Sunday 13 March 2011

Techniques from any movement or position: The Unpredictability of Asai Karate

Kicking from seiza, lying down or seated in squat position (as pictured with both left and right legs here) was a favourite BASIC training method of my late teacher Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei. Basic meaning "for beginners".
Asai Sensei taught me that such "very easy" exercises are important in foundational training. Likewise, the more advanced jumping, rotation and reverse rotational movements are critical, and beyond these, the combinations of anything without thought! For example attacking with an oi-zuki going to the ground with tate hiza dachi, immediately coming up and rotating into kiba dachi with ushiro empi uchi, then jumping and reverse rotating into kosa-dachi with shuto uchi etc. Possibilities are limitless, which adds unpredictability to one’s karate.
Nevertheless, all of these technical variations depend on strong fundamentals "REGARDLESS OF MOVEMENT OR POSITION IN KUMITE". Therefore, standard kihon must be appropriately supplemented by such movements and drills, at the right time. The extreme refinement of this aspect of karate is what separates the Asai style from all other forms of Shotokan, thus making it all the more precious.
© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand 2011.

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