I’d like to share a video this week that explores a portion of the Gojushiho kata. Many karate styles share this kata, which makes exploring the different versions very interesting and impactful. Despite their performance differences, most styles include a section wherein the practitioner steps in a kosa dachi fashion, performs a grabbing motion, and then steps out into a throw.
This video looks at that series and explains how you can take the performance of the technique and drill down to the core concepts that make it work in a combat-viable fashion.
The bunkai demonstrated is far from the only application possible. The real goal here is to show how practitioners can explore their kata in ways they might not have considered before.
As you dive into the bunkai and oyo bunkai of your kata, never be afraid to ask yourself “could I really use this?”. A good application keeps reality in mind while staying true to the essence of the form itself.
Finally, remember that some kata (including Gojushiho) were subject to alteration and hiding of technique throughout the history of Okinawa. Finding what the technique is trying to whisper is sometimes more important than what the technique literally shouts.
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Recently I whipped up a few videos for the website. In fact, my last post featured one of those videos, and luckily I had a weapon to handle the whole time. Something I noticed during my open hand videos is that I make a lot of hand gestures naturally throughout the course of my conversation.
I also noticed that my voice goes up into a high pitch sometimes, which is annoying. Sorry.
But anyway, I do a lot of gesticulation. Once I started thinking about it, I realized that this is no accident at all. Whenever I discuss self defense with students, I always talk about putting yourself at a safe distance and keeping something (i.e. your hands) in between you and your opponent. This will greatly increase your ability to quickly react and defend. One of the best ways to have your hands up naturally and without drawing attention to it is to have “talking hands” while you interact with people.
Not too long ago I was watching Goeff Thompson (proud owner of The Fence), and he made the very same point. In fact, he took it one step further and claimed that if you don’t train your fence to be natural and part of your communication process, it won’t serve as well as possible in times of stress. Good fence technique, he explains, can be a subtle controlling factor that causes your opponent to feel at a loss, and puts you in ideal body position to defend yourself.
Next week I’ll post a video that discusses bunkai, and you’ll be able to see my hand jiving in action.
Do you have a good natural fence that flows with your conversation?
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The Eku Bo (aka Eiku Bo, Ekku Bo, Kai Bo) is a very interesting weapon. It is a traditional implement of Okinawan Kobudo, but not many systems have passed down its proper use and technique.
I’d like to share with you a video I created describing Eku Bo combat theory and application. In the video I talk about handling the weapon, how it differs in usage from other weapons, controlling it properly, and more. I also demonstrate at the end a bit of randori (freestyle kumite) to show how the blocking and attacking movements can be utilized.
Throughout the video you’ll hear the lovely pitter patter of Danzan Ryu Jujutsu in the background. This is a live working dojo alright!
The Eku is a devastating weapon and can generate astounding amounts of power!
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I hope you enjoyed the video, and please help me decide if I should continue integrating these into my normal writing routine. Vote in the poll below as to whether or not this was interesting and helpful, and please include any thoughts and questions in the comments section.
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