Tuesday 9 October 2018

Technical variations matter for universal/generic application

From Heian Nidan, and onwards, we practice two handed ukewaza. Movement one of Nidan is ‘Hidari haiwan hidari sokumen jodan yoko uke doji ni zenwan hitai mae yoko kamae’ which is executed dropping into migi kokutsu dachi.

The ‘oyo’ (application) of these techniques in actual self-defence—as opposed to the ‘bunkai’ (analysis) when initially learning a kata—is always highly practical requiring very limited fine motor skills. In this way, the two handed ukewaza are particularly effective.

Keeping these points in mind, one must be aware of technical variations: because they actually matter. In application, it is generic, but in form, “…mastering the precise variation make the generic technique universally applicable in any given situation". An obvious example of this can be illustrated via the aforementioned first movement of Heian Nidan and its similarities to the first movement of Junro Sandan. Many people incorrectly make these movements very similar in regard to the lead arms position. This is wrong for the above mentioned reasons. Likewise, another similar movement appears in the kata Roshu / Nami no te, Kaminari arashi and Raiko.

Lets compare these techniques which occur on the opposite side in both Heian Nidan (movement four) and Junro Sandan (movement four)... A little hint... By the way, that is no coincidence that is the same count.
Movement 4 Heian Nidan

Movement 4 Junro Sandan

In sum, karate as budo and as bujutsu (in the physical sense) is all about developing optimal self-defense skills. Not merely to pass grades, qualifications or win medals. Of course, grades and tournaments are great if they motivate ones training. Nonetheless, keeping to the heart of karate (again, in the physical sense) is focusing on the trinity of 'kihon - kata - kumite': for life saving self-defence.

Overall, just movement is no good. Martial Arts Karate requires a balance of  'HOW' and also 'WHY'; furthermore, both must harmoniously relate just like kihon, kata and kumite must.

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2018).

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