Saturday, 5 June 2021

巻落し受け (Makiotoshi-uke)

While there are some stylistic differences the two handed ‘windmill’ like reception is found in most ryuha/kaiha. In Shotokan, it is known as 巻落し受け (Makiotoshi-uke); however, in most styles it is termed 回し受け (Mawashi-uke). So today, I thought I’d write about the difference between these two labels; moreover, some other aspects pertaining to this technique of karate. Before I delve in, I’d like to warn you—the reader—that I’m writing rather quickly and freely today; consequently, this article may turn out to be less structured than usual. OK, so that said and done, let’s begin!


1.0        The difference between the terms:

Basically 回し (Mawashi) describes the movement, round/turning (commonly termed roundhouse) or turning 受け (reception) i.e. mawashi-geri, mawashi-zuki etcetera. Whereas, (Maki) means wrapping and 落し translates as falling. Accordingly, 巻落し受け (Makiotoshi-uke) means ‘wrapping falling reception’, which ‘more than describes the physical action/motion’ additionally ‘describes its application in relation to an actual opponent/attacker’. In this regard, think ‘makiwara’ (rolled straw) or ‘temaki-zushi’ (hand rolled sushi).


1.1        Its practice in the ‘standard Shotokan kata’:   

In Shotokan ‘the larger scale versions’ only appears three times in the standard 26 kata: the full version twice in 雲手(Unsu- movements 45 and 46 respectively. And once in 二十四歩 (Nijushiho) movement 34. The two in Unsu, as said before, are full-scale; whereas, the final movement of Nijushiho is a roughly halved. However, the smaller versions such as ‘Shuhai tekubi osae-uke appear in 十手 (Jitte) movement one (reference: Osaka Yoshiharu Sensei); and earlier in Nijushiho – ‘movement 16’ (which Asai Sensei termed ‘‘Tekubi kake-uke’). Certainly, these waza are effective, however, not as versatile as a full scale makiotoshi-uke (as these waza are also contained within it).  


1.2        The ‘Makiotoshi-uke’ kata of Shotokan-Ryu:   

When we consider that the full version of 巻落し受け (Makiotoshi-uke) is featured eight times in 百八歩 (Hyakuhappo/Hyakuhachihoour version of Suparinpei/Pechurin) and, in fact, nine times ‘in application’ (if we include movement 35 (‘Tekubi kake-uke) immediately after the final makiotoshi uke and teisho awase-zuki).


This aspect in isolation readily clarifies the technical value of this kata; however, more important, in my opinion, is the vast use of 三戦立ち (Sanchin-dachi) and generating power from this position, which is also largely neglected within standard Shotokan training. While these are merely two points of this kata, and there are indeed many others, we can again see the importance of this kata. It is well worth noting here that it is said that Hyakuhappo entered Shotokan through Nakayama Masatoshi Sensei and his close friendship with Yamaguchi Gogen Sensei.

It is also worth noting here that Some Wado Ryu groups also have their version of Suparinpei which also allegedly “…entered their style via their founder, Hironori Otsuka Sensei’s relationship with Yamaguchi Sensei”. 


1.3        Makiotoshi-uke is a highly effective 古典技 (Classical technique):

Makiotoshi-uke is a highly effective waza in self-defense as it is easy and natural to apply. This is because it utilizes natural energy via the use of the circular action of the waza; furthermore, it makes the most of both gravity (by ‘dropping’) and disruptive angles (by ‘rolling’/’wrapping’). Added to this requires very minimal fine motor skills to apply, which is of course optimal for reliability when facing a sudden assault. That being said, it is not a waza for karate ‘competition kumite’ (except in the use a kamae and/or kenseiwaza); therefore, much of mainstream Shotokan merely practices it in the performance of Nijushiho and Unsu. This is a real shame as makiotoshi-uke is the basis for many defense and follow up counterattacks—as said before—for actual self-defense.


1.4        The ‘other kata‘ with makiotoshi-uke and critical partner drills

In addition to these kata, and 百八歩, I personally teach makiotoshi-uke in 古典型 such as 明鏡二段 (Meikyo Nidan), 掌手大 (Shote Dai), 安三 (Ansan) and many others. More importantly, we practice applying it in close range kumite/self-defense drills (Goshin-jutsu/Oyo-Kumite).


If one’s aim is merely ‘fist kendo’ and ‘to score points’, perhaps this waza is only for those wishing to look nice in the performance of their kata; nevertheless, if one is interested in karate as bujutsu, makiotoshi-uke is highly versatile technique (which can defend, impact, lock, take down, throw and choke an opponent). In sum, makiotoshi-uke is a waza that reflects pre-WW2 karate, which was not a sport but, rather, a complete system of self-defense. I will conclude on that note today.

押忍! André

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2021).

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