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 Post subject: Sokuto Geri/ Side Kick
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:44 am 
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This may have been discussed before on these forums, but a search found nothing. Does any one know the origin of the Uechi Sokuto geri/ side kick? This kick is not found in any of the original three Chinese forms. Was this introduced by Uechi Kanei, Sensei, and the other seniors of our system, or did Uechi Kanbun, Sensei, teach this only in warm ups/ hojo undo? If so, why?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Hey, Sal! Long time no see. We do need to touch base.

This is a *great* question, Sal, and I don't have a hard answer. But I did run across something in my martial studies that makes me think I know where this came from.

CONTROVERSY ALERT
Some people you know - who will remain unnamed - get their panties in a bunch when I discuss this subject. But that's not our problem. I'll present the information; you can process it as you see fit.


In the decade or so that I've been studying and teaching this "Fuzhou Suparinpei" (yi bai lin ba bu) which Simon Lailey learned in China and taught me, I've begun to see some really interesting things. First and foremost is the existence of techniques in this form which: 1) are not in The Big Three forms, and 2) suddenly appeared in the bridge kata. Park that thought.

Oral history - confirmed by Toyama Sensei through Seizan (formerly Gordi Breyette) - suggests that Kanbun saw and probably worked on a 4th form while in China. For whatever reason, he chose not to teach this. It was either too much material (and he dumbed the system down) or he didn't get enough time to feel comfortable with it, or maybe he just didn't like the form. We will never know. But multiple sources reference this form which Kanbun saw and never taught. That being the case... It's perfectly reasonable that Kanbun felt The Big Three forms had almost everything he wanted to convey in a system, and he then cherry-picked cool techniques in the 4th form that weren't in the original three. He then taught these to his son, who over time preserved them through the Uechi hojoundo and/or the bridge kata.

So...

There's a really good chance that *some* techniques of what we now know of as Uechi Ryu (e.g. the sokuto geri and the koi no shippo uchi) have their origins in this 4th form, and were preserved via the hojoundo and the simpler bridge kata. The overall choreography in this 4th form then was tossed.

If you spent time working on this Fuzhou Suparenpei form I teach, Sal, you'd see why Kanbun may have passed on the form he saw way back when. (We're assuming here that Simon's form and the form Kanbun saw either have a common origin or come from the same body of knowledge.) It takes a good martial mind to learn it, absorb it, digest it, and make it yours. Not everyone studies long enough to do that. Most anyone can do this form I teach which allegedly is *the* 4th form or some distant replica of it. But without the onus of it being a *requirement*, most people pass. A few though see the diamond in the rough, and put the considerable time in it that it demands to make it theirs.

I'd be happy to show you where the sokuto geri is in that form. It's in one spot in one sequence. That's it. But it's there.

There are many, many examples of Fuzhou Suparinpei wrist movements which are completely absent in The Big Three but can be found in the hojoundo, in Seichin, and in Kanchin. That (to me) is stronger evidence that Kanbun cherry-picked what he liked from a long form, and taught these techniques to his son.

Also note Kiyohide Shinjo breaking bats (on the History Channel program Human Weapon) with kote uchi. What's up with that? It's nowhere to be found in The Big Three. It's not even in the bridge kata or the hojoundo. But - surprise surprise - it's all through the Fuzhou Suparinpei. Where did the younger Shinjo learn this technique? Just maybe dad taught it to him. And where did Shinjo Seiyu learn it from? One could guess... The younger Shinjo (Kiyohide) also came up with his own yakusoku kumite which uses your sokuto geri as a takedown technique from behind. You insert the blade into the back fold of the knee, drop the person, and finish them off.

See this video clip. The wrist technique can be found at 3:12. The kote uchi at 5:37 and beyond. The use of the sokuto geri can be seen in the kenyukai kumite elsewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVpisCh-RYQ

My hypothesis, Sal.

Give my best to Bobby (he will always be Bobby to me), to Mike, and to others in "the clan." Tell them I miss them all.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Good question and good answers.

I seem to remember, unless I am wrong, that according to Toyama sensei, the side kick in Uechi - Ryu is nothing but a simple variation of the front kick with the foot bladed sideways.

My preferred targets for that bladed foot are the crease of the hip joint, and the fold of the knee from behind an opponent, to break the knee or fold the knee to the ground for a take down.

Seizan, if you are reading this, you might wish to comment one way or another.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Hey, Van! Great to see you - as always.

Van Canna wrote:
I seem to remember, unless I am wrong, that according to Toyama sensei, the side kick in Uechi - Ryu is nothing but a simple variation of the front kick with the foot bladed sideways.

I cannot speak for the late Toyama Sensei, nor do I want to.

I did want to say, Van, that this is exactly the way I teach this technique. With age, experience, and years of better understanding of kinesiology, I've spent the latter part of my Uechi teaching life trying to simplify the entire system into a handful of principles and core movements. With this in mind, I teach the following variations of a basic front kick motion:

  • With the toe (a.k.a. the sokusen)
    ...
  • With the ball of the foot (the "vanilla" version of a karate kick)
    ...
  • With the heel (great way to break down a door).
    ...
  • With the top of the foot (best way to ring someone's testicles)
    ...
  • With the instep (see how the Wing Chun people use these techniques to break down structure).
    ...
  • With the foot blade

So by showing that all these kicks involve the same core motion, I have just expanded the range of our system and decreased the amount of information needed in the practitioner's head. In other words, sometimes less is more.

Van Canna wrote:
My preferred targets for that bladed foot are the crease of the hip joint, and the fold of the knee from behind an opponent, to break the knee or fold the knee to the ground for a take down.

Mine as well, Van.

There's a magic to this. It isn't just an issue of breaking down structure. When you attack joint folds, you serendipitously trigger muscle dynamic stretch reflexes. For example the generic karate hand blade is best used against the amygdala-hijacked attacker who is throwing a gross motor looping punch at your head. The hand can find the inside fold of the elbow like a laser-guided missile, and the attack causes the biceps to contract. So in addition to stopping the attack with force, you essentially push a button which shortens the arm.

Joint folds are a subset of what some in the kyusho community call reflex pressure points. The cool thing about them is that they always work - even when you are drugged. This is not true of pressure point attacks which rely on pain to work.

It's great when a plan comes together like that, right Van? :-)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:44 am 
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Right on Bill. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:11 pm 
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I used the sokuto geri one time on the street to take down a guy who had just hit my brother in the face with a rock and broken his nose. It worked fantastic.
The way we teach it in kumite one is a little doubtful in my opinion, but you need to start applying it somewhere.
As I teach my students the techniques sometimes show themselves unexpectedly when you need them.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:16 pm 
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f.Channell wrote:
The way we teach it in kumite one is a little doubtful in my opinion, but you need to start applying it somewhere.

Bingo!

The good and the bad of exercises like Kanshiwa bunkai or Seisan bunkai is that you have to create a safe practice environment. For example one very good application of the lateral elbow movement involves "jousting" with the elbow. (This is one of many, by the way...) There is no safe way to do that. So we separate the step in from the elbow motion. It's kind of like coitus interruptus; it's not much fun, but it's safer than the alternative.

Using the foot blade in joint folds creates a bit of risk when working with frisky partners. Using it in the femoral crease gets a bit personal when in coed classes. So if we aim the foot blade above the ribs, we at least get the distance and targeting part down. Lowering the foot isn't a big deal.

But you do need to know the difference between classroom and street. A lot of people don't. It seems that for many, the Okinawan way is to just do it. Not much explanation is involved. There's more of an obsession over the placement of fingers, which makes me wonder. ;-)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:45 am 
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Some good comments on this thread.

I sometimes get funny looks when I say it , but I often say the only way you know if you've got a drill is when you continually break it and it wont work anymore.

As to kicks being extrapolated form the basic kicking mechanics , I very much agree , actually I think this is the same for punching or any striking , you should at some point be able to extrapolate the basic information to whatever you need. Take the training wheels off so to speak.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:40 am 
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This sums up how I think about it. Kumite lies somewhere in the middle of the pyramid, actual application is at the top.
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