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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:

1 – A simple tackle defence from the end of Seishan / Hangetsu kata. For self-defence purposes it is very important that, as far as is possible, all tackle defences allow the defender to remain on their feet and upright. Seeking an “advantageous” position on the ground, or extended contact with the person executing the tackle, will allow the unencumbered assault of any third parties due to the greatly reduced mobility. This withdrawal of the legs while pushing down allows for continued motion is order to best tactically position ourselves for further attacks from the principle person or any third parties. Sprawling – which can be more effective in one-on-one duels – does not facilitate further motion as well and hence deference is given to this method for self-protection.

2 – The second methods looked at can be used if the enemy comes in higher in order to “bear hug” and pull in to control and takedown. In this instance we drop back and wedge to prevent the hug and to create space. Live practise of this is important (as always) in order to ensure that the enemy’s momentum is effectively dealt with. Yielding and redirecting in the manner can be seen at the end of Passai / Bassai-Dai.

3 – The third method followed on from the first by showing an option if one leg had been seized (i.e. you weren’t quite quick enough on the withdrawal). We aim to get some stability, by dropping the weight, and to stop them lifting up by leaning forward and maybe even pushing on the head. From there we break the grip on the leg by applying a face-bar and neck-crank in the manner of Pinan / Heian Godan.

4 – The final method uses “uchi-uke” (“soto-uke” in Shotokan) to slam into the neck. For this practise session, we assumed the momentum was too great to remain upright and hence it concludes with quickly getting back up from the floor. Of course, if it was possible to remain upright then you would.

This short set of techniques was practised so we could touch on the major elements of tackle defence and they are not intended to be a definitive “how to” guide. It is also important to remember that these are self-defence based defences. While ideal for that context, there are better methods when the contexts shifts to consensual martial duelling.

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All the best,


PS The YouTube link can be found HERE

Practical Kata Bunkai: Kata-Based Tackle Defense