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Kushanku-Sho (Kanku-Sho) and Bassai-Sho Bunkai

This video shares bunkai for the rising motion (morote koko gamae) common to Kushanku-Sho (Kanku-Sho) and Bassai-Sho. This is not my bunkai, but that of Norwegian karateka André Pedersen. I was teaching in Norway and chatting with André when he shared these with me. I really liked them and encouraged André to share them. André suggested that I should share them via my channel, so here you are! Thank you André!

All the best,


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Placement and Pad Drill

This basic pad drill includes tai-sabaki (body shifting), limb-clearance, a straight palm-heel, a dropping-slap and a rising face kick. Rather than drill such things individually, I believe it is better to drill them in innumerable combinations so they are always viewed in a combative context (it’s more fun too). We begin by practicing the combination on a partner, with control, so we get to practise the placement of the techniques on a human body. We then take the same combination onto the pads so we can practise the methods with impact.

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The training matrix for an elbowing and knee combination

In this video we look at three drills for a combination consisting of a limb-clear, two-elbows and a knee. All three drills are needed in order to adequately cover the technique.

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Naihanchi (Tekki) Neck Cranks

This video looks at some neck cranks found in Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan (Tekki Shodan and Nidan).

There is a widespread myth that the three Naihanchi / Tekki kata were originally one kata that has been split into three. There is no evidence to support this idea. It should therefore be discounted as baseless speculation that is contrary to the historical information that we do have.

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High kicking for attribute development

This video shows three high kicking drills. The first is simply for impact. The second to encourage speed in getting the foot off the floor, and back to the floor. The third is for balance.

High kicks are not practical for self-defence, but they should be included in practise (if possible). I don’t believe everyone is built to kick high, but we should all aspire to increase our individual flexibility, strength and technique. This way we all kick as well as we possibly can.

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The Common Origin Myth

In this video, I discuss “the common origin myth”. It’s widespread throughout the martial arts and the myth is essentially the false assumption that common methods must have a common origin. In truth, common methods most often evolve independently due to common combative problems and common physiology.

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Kata and the lesson plan for knife-hand

Kata are not random collections of technique. There is a structure to them which imparts the methods in a logical and ordered way.

In this video, we look at the lesson plan for shuto-uke (“knife hand”) as presented by the kata Kushanku / Kanku-Dai / Kosoken (and Pinan Shodan / Heian Nidan).

The fundamental job of shuto-uke is to get past the enemy’s limbs so the forearm or hand can get to the target. This is “Lesson 1” as presented by the kata.

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Jion Throw (Hanashiro Version)

This video looks at a leg scooping throw we can see in Jion kata; specifically the version of Chomo Hanashiro. Where this version differs from most is the “manji-uke, morote-uke” sequence where the feet come together is instead performed as “gedan-barai (back arm across the chest), morote-uke” and the feet remain stationary. This variation looks very much like the leg-scoping throw discussed in the video.

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Naihanchi / Tekki Sandan Bunkai Drill (video)

This video shows a summary of a two-person flow drill for the entirety of Tekki Sandan / Naihanchi Sandan. The drill follows the kata, move for move, and can be repeated endlessly. Tekki Sandan / Naihanchi Sandan builds on the methods introduced by the preceding two kata and is essential a kata to teach more advanced limb-control.

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Sochin Bunkai (video)

This video looks at the bunkai of Sochin kata (Shotokan version). It starts by looking at the opening sequence and shows how the three repeats can be put together in a drill which has you doing the movement forward, when taking an angle to the enemy, and when the enemy tries to put you back online. This is not a “combination” to be applied “as is”, but a way to drill the sequence in a quick way that covers the key variations.

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