Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


High kicking for attribute development

This video shows three high kicking drills. The first is simply for impact. The second to encourage speed in getting the foot off the floor, and back to the floor. The third is for balance.

High kicks are not practical for self-defence, but they should be included in practise (if possible). I don’t believe everyone is built to kick high, but we should all aspire to increase our individual flexibility, strength and technique. This way we all kick as well as we possibly can.

Continue Reading

The Common Origin Myth

In this video, I discuss “the common origin myth”. It’s widespread throughout the martial arts and the myth is essentially the false assumption that common methods must have a common origin. In truth, common methods most often evolve independently due to common combative problems and common physiology.

Continue Reading

Kata and the lesson plan for knife-hand

Kata are not random collections of technique. There is a structure to them which imparts the methods in a logical and ordered way.

In this video, we look at the lesson plan for shuto-uke (“knife hand”) as presented by the kata Kushanku / Kanku-Dai / Kosoken (and Pinan Shodan / Heian Nidan).

The fundamental job of shuto-uke is to get past the enemy’s limbs so the forearm or hand can get to the target. This is “Lesson 1” as presented by the kata.

Continue Reading

Jion Throw (Hanashiro Version)

This video looks at a leg scooping throw we can see in Jion kata; specifically the version of Chomo Hanashiro. Where this version differs from most is the “manji-uke, morote-uke” sequence where the feet come together is instead performed as “gedan-barai (back arm across the chest), morote-uke” and the feet remain stationary. This variation looks very much like the leg-scoping throw discussed in the video.

Continue Reading

Naihanchi / Tekki Sandan Bunkai Drill (video)

This video shows a summary of a two-person flow drill for the entirety of Tekki Sandan / Naihanchi Sandan. The drill follows the kata, move for move, and can be repeated endlessly. Tekki Sandan / Naihanchi Sandan builds on the methods introduced by the preceding two kata and is essential a kata to teach more advanced limb-control.

Continue Reading

Sochin Bunkai (video)

This video looks at the bunkai of Sochin kata (Shotokan version). It starts by looking at the opening sequence and shows how the three repeats can be put together in a drill which has you doing the movement forward, when taking an angle to the enemy, and when the enemy tries to put you back online. This is not a “combination” to be applied “as is”, but a way to drill the sequence in a quick way that covers the key variations.

Continue Reading

Three Bunkai Drills for Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan

This video quickly recaps three drills for the bunkai of Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan. The first drill strings together four of the key strikes in a way that encourages consistent contact with the enemy’s limbs. Karateka should also drill the strikes in alternate sequences and the purpose of this drill was to provide an illustration of concept. The second drill follows the order of the kata, except that multiple elbows are thrown in order to include the various ways the kata can get us past the enemy’s limbs if they block (either going back or forward a move).

Continue Reading

Integrating Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan, Nidan and Sandan

This video shows a summary of some of the drills we covered at a two-day seminar in Stuttgart, Germany. These drills give examples of how the bunkai of Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan, Nidan and Sandan can be integrated together. Kata bunkai should always be applied in a fluid and flexible way. As Genwa Nakasone wrote, “Never be shackled by the rituals of kata but instead move freely according to the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses”.

Continue Reading

Funakoshi’s Half-Wheel Throw on the Pads

This video shows a way to drill Funakoshi’s Half-Wheel Throw on the focus mitts. In order to practise karate as a holistic and practical system, we need to resurrect the throws that were a key part of “old school karate”. To understand our kata, we also need to appreciate the wide range of methods found within them. The traditional kata include throws, locks, trapping, chokes, strangles, etc. It is when people don’t appreciate this that we see kata reinterred to be just strikes, kicks and dysfunctional “blocks”. Karate is so much more.

Continue Reading

Punching an advancing target after throwing a kick

In this video, we look at an intermediate fighting pad drill. It’s not a self-defence drill because – while there is some cross over – the context and methodology is for one-on-one consensual fighting. The drill has us throw a punching combination into a high kick (always a good idea to have the hands set up kicks). As the kick lands, the pad-holder pushes forward. This simulates the idea of the kick being blocked and a counterpunch being thrown. The forward motion from the pad-holder forces the striker to punch as the leg is recovering.

Continue Reading