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Advanced applications to basic line drills
#11
Let's start with a simple example of what is likely to have happened when allied servicemen were stationed in Japan and Okinawa. Training with Taira Sensai and others, the instruction from guys who's English is limited is "do this" or "like this". The problem we have with our culture is we want to know all the details. So hypothetically a Westerner might ask about jodan uke, "what is this". Answer, "jodan uke". "But what is jodan uke, is it a block". Polite Japanese not understanding the word 'block' and not wanting to offend says "yes" and immediately the Japanese term for receiving an upper level attack has changed to an upper block. It took me 25 years and a trip to Okinawa to realise that what I had been taught was just a child's form of karate and I am ensuring that I am not passing that on to my students.

I'm not going to spend time describing what kata is. Anyone interested can get a very accurate picture from Iain Abernethy's website. Suffice to say that kata are complete fighting systems.

Having said that we might look at jodan uke. In the drawings in the OP there are three that show the progression of the technique. The first shows that the arms are crossed. The last drawing with the multiple arm positions doesn't show that at all. The 'blocking' arm is simply lifting straight up and even worse, the elbow is going up as well. The other hand hasn't moved in this drawing.

So what is jodan uke? To me it is either a deflection and trap or a deflection and strike. It is possible that someone might use it as a block but, for me, there are better options to any attack where you might think you could use it for a block. The important thing to recognise here is that one hand is deflecting and the other is trapping/striking.

Let's go back to the kata and look at the application or bunkai. If I am correct in labelling kata as a fighting system it must follow that you cannot have any blocks in the kata. For there to be a block there must be a predetermined attack and that does not happen in a random, chaotic fight. To have that is choreography. I would maintain that the kata works by producing a situation where the kata is creating a predetermined response setting up the next technique in the kata.

As an example of jodan uke in a kata we need to look at kata gekisai dai ichi (or dai ni).

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RlM22ygUF00

In particular the first four moves. Here's a scenario. The attacker attacks you with the left hand. You step off the line, parry with your right hand and trap the arm by pressing against the upper bicep with the left hand (brush/trap). This opens your attacker for a strike to the ribs or neck followed by a takedown with the gedan barai.

In this scenario there is the chance the strike to the neck might be blocked. In that situation your attacker has provided the situation where his right wrist can be grabbed with your right hand and the gedan barai becomes a slap to the ear followed by a groin strike and a back fist to the face. If your attacker defends the backfist he has given the opportunity to capture his left wrist with your left hand and drive your right forearm into his neck or face, the second jodan uke.
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#12
I use the "block" labels (up block, down block, outer forearm block, etc) but tell my students from day one that "every block is a strike."
Martial Arts done well leads to a more virtuous life because everyone is fighting something.

"If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is evil, even the light that is within you will be darkness.  If the light that is within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?"  (Jesus of Nazareth)
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#13
(03-19-2016, 03:46 AM)Conrad Wrote: I use the "block" labels (up block, down block, outer forearm block, etc) but tell my students from day one that "every block is a strike."

AMEN!!!!
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#14
Inside Forearm Block:

[Image: 3184013-130505041052.png]

Again, this can be viewed as a simple line drill or even a block.  It would be a highly inefficient block with a low % chance of being used against a determined attacker.  However, it can (and is) used as an arm bar to move someone (or place them against the wall) or arm bar takedown.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#15
From day one I teach, "Every block is a strike." Even if it is more of an initial re-action instead of action, I believe it should serve as an entry point, not merely a block. The sooner I move from reaction to action the better.
Martial Arts done well leads to a more virtuous life because everyone is fighting something.

"If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is evil, even the light that is within you will be darkness.  If the light that is within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?"  (Jesus of Nazareth)
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#16
(09-28-2016, 05:29 PM)Conrad Wrote: From day one I teach, "Every block is a strike."  Even if it is more of an initial re-action instead of action, I believe it should serve as an entry point, not merely a block.  The sooner I move from reaction to action the better.

+1
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#17
(03-14-2016, 11:58 PM)K-man Wrote: I find is difficult to join conversations like this. Why is it that karate is the only open hand style of martial art that has 'blocks'? 'Block' is a Western term applied to an Eastern martial art. I don't teach any blocks in karate and you really have to ask why you don't see techniques such as chudan uke used in any real fighting situation, or tournament for that matter.

Stylised blocks are taught to children and as a result the teaching has continued into adult classes so much so that it is now entrenched. I can think of no practical situation where I would use a karate 'block'. It just doesn't make sense. If you want to see the applications of these techniques, Google Masaji Taira or look to Iain Abernethy's videos.

Certainly the ukes could by used as blocks and in a rare instance might even be used in an altercation but for me that's it. For me, karate contains no blocks, a view cemented by my conversation with Tetsuhiro Hokama Sensai in Okinawa who went to great lengths to explain what Goju Karate was not. What Goju 'was not' was just about everything seen in the Japanese systems, especially the hard blocks.

It was the founder of shotokan karate in his 1930's books that first explained their is no blocks in karate, well at the time it confused most of his students mostly americans however we know now what he was saying is every block is a strike just like every strike can be a block Cool.
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#18
Inside forearm block:

Often represented as this;

[Image: soto%20uke%20Kanazawa.jpg]

The attacker is throwing a punch and you use this 'block' to deflect the incoming punch.  Looks great in a line drill.  Works great when you know the punch is coming.  Doesn't work ver well in the real world.  Why, because it isn't a block.  It's a strike.



Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


Reply
#19
Here are some alternate ways to expand on the previous post using the inside forearm as a viable striking method.  It shows inside, outside as well as other striking surfaces and targets.







Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


Reply
#20
Every block is a strike and every strike is a possible block. the founder of shotokan karate also said " their is no blocking in karate" he was saying that they are all strikes on your attacker. I was always taught this way and it has only made me better as a martial artist. here is one not many people know but when you do stances every stance or chamber of your arms is a possible strike or block also? food for thought.
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