Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Challenge: 43.50 - 45.00

Lax on logging hours again.  Only myself to blame and only my loss.  Have to consider keeping track of training time and having a weekly post with the hours spent.  Blog entries only for study insights.

Some notes on Kihon Kata San.  I hate this form.  That is the best reason for me to do it.  Made some real progress today.  Vignette 1 is the punch followed by a full spin and punch.  Keep your balance.  Feel the transition point between the delivery and contact and the spin.  Keep your eyes on the opponent to control the spin - rotate the head quickly through the blind spot.  The lead punching hand becomes a deflecting surface, like an uchi uke, when you spin.  The most important thing obviously is to not fall over.  The spin speed is important as is staying low.  But if you have to choose between speed and balance, the priority is clear.

Vignette 2 is a series of uchi-mikazuki-geri-uke.  It is basically a warm up for combining them with mawari-ushiro-geri in vignette 5.  The same side arm and leg should move together making a wall of protection, like the spinning version of the same technique in Chinto.  Mikazuki-geri-uke can defend using the foot or the knee/calf area.  Consider how mikazuki-geri-uke can transition to nagashi-geri-uke for extending the opponent's hikiashi.

Vignette 3 is a stationary shuto followed by a step to shuto and a nukite.  I have always despised this sequence until today.  The reason I always despised it was simple: who would ever let you do this flurry?  It seemed pointless.  But it just needed a little perspective added in.  Obviously if it is to be employed it has to consider the opponent's lead hand.  The secret is in how you use your hikite as you advance.  Whether you move left or right of the lead hand, it creates a bridging structure just like gunting in hubud or straight-blast in wing chun.  As you advance, hikite of the first shuto obviously won't come back to the hip in the kata.  This is what kept tripping me up.  It will clear the lead hand in an osae, soto or gedan barai motion opening center line for an oi-atemi (in this case, shuto).  Your new lead hand, again, doesn't retract to the hip.  It again - traps - the opponent's lead hand crossing over your body to apply osae in time with another oi-atemi (in this case, nukite).  That last sequence of shuto-gedan followed by osae-nukite is precisely the same sequence in motion as the stationary sequence in Bassai.  It is a clear example of how hikite to the hip in kihon causes us to miss the obvious things that we should do in combat.  As the wise man said, do kata precisely but combat is another matter.

Vignette 4 is naiwan-uke to sukui-uke followed by a morote grab, knee and tai-otoshi in a half turn.  It is seen in other places in Chito-Ryu.  The naiwan-sukui is the point of interest here and should be examined more especially in combination with gyaku-shuto.

Vignette 5 is the mikazuki-geri-uke followed by mawari-ushiro-geri.  As the block ends, I feel that you should land in musubi-dachi.  Also consider for the kick that if the range has broken down, the kick will have to be delivered low or in a sweep motion.

Vignette 6 also gave me fits for a long time.  My eyes are open.  Again the missing piece was the lead hand.  Shuto kamae must clear the opponent's lead hand prior to the first step.  Basically you reach out and grab  step into range and control the lead arm with your kamae before stepping.  You combine the pulling action with the push off from the step to double the power of the oi-shuto. Without the action of the lead hand to create kuzushi, your step and shuto merely opens your centerline.  He'll just hit you.  Only when mae-te clears the opponent's mae-te does the motion make sense.  You pull him down and step to shuto followed by a spin in shikaku - the blindspot position.  The spin ends in this case with a shuto, but the atemi could be an empi or a spinning sweep.

Amazing what an hour and a half can give.  This is the difference between practice and study.  A gift to last a lifetime.

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