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Wastelander's picture
Pinan Sandan Oyo Bunkai Flow Drill

Hello, everyone, On Saturday, I taught a session on applications for Pinan Sandan, where we covered a variety of applications for each movement, up to the "elbow wing" motions (time constraints kept us from finishing out the kata), and put some of them together into a flow drill that largely focuses on striking and throwing being used together. One of our students was able to film me reviewing most of it, so I figured I would share for those interested.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I like it lots! The last takedown using the elbow is particularly sweet. Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

I have a similar drill that also based around throws on Pinan Sandan. I’ll post it here, so people can compare, contrast, and amalgamate the two if they wish.  

All the best,


Wastelander's picture

Thank you! That takedown is actually one of three variations I've learned, one of which comes directly from one of the formal yakusoku kumite drills, and another was one I learned directly from Nakazato Minoru Sensei on one of his trips to the US, which was pretty cool. It works surprisingly well, but it's important to remember that you're trying to move your shoulder, not your elbow, which is easy to miss in the solo form.

Interestingly, I actually had someone on Facebook send me a clip of themselves running through a variant of your Pinan Sandan drill after I posted my video. I had actually forgotten you had this flow drill until then, but it was a nice reminder. Our methods are a bit different, but I think there are enough similarities that you can see a common theme. My video didn't catch the very beginning, but we do sometimes work the same type of armbar you show, with some subtle differences, and different application for the double arm switch.

To throw a bit more material in, here is a quick video from my friend, Ryan Parker, going over a repetitive armbar drill using the "elbow wing" motions in Pinan Sandan. We actually work that application, as well as a few others, but that isn't terribly surprising, since it's a fairly common old-style Okinawan armbar.


And here is some basic application for the same sequence from Lucas Trottier Sensei, which includes some things we also work in from time to time. I like the lock he does at the end--although it doesn't fit our version of Pinan Sandan, we have it in Naihanchi Nidan.

Heath White
Heath White's picture

A small detail ... the throw Iain demonstrates around 2:15 is called a "head and arm" (for obvious reasons) in wrestling.  It's a very standard throw.  I mention this because you do not actually need the arm -- you can  throw someone perfectly well just with their head.  But that is illegal in wrestling (at least under the rules I am familiar with) because it places great strain on the neck.  In serious self-defense situations, on the other hand, that might be a feature not a bug.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Hi Wastelander,

Very nice flow, we use similar stuff, its nice tosee that people around the world comind to similar conclusions. 

Kind regards


Marc's picture

Hi Noah,

thanks for sharing. I like how your drill implies the bunkai principle that the kata sequences may show alternatives and fallbacks in case an attempted technique does not work as intended.

Take care,