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Azato's picture
Basic Gripping Drills

Hey everybody,

I'm demonstrating some basic drills for gripping in the clinch in this video. I've been trying to be more systematic in the way that I teach the close range stuff. My students responded well to these exercises. Thanks

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi Daniel,

Great video! I’m a big fan of progressive, focussed, and objective driven drills like this. Give the student a method and an objective, and then drill it live in a way that is appropriate to their level and focussed on the method being developed.

Too many people seek bunkai as an “intellectual exercise” i.e. “I know what this move is for”. To which my reply is, “I know what a plane if for, but that does not make me a pilot.” The kata alone does not develop the required skills. As Mabuni wrote:

“Kata must be practiced properly, with a good understanding of their bunkai meaning … However, even if you practice the karate kata as you should, if that is all that you do, if you do not train sufficiently in other areas, then you will not develop sufficient skills.”

We need a full “Training Matrix” which includes solo practise, partner practise, pad drills, live practise, etc. All of which need to be progressive and integrated.

All the best,


Azato's picture

Hey Iain, Thanks for the feedback. These drills are all very similar to things that I learned at your seminars. Lately I've been trying to intergate it more into my teaching and that's forced me to really analyse things on a deeper level. I've been trying to clearly define the close range skills I would like my students to develop along with the purpose that those skills serve. The importance of position before technique is one that's recently been forward in my mind and it is cool to see my student start making some much faster progress with that focus in mind. Thanks as always for all that you do.

Heath White
Heath White's picture

I like this one a lot!