Hello everyone. Here is a quick recording I did from the very end of training which I thought I would share here. Regards
I like that template. Thanks Mark! The unknown start leading into the kata is a great way to practise I find. It ensures people understand the kata are not specific reactions to specific actions, but can be freely applied in a variety situations so that one can achieve and maintain dominance. This drill certainly fits with that.
Personally, I steer away from “acupuncture labelling” because I feel it adds unnecessary complication i.e. you need to teach them the label and the place, as opposed to just simply showing the place. “Here. Where the neck muscles attach to the skull” makes much more sense than “GB20” because you then have to go on and explain that GB20 is ““Here. Where the neck muscles attach to the skull” :-)
Using acupuncture labels can also lead some people to think that “chi” is at work with regards to the effects of these “points” and then we are into some very dodgy ground. It also worth mentioning that using the acupuncture points to define the locations of weak points is not traditional either. It’s something modern martial artists have overlaid onto the striking charts of the past. I get it’s relatively widespread today, so we need to be able to “speak the language”, but I personally think we are better off avoiding it. Back on point …
I like the drill lots. It’s “open”, practical and seeks to establish and maintain dominance.
One minor question for my own understanding: Do you let the students decide which areas they press and gouge? Could they go for eyes, insert fingers into nostrils, push up on the nose, etc too? Or is there is set list you have them work for this particular template?
All the best,
Firstly, thanks for your kind words regarding the exercise itself.
Now, the TCM references ;-)
I find that using these references can be very useful. I use them in my dojo as a teaching tool. My students are not required to memorise them, but they do pick up the main ones that I tend to use.
A good example of using TCM references is the second example on the video. I elect to seize and press into ST9 which is located in line with the Adams apple and in front of the muscle running down the side of the neck. Attacking this area at close quarters creates an expected response which is the opponent moving back directly in a straight line, which is what I want to achieve. Residing just adjacent to ST9 but on the muscle running down the side of the neck itself is LI18. If I apply the same stimulus to that area as I did to ST9 it won't achieve the desired effect, indeed it will have little or no effect in that situation.
Knowing this helps me and my students in understanding the particular goal we're aiming to learn about, and achieve.
Obviously if you are not so inclined where the TCM areas are concerned then it's of little interest. I can get the point across (no pun intended ) without mentioning TCM areas, but in my own dojo we find they have value. From a purely personal perspective I find they add depth and extra value to my studies, and they are referenced heavily in the Bubishi, which is an important source for me as I consider the pre Okinawan roots of our art. Rest assured however that I haven't suddenly embraced Chi, no touch knock outs, nor do I believe I can control people and inanimate objects with the "Force" - unfortunately!
My students are free to apply whichever attacks to vulnerable targets which they prefer. Obviously I teach them the options in set exercises, but in free and unscripted exercises they're on their own (within reason ).
One good example I'd like to recount is from training last week. I have a group who come over from Sheffield once a month to follow my approach, to which end we were practicing close quarter grappling extraction exercises alongside our application of Naihanchi principles. During the process of teaching the group some options I had demonstrated several times the attack to SI18 (under the cheekbone ) on my Uke. Naturally he was beginning to feel it a bit so when I invited him to " take any grip " he cleverly tucked in very tight and placed himself in such a position so as to make attacking that area virtually impossible ( smart thinking ). Unfortunately for him he had exposed ST11 & 12 which is found behind the collar bone. That my hands had little movement space didn't matter , and because he was expecting me to struggle to locate SI18 when I accessed ST11&12 it lit him up big time. The attack also buckled his knees and loosened his grip which in turn presented me with the opportunity to deliver a rising strike. The template/posture was Morote Uke, which is what I was expecting :-) add on the kick to the inner thigh (SP11) :-) and the tables were turned.
The important point here is that I can apply without thought, immediately. If one avenue is closed I can access another. It's important to add that as on the video clip I'm attempting to extract myself to deliver impact options, NOT control people almost like they're on a string, I don't think for one second I could do that against an aggressive opponent. The aim is - disrupt, create an opportunity, exploit the opportunity!! Whether we elect to use the TCM references or not is down to the individual instructor. I think the main thing is the actual doing, and how effectively we do it. I certainly get what you're saying regarding the possible perception, but in the same way that kata were sneered at in the very recent past (and still) maybe videos which are less polished and rehearsed, or agreed upon, such as the one I very quickly recorded last night might serve to show that used sparingly this approach can have value.
Thanks for taking the time to give a detailed response. Very valuable.
Mark B wrote: Residing just adjacent to ST9 but on the muscle running down the side of the neck itself is LI18. If I apply the same stimulus to that area as I did to ST9 it won't achieve the desired effect, indeed it will have little or no effect in that situation.
I agree that being actuate is important for certain anatomical weak areas. I’m not sure that knowing the name of the acupuncture points helps in that regards though.
Instructor: “Be on ST9 and not LI18”
Student: “Where are they?”
Instructor: “Here and here”
Student: “You could have just said ‘here and not there’”
The only time it would help is if the student has a pre-existing knowledge of the acupuncture points.
Mark B wrote: From a purely personal perspective I find they add depth and extra value to my studies, and they are referenced heavily in the Bubishi, which is an important source for me as I consider the pre Okinawan roots of our art.
My understanding is that the acupuncture labelling (ST9, LI18, etc) is not in the bubishi itself, but the terminology is added to modern translations (probably because those terms are now widely used). The bubishi shows the points and we can, of course, study weak areas without having to having to use chi based labelling.
The bubishi is a very important text, but I also think we need to caution against using the bubishi as a bible for weak areas because there is some obvious nonsense in there.
Mark B wrote: Rest assured however that I haven't suddenly embraced Chi, no touch knock outs, nor do I believe I can control people and inanimate objects with the "Force"
While no touch knock outs are not in the bubishi, it does have some related nonsense of its own. The bubishi does make reference to striking at given times of day, the delayed death touch, the influence of the “zodiac” on striking points. All of which is scientifically nonsense and pragmatically pointless:
“You may have beaten me to within in inch of my life, but I checked my watch before the assault and noticed it was “the hour of the dog” so I struck a Triple Warmer point and when that delayed death touch kicks in you are in trouble!”
Modern physiology explains it all much better and without all the mumbo-jumbo. For example, when I was in Australia recently I was part of a conversation with a doctor and an anaesthetist. I had explained using the opening motion of Pinan Yodan to strike the front of the neck to cause unconsciousness. I’d not used acupuncture terminology (ST9), I just gathered everyone in and showed where to hit. I then went on and showed how the following movement (“lower x-block”) can be used to squeeze the neck to cause unconsciousness. In my conversation with the doctor and an anaesthetist later that day they explained, in depth, why such actions work. Not once did they refer to chi, meridians or the stomach … because none of those things are involved in what makes the technique work. That’s why I want to avoid labelling that suggests they do.
Now as a “user” of the technique a person does not really need to know the details of the physiological processes at work; they just need to know it works.
However, if they are misled about how it works, such that the process is falsely explained, then that can cause problems. Bring in “chi” (even through the trojan horse of terminology) and we are potentially into all this “metal cut wood and wood breaks through earth” stuff.
Chi based labelling sounds “traditional” and “authentic” because it is eastern in origin, but it is not really either and is, in truth, a modern “overlay” on what were, in the majority of cases, just simple “hit here” charts.
Mark B wrote: Whether we elect to use the TCM references or not is down to the individual instructor. I think the main thing is the actual doing, and how effectively we do it.
Totally agree. When instructors are deciding which way to go, dissuasions such as this can be useful. Ultimately what works, works.
For me, I want to see karate unburdened by its myths. It will then be able to fly higher in my view. I want to see the end to historical, practical and philosophical myths. I would put “chi labelling” in the category of a being a modern physiological myth that we’d also be better dumping in favour of solid modern science. I do get it is possible to use the terms without buying into any of the associated nonsense … but I feel it holds the door open for those who would wholeheartedly do so.
Thanks for putting forth an alternate view and hopefully this relatively minor point of discussion does not distract from what is a very solid drill. What is shown is very solid and in keeping with the kind of karate we all want to see penetrate further and further into the mainstream.
This drill will be included in todays’ Practical Karate Weekly :-) Thank you!
I'm on the Iain line, I would prefer at first the physiology explanation (e.g. referring to Yondan application the hit of carotid sinus, explaining baroreceptors and so on), then give a reference to the hitten point in terms of TCM (sticking to the Yondan example, the point within the triangle ST5, ST9, TR17).
As I said in my reply to Iains post as far as I'm concerned how things are explained is down to the individual. As a matter of fact I routinely refer to the areas with their more common names (carotid sinus, tricep tendon etc). As I stated at the very beginning this was a quick recording, I referenced the areas as if I am speaking to my own students. As Iain also pointed out - it is a minor point which should not distract from the drill. I don't need to justify or debate my personal preference, as I stated, it's an individual thing. I would be more interested in what you think of the application as when push comes to shove that's all that counts, whether I refer to GB27, or the top of the hip bone, or whether I call the low strike Gedan Barai or Gedan Uke, it's all immaterial if the application is not sound. Regards.
Mark B wrote: I don't need to justify or debate my personal preference, as I stated, it's an individual thing.
You certainly don’t need to … but as a forum discussion and information exchange is pretty much what it’s all about. I therefore appreciate you taking the time explain that aspect of what you have shown (as you did in the above posts).
It is good to discuss things even if it ends up in nuanced general agreement (as it does here) or the maintenance of alternate views (as it often does elsewhere).
Marc, please do not take my post as an offensive critique, it was not intended to offend you (nor your way to work). If the way I expressed my opinion seemed rude, I do apologize in advance. Anyway, the application is pretty OK to me, and it tastes of "koryu" like presented in the video titles. The only personal note that I would share, is that a good nami-gaeshi like the one you perform in the video makes the "gedan-barai to hip bone" almost useless (see your video at min 3.20); the opponent's head, after the nami-gaeshi, is almost ready to receive the ura tsuki. Instead of the gedan-barai I would use that arm to close a guillotine (in order to remain on the Naihanchi theme): but this is purely a personal preference, I would use the guillotine everywhere, it is almost an obsession for me... :) I hope to have been clear and propositive this time.
Thanks for your post. Actually I don't have a problem with any criticism of the actual application, if I or anyone places videos out there then it's all part of it.
I don't want to get into a debate about the TCM references, if others do then that's their prerogative, but I'm not interested in that particular conversation, I just do what I do, but I took no offence from your comment. It's very difficult to judge tone sometimes, but I didn't regard yours as offensive.
I absolutely agree that the Gedan Barai wasn't necessary for that particular rep, but I was trying to demo the same series of motions each time.
In the very first rep I forgot the kick altogether at first, and in reality the 3 motions - Urazuki, Gedan Barai & Nami Gaeshi can be interchangeable, and shift from left to right, as in rep 2 (I think).
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