5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Kata and Roberto Durans In-Fighting

This video was shared with me by a friend in the USA. It’s largely about Roberto Duran's In-Fighting. What is observed is how, when close, he would use one hand to inform and control while hitting with the other.

The same observation was made about Kushanku (the man) whose methods form the basis of Tode Sakgugawa’s kata of the same name.

There is a document called ‘Oshima Hikki’ (Note of Oshima). This document details a ship running ashore in Oshima bay and includes interviews with the crew of that ship. In one of these interviews the captain of the ship tells of an extremely impressive grappling demonstration he witnessed that was given by Kushanku. The interview tells us that Kushanku was not a physically strong man and yet he defeated much stronger opponents with ease. We are also told that his methods involved placing one hand on the opponent whilst striking with the other hand.

Although this eyewitness was talking about Kushanku, the use of both hands is almost universal on all kata movements. The reason being that in civilian self-protection (the kind of violence that traditional karate addresses) people are very close to one another such that having hands held in an inactive guard is neither appropriate nor practical.

Fighting to escape from criminals obviously has a different objective and optimum methodology than out-boxing a skilled boxer in a ring, but the commonality of using the non-striking hand to facilitate the striking hand when “in fighting” / at close-range is something I’m sure you’ll find interesting.

All the best,


PASmith's picture

I was struck by similarities in this video, about Joe Louis, to the way Iain explains the stepping punch in kata....

How the weight is committed to the punch and the trailing leg steps up to catch the weight transfer. I'm also increasingly struck by how much limb control, trapping, and clinching boxers use (epecially old time boxers). Louis would often jab and trap at the same time for example.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

That’s another great video! Thanks for adding!

All the best,


Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Iain & PASmith

Great videos, I think that this is quite natural response, most people who I seen trying to avoid aggression have one hand up towards the attacker and other ready just in case. Similar set up is with Police one hand creating the distance other ready to use tools.

It also works really well in karate within the kata.

Kind regards 


GPNorwich's picture

Great videos and discussions, thanks for sharing.