed but not lost during maturation.

Try playing with a baby's toes some time. Both my sons naturally did sokusens when they were babies.

Why is that? Where does this grasp reflex come from, and under what conditions would it have been useful? Answer that question, and your opinion about what is available under severe stress may change.

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:23 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
Like that most unusual Wing Chun vertical fist punch with the radial wrist deviation at the end, you have to train it and perfect it to appreciate it.


Sure, but what would you say is the time in for that to happen? Not much IMO, perhaps 1/10th the time for one to develop a good shoken?

I understand that Uechi has its specialized tools but how much time need be dedicated to perfect these specialized tools? What are the likely effects on the body as it ages as a result of this "point sharpening?" Is it really worth it when folks have more natural weapons already at their disposal?

IMO there are a myriad of other more important and practical things to train for CQC that address say tactile stimulus response training and concept application training. It is the how and the when that I see missing from much training; things that actually teach folks how to fight, how to respond instantly and fit in with resistance; Without this component those pointy thingies IMO are all dress up with no place to go.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:29 pm 
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I could easily argue all day long against the WCQ-style punch, Jim. Ask any doctor what part of the hand is most readily fractured, and he'll be pointing to the bones that receive the greatest force from a WCQ punch.
Quote:
Boxer's fractures occur in the metacarpal bones that connect the ring finger or the little finger to the wrist. These are known as the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones.

It's all in the execution.

The problem you have, Jim, is in presuming how a shoken, hiraken, boshiken, or sokusen are used. If I use a wrench as a hammer, I'm likely to break the wrench. But if I try to take a nut off with a hammer or pair of plyers, I'm not likely to appreciate the results.

Get back to The Bubishi and HAPV. Look at the class attacks there, and classic responses.

Don't think boxing. Stop thinking about sparring These are not boxing tools. They gouge, poke, and grab.

Check out all the things they slowy are starting to ban in MMA competitions. Patrick McCarthy and I were having a discussion about that just a few weeks ago. What gets banned, and why?

From your reference frame, Jim, you see Wing Chun. Keep thinking Wing Chun when you train your style.

But there are other ways...

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:41 pm 
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Folks talk a lot about the practical use of a sokusen in a street fight. I often remind people that kata teach us principles, and not specifics. We do not train nukites in Sanchin kata because we want to reach inside someone's chest, grab their heart, pull it out, and show it to them before they die. (I can't tell you how many times I heard that in the 1970s...). The nukite is a concept. It is a metaphor.

So too is the sokusen, IMO.
Jim wrote:
Want a pointy thing? Then try a smashing heel kick while wearing pumps..

Precisely my point! I tell that to students all the time.

Think about what you will be wearing when you are in a fight. More often than not, it will be a pair of shoes. They might even be dress shoes. Are you going to try to kick with the ball-of-foot with a pair of dress shoes on? I cannot. Furthermore, kicking with the heel of my dress shoes requires that I have just a touch more hamstring flexibility than kicking with the toe. Am I always going to be warmed up?

Kicking with "shod foot" is something that will get you in a crapload of trouble in court. Why is that? How does your common redneck hurt you when you fall down? What part of the foot do they naturally hit with? Did anyone tell them to do that? Did anyone teach them? And yet... Why is this considered so lethal that special laws were made prohibiting it under most circumstances?

With a shoe on, even a half-assed sokusen works. I often tell people that sai are like a shoken with an attitude. Just look at how you hold the sai, and you will see the hand in a shoken. Then just look at what a pair of sai can do with a thrust.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:00 pm 
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See the following:

State vs. Pierre

In this case...

Quote:
While first degree assault typically involves the use of a firearm

or other deadly weapon, the absence of such a weapon does not preclude

the State from charging a defendant with first degree assault.


{snip}


The evidence showed that all of the above occurred with such violent

force as to cause permanent brain damage. Clearly a rational trier of

fact could find that Pierre used force or means likely to produce great

bodily harm when he repeatedly kicked at the victim's head as though it

was a ball, and caused severe and permanent brain damage.

Interesting case, worth a read.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:10 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
I could easily argue all day long against the WCQ-style punch, Jim. Ask any doctor what part of the hand is most readily fractured, and he'll be pointing to the bones that receive the greatest force from a WCQ punch.

It's all in the execution.


True, it is all in the execution and the reason why no one I have ever met, taught or heard of ever suffered this kind of injury using this fist. It's when you try to punch like the boxer that you get that fracture, which is very different than how this fist is used and positioned, where the impact compresses the bones together as opposed to ripping them apart. It is a very stable fist that anyone can feel when working it.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
The problem you have, Jim, is in presuming how a shoken, hiraken, boshiken, or sokusen are used. If I use a wrench as a hammer, I'm likely to break the wrench. But if I try to take a nut off with a hammer or pair of plyers, I'm not likely to appreciate the results.


No presumption here except what I consider a realistic assessment of how any striking tool is likely to be used in a SD situation by an American karateka, and for most females IMO the shoken ain't gonna get it; especially when they think of it as "A Shoken" the ‘singular’ weapon that will actually make the EBG blink all on its own.

I'm sure you remember our discussion regarding how Ip Man removed the shoken from his teaching, now whether or not you agree with that or not, it was a clear attempt to update the style and keep it practical...

Styles should and must change to adapt with a changing world. How has Uechi adapted, updated or changed since it was originally changed for purposes of Japanification?

Bill Glasheen wrote:
Don't think boxing. Stop thinking about sparring These are not boxing tools. They gouge, poke, and grab.


My style is Chinese Bill not Western Boxing... I am quite familiar with these applications, but within the context of sticking, controlling the line and managing energy...

Bill Glasheen wrote:
From your reference frame, Jim, you see Wing Chun. Keep thinking Wing Chun when you train your style.

But there are other ways...


I'd love to hear or see what these other (training) 'ways' are that address the cultivation and ingraining of key CQC concepts like inside tactile response, energy cultivation, power generation and the ingraining of dynamic and interactive contact reflexes and fluidity, still, I have yet to see any. This is something that all inside Chinese styles (Uechi's ancestors) have and use to bridge the gap between kata and function, they represent key development areas and these are the areas that need major attention and focus IMO.

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"Receive what comes, stay with what goes, upon loss of contact attack the line" – The Kuen Kuit


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:14 pm 
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Another thing I often point out to my Uechi students is the use of the big toe in balance. Often we don't appreciate the importance of a muscle, group of muscles, or body part until we lose or injure it. Then suddenly we see how everything we do seems to use that damned thing. :bad-words:

Check out what happens to NFL players when they get "turf toe." Yes, they miss games for that.

The big toe very much is an extremely important part of balance. It also helps in "feeling" your way forwards as you enter your partner's defenses when "engaging" them during infighting.

I often remind folks of Murphy's law, and how fights prove it over and over. Generally you want to minimize the risk of bad things happening. Reaching, feeling, and balancing with that big toe are all very important aspects of bad-breath-range fighting.

Sokusen training - as I do it - helps with teaching the person how to use the big toe in myriad ways. I work on strength of the big toe. I work on flexibility. I work on coordination. I work on sensitivity. This isn't about trying to smash with something, and damaging your body. It's about training this appendage just like any other in your body that you would train.

And if you've never had Christmas, how would you know there was a Santa Claus? If you've never had strong, coordinated, flexible big toes, how would you know what you could do with them - even without kicking?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:26 pm 
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Jim

If you don't like the shoken, don't use it! But if you don't have expertise in its use, perhaps you should defer to those who do.
Quote:
No presumption here except what I consider a realistic assessment of how any striking tool is likely to be used in a SD situation by an American karateka

Kanbun's style is not "American karate." And taking the example of a shoken, its primary use isn't really as a thrust. "Poke" is more often used. Grabbing is equally likely, as is gouging. This is bad-breath-range, hands-on stuff.

Have you thought about why so many Uechika embrace jiujitsu? The same things that work while standing work even better on the ground. When you have your legs out from underneath you, how are you going to achieve your end? Without that leg power base, what will work?

What things aren't allowed in grappling?

Jim wrote:
Styles should and must change to adapt with a changing world. How has Uechi adapted, updated or changed since it was originally changed for purposes of Japanification?

First... Human violence has changed little through the ages. That's the premise of Habitual Acts of Physical Violence.

Second... Uechi is now in Okinawa, and not Japan.

What HAS happened since Kanbun's style has reached and gone beyond Okinawa - in the United States - is a bit of back-tracking away from the Okinawa-inspired fist fighting. More attention is being paid to the three original forms, where the classic fist does not exist.

Yes, sport fighting is here to stay. But sport is sport, and street violence is street violence. Except for modern weaponry and fashion statements (like the presence or absence of pony tails), not that much has changed.

Again, I wish you were there a few weekends ago with Patrick McCarthy talking about principles of human movement from various orientations - including from the ground.

Perhaps this should be part of another thread, Jim. This one I believe is about the use of sokusens.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:11 am 
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All I know is that PM used a shoken to trigger a pressure point on my neck and it was quite painful. Bill you have a picture of that one. I got to use that same technique this weekend and the results were excellent. So while I may never use a pointy thing for striking they are becoming fixtures in my toolbox.

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