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Gichin Funakoshis Tsubame Gaeshi (Swallow Returns) Throw

In this short video we look at a version of Gichin Funakoshi’s Tsubame Gaeshi (Swallow Returns) Throw. The throw is one of the nine karate throws shown in Funakoshi’s book, “Karate-Do Kyohan”. While I believe the throw has historical importance, and is fun to practice, I have reservations about its practicality. The main issue being the vulnerability of turning of the back while dropping to one knee.

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Basic drill for the application of blocks (video)

In this video we summarise a basic drill for the bunkai of what are commonly, and inaccurately, referred to as “blocks”. The drill also looks at the use of hiki-te (pulling hand), muchimi (sticking to and redirecting the enemy’s limbs), and the use of stance and angles.

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Seipai Bunkai Drill: from the start to the slam (video)

This video shows a bunkai drill for the first part of Seipai kata (up to the downward “double punches”). It was filmed at a seminar in November 2015 in Swindon. We worked on Seipai bunkai for three hours and this drill was a very quick summation of some of the topics covered. It is not a “combination” to be used as is, but instead it is a simple two-person drill to mirror the solo drill of the kata itself.

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Kanku-Sho / Kosokun-Sho Bunkai (video)

This video shows bunkai and a two-person bunkai drill for the first third of Kanku-Sho / Kosokun-Sho kata. The video is a short summation of the bunkai covered in one part of a seminar in Nuremburg in October 2015. It is not an instructional video and a full weekend of training can’t be captured a five minute video such as this.

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Blue dragon strikes, Nodo-Osae and Ebi-Gatame combination (video)

In this video we look at a three move traditional karate combination. All three techniques can be found referenced in the karate texts of the past: “Blue dragon strikes without warning” (Bubishi), Nodo-Osae (Rentan Goshin Karate Jutsu), and Ebi-Gatame (Karate-Do: My Way of Life).

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Transition Pad Drill with Throw Finish (video)

In this video we look at a transition pad-work drill that concludes with one of the “nine karate throws” of Gichin Funakoshi (Byobudaoshi). The main purpose the drill though is the sequence before the throw.

When you watch the drill you’ll see that all three hand strikes are done with the same hand, but we have three different way of advancing and getting bodyweight behind the punch:

Hitting with the hand as we step forward (Junzuki / Oizuki).

Stepping so we deliver the punch with what is now the back hand (Gyakuzuki).

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Sochin Bunkai (Opening Sequence)

This video shows bunkai for the opening sequence of Sochin kata. In addition to discussing the bunkai, the video also touches upon some key bunkai principles found in the sequence:

1 – On strikes in kata, the non-striking hand is either clearing obstructions or telling you where the enemy is via proprioception.

2 – The angle in the kata represents the angle you assume in relation to the enemy (not the angle the enemy is attacking you from).

3 – The hikite (hand on hip) is never idle but is either pulling or monitoring.

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Padwork Drill With Karate Throws (video)

This video shows a pad-work drill which includes two karate throws. The footage was filmed at a regular dojo session in September 2015. The drill begins with a long distance cross (gyakuzuki), the momentum of which takes the karateka forward into the throw that Gichin Funakoshi described as “Ude-Wa” (arm ring). The video includes a photo of Funakoshi doing the throw. The thinking is that the cross will cause the opponent to raise their arms which creates the opportunity for the throw.

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Seipai End Sequance Bunkai (video)

This video shows a bunkai drill for the final sequence of Seipai kata. It was filmed at an event in the Netherlands in September 2015.

In this bunkai drill, Seipai kata is firstly teaching us how to move the enemy’s limbs in order to initiate predictable motion and land strikes. Seipai then concludes with a rather brutal neck crank. Do not practise this technique unless you are under the supervision of a suitably qualified and experienced person.

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Seipai Arm Lock & Counter (as described by Kenwa Mabuni)

This very short video shows an arm-lock from Seipai, the counter to that arm-lock, and the counter to that counter, as described by Kenwa Mabuni in his 1934 book “Seipai no Kenkyu Goshin Jutsu Hiden Karate Kenpo”.

Mabuni shows the lock in the book (photograph included in this video), and describes how one could counter the lock by pushing the arm forward as you strike the back of the knee. He then states that if someone should counter the lock in that manner, then you can turn and strike the groin as per the kata (again, the original photograph is included in the video).

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