Tensho kata as a basic two-person sticking-hands drill (video)

This video looks at how Tensho (“turning palms”) can be used as a basic two-person sticking hands / muchimi drill. This is not combative bunkai, but instead a simple drill to practise sticking to the enemy’s limbs in order to feel what is happening, redirect the emery’s attempts to strike, and to open the enemy up for your own strikes.

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Kata-Based Tackle Defense (video)

In this video we look a four techniques related to karate tackle defence. The video was a quick summary of a longer period of study and it should not be mistaken to be an instructional video. Committed tackles – especially when skilfully executed – can be difficult to stop. It also needs to be remembered that all defences must be appropriate to the environment in which they are applied. Here, we are concerned solely with a self-protection context.

The four techniques looked at are as follows:

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Ground-hold following on from Naihanchi / Tekki bunkai (video)

This video shows a ground-hold following on from some Naihanchi / Tekki bunkai. It was filmed at a weekend seminar conducted in Stuttgart, Germany by myself and Peter Consterdine 9th dan (June 2015). This video concentrates on the final hold; which is a variation of a technique shown by Seiyu Nakasone (Tomai-te and Goju-Ryu).

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Wanshu / Enpi Throw & Jump (video)

In this video we look at the throw and the jump from Wanshu / Enpi kata. The throw in question is the kata-guruma (“shoulder wheel” or “fireman’s carry”). The kata is sometime given the nickname “dumping kata” because of this throw (and a possible reading of the name).

In the video we look at a possible entry into the throw using the rising and dropping palm heels followed by the “lower block” that precede the throw in the kata. We then look at how the jump could be used to follow up the throw.

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End of Seishan / Hangetsu Bunkai (video)

This video looks at bunkai for the end sequence of Seishan / Hangetsu. It was filmed at a session in Chicago in May 2015. The specific sequence looked at is the crescent kick followed by the “pressing kick block”. As is so often the case, when you look at the entirety of the move the application becomes clear. The hand that is kicked and the hikite (hand on the hip) all have a role to play such that an ineffective kick is revealed to be an effective takedown. From that position, it again becomes clear that the “pressing block” is better viewed as a counter to an attempted tackle.

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Bunkai for end of Bassai-Sho (video)

In this video we look at bunkai for the closing motions of Bassai-Sho (Shotokan version). Just as Bassai-Dai finishes with throws, so does Bassai-Sho. A forty-five degree angle is taken in relationship to the enemy (which is why the move is at that angle in the kata) as the forearm hits the neck. The foot goes behind the enemy’s leg before it is pulled backwards as the cat stance is assumed. This will lengthen the enemy’s stance such that a push on the chin at ninety-degrees to the line of the stance will take them off balance and to the floor.

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Basic Arm-Roll Drill (video)

This very short video shows a basic arm-roll drill. The footage comes from a seminar I taught in the Netherlands in February of 2015. This drill comes from my training in Judo, but it is now a part of my karate too.

It should always be kept in mind that, despite common misconceptions, karate is not an unchanging art with a direct line back to a single source. “Karate” is in fact a cover-all term for a wide range of systems that came to be practised in the geographical location of Okinawa.

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Reconstructing Gichin Funakoshi’s Nodo-Osae Throw (video)

In this video we are going to look at the “lost” karate throw of Nodo-Osae (“throat press” or “pressing the throat”). While a growing number of karateka are familiar with the nine karate throws Gichin Funkaoshi shows in his 1935 book Karate-Do: Kyohan, fewer are aware that they are not the only throws Funakoshi recorded in his written works. In his earlier 1925 book, Rentan Goshin Karate Jutsu, Gichin Funakoshi showed six throws. One of those throws – which is not included in the nine of Karate-Do: Kyohan – is Nodo-Osae.

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Start of Bassai-Sho Bunkai (video)

This video looks at the bunkai for the beginning of Bassai-Sho (Shotokan version). It was filmed during a two day seminar in Dresden, Germany in April 2015. The seminar covered bunkai for the whole of Bassai-Dai and Bassai-Sho; as well as comparing the differences and commonalities between the two forms. I am of the view that the two forms complement each other very well.

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Pinan Sandan Arm Bar Escape (video)

It is my view view that the Pinan / Heian series records a complete combative system. It is also my view that the kata present the techniques in the order they should be learnt and studied.

Among other things, Pinan Shodan (Heian Nidan) teach us how to control the enemy's limbs. Pinan Nidan (Heian Shodan) builds on that and teaches how to both lock the enemy’s limbs and escape from attempts to manipulate our own limbs. Having learnt those skills, the sequence shown in this clip (from Pinan Sandan) gives us an alternate counter should the previous ones fail.

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