Karate Justification: Old Forum Topic

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Karate Justification: Old Forum Topic
Original Poster: setsu nin to
Forum: Japanese Martial Arts
Posted On: 13-03-2004, 16:31

Orginal Post: setsu nin to: Karate Justification

8LimbsScientist
Ok, could somebody who studies or has studied karate please answer a question for me?

Why is it that Karate’s punches all come from the hips? Why are the hands in the karate ready stance so low?

I cannot leave my hands that low in MT without eating tons of punches and kicks to the head, and I can’t imagine that the founders of karate didn’t have to worry about getting hit in the head.

Also, in K-1 all the karate fighters keep their hands up like boxers, but the style itself does not advocate this.

This isn’t a flame or an insult to karate or TMA, its a genuine question.
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BLACK PANTA
Monkey I think we went through this allready. In Karate you dont have to punch from the hips. That is just one chamber position. You can pull off a “karate punch” from anywhere. It is only for training purposes they keep their fists at their hips, thats why the dudes you see in K1 and such holding a boxing type stance. There are many different stance in Karate BTW.. Monkey if you were to actually join a school and stick it out you would see what I am trying to say.
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8LimbsScientist
Do you know this for sure, or are you just going by your Kung Fu knowledge. Because everything I’ve ever come across states that the correct form is to come up from the hip. Also, I haven’t ever seen a ready stance demonstrated from karate where the hands are held high to protect the face.
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dscott
Panta: I’ve been wondering this for a while……why do you call 8limbs Monkey?
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BLACK PANTA
Monkey, check it I know from Karate practitioners that it is not necessary to start from hips. Think about it, this is a combative art form, do you think that after hundreds of years they would not figure out that they have to block their faces. Or be at a ready stance. For instance (remember I am just using this as an example) they mimicked karate for Hitomi in DOA3, she is at a ready stance, Ryu/Ken in streetfighter (shotokan). Karate kid ( )
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dscott
Wing Chun has a chambered position as well (fists pulled back near the outside of your chest). But you would never fight like that. That’s used only when your going through the forms.
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L_Z Wong_Fei_Hung
WOW LOOK A REAL MARTIAL ART QUESTION Hmmmm Looks like the ppl on this site matured a little bit (No offence 8limbScientist)

I can help to answer this
quote:

Originally posted by 8LimbsScientist

Why is it that Karate’s punches all come from the hips? Why are the hands in the karate ready stance so low

The answer is simple but doesn’t satisfy most people. They Punch from the hips to train 1)Cordination 2) Power.
quote:

Originally posted by 8LimbsScientist
Also, in K-1 all the karate fighters keep their hands up like boxers, but the style itself does not advocate this.

This is for training purposes, Chamber position leads to more advanced motions.

In conclusion Chamber position is a concept. you’re right you’ll get your teeth knocked out.It would take a while to explain
I hope I Satisfied your question

If you demand to know I will be more than Happy to tell you, Please PM me if you want to know
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BLACK PANTA
quote:

Originally posted by dscott
Panta: I’ve been wondering this for a while……why do you call 8limbs Monkey?

Oh I am not good with change, so I still see 8 limbs as that little monkey we all were so fond of His original name was Iron Monkey. It just a lot easier to type monkey that 8limbs.(for me at least)
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L_Z Wong_Fei_Hung
quote:

Originally posted by dscott
Wing Chun has a chambered position as well (fists pulled back near the outside of your chest). But you would never fight like that. That’s used only when your going through the forms.

8limb
this is another example of how chamber is used

Wing Chun Uses an Advanced form of getting power in a punch

dscott do you know why you pull back near the outside of your chest. and why would you never fight like that.? do you not know the reason why????
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bamboo
I have also been told that the reason for the chambered punch was a throw back to older times when one would pull a tanto from the belt. Although this may be wrong, it does make some sense.

-bamboo
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pats0
I heard that it was because it trained withdrawing a sword from an enemy in battle. Thick armor i guess
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Hammerhead
Karate was derived from the old chinese southern styles, and one reason for the hands being held low is because chinese martial artists often went for body blows, hence the bridge was often made at the level of the body and, should one be able to defend against the initial attack, the opening for a counterattack would likewise be at body level. This phenomenon may also be seen in many of the stances of pahayuth muay thai, many of which look similar to karate and southern chinese stances – firmly braced, with the hands held out to bridge (ie. to measure and maintain distance).

As we can see, the physical and combative culture have tremendous impact on fightings systems, both in their development and their application. For instance, pahayuth muay will get one smashed flat in the ring. Likewise, toughing out blows from someone swinging a machete at one for real tends to get one killed.
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MA dude
[quote=”8LimbsScientist
Also, in K-1 all the karate fighters keep their hands up like boxers, but the style itself does not advocate this.

This isn’t a flame or an insult to karate or TMA, its a genuine question.[/quote 
In k-1 most of the karate fighters come from kyoukushin and seidokan which heavily advocates keeping the hands up high. The creator of kyoukushin did boxing and mt so he borrowed techniques. You probaly noticed that the karate dudes throw thai like roundhouses and boxing punches.
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setsu nin to
As Hammerhead said low stance in Karate is part of Chinese roots. Also they make low stance with legs and they “spred” them, so they need to make low stance with hands to protect groins.
There is story that they make even lower stance for people from west becoust they were too tall for them.
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Ninja Kl0wn
quote:

Originally posted by MA dude
In k-1 most of the karate fighters come from kyoukushin and seidokan which heavily advocates keeping the hands up high. The creator of kyoukushin did boxing and mt so he borrowed techniques. You probaly noticed that the karate dudes throw thai like roundhouses and boxing punches.

Mas Oyama (founder of Kyokushin) had no muay Thai experience. His only boxing experience was from one of his students, and that wasn’t very extensive.
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L_Z Wong_Fei_Hung
The Stories are great Gentlemen(Ladies)

I say this with all respect but the whole point seems to elude you all
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setsu nin to
MA dude

The creator of kyoukushin did boxing and mt so he borrowed techniques. You probaly noticed that the karate dudes throw thai like roundhouses and boxing punches.

I didnt noticed what you wrote before.
I never heard such thing. Oyama didnt have anything with Muay Thai. Where did you get that?
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Hammerhead
quote:

Originally posted by L_Z Wong_Fei_Hung
The Stories are great Gentlemen(Ladies)

I say this with all respect but the whole point seems to elude you all

Then what, pray, good sir, is the point?

Panta: I think the muay thai influence in kyokushin, if any, and if it did come from any one man, more likely came from that one of Oyama’s students who went to Thailand and successfully fought several muay thai fighters in a row. It’s unsubstantiated, but he may well have been so impressed by some of his opponents that he incorporated some of the things they did into his karate. More likely, I think it came from numerous and by and large nameless kyokushin students who crosstrain in other systems.
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darkside05
DISCLAIMER: I haven’t read all of the replies on here so if anything is repeated here i apologize. Plus I am also writing this at approximately 12:00 at night and i’m pretty dang sleepy. So if i don’t make sense, don’t worry i’ll fix this later.

Ok, to start this off, why did they ever come up with those freaking hip punches? Yes, they leave you wide open for attack, they take longer to do, and can be quite awkward at times; so why were they freakin invented? Well, we have to trace back to ancient Japan for this one. You see, back in the day, they weren’t fighting like today, the system was developed for the purpose of fighting and killing the Samurai elite. Now the hip punch was made for the sole purpose of penetrating all that freakin armor that the Samurai were wearing. Also consider this, the hip punch does take longer to do, BUT with all that armor the samurai were wearing, they were also slowed down therefore compensating for the slower punch. Now a hip punch like that would have no use for today because it is highly unlikely you are gonna encounter a heavily armored samurai anywhere on the street. That is why in my dojo we train using boxing style punches, because today, throwing a hip punch would be suicide.

Now for the long stances, once again, it was done for the same reason as above. They helped generate more power, and they also helped in setting up for really powerful strikes. Now the reason they are still practiced today is because these low stances do some serious strengthening. I mean, try doing some of the katas for 2 hours straight and your legs are gonna feel like shiznit. But in a fight today, there would be no use in doing those stances, so of course i’m taught to use more comfortable and mobile stances.

So basically here is the point i’m trying to get across. Fighting has changed over time. Karate was first invented for fighting heavily armored samurai, not Thai kickboxers or Tai Chi experts. Although karate has gone through much change over time to adapt to the new times, we still like to keep these old training tools around to aid in our progress as martial artists. Thats all i have to say on this subject, have a good day or night (whenever you’re reading this.)
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Bushi
I was feed that myth as well. There is NO evidence that any commoners used bare knuckle punches against Samurai armor. (unless someone can prove me wrong) I was told this was more legend than fact. I even believe people have tried to duplicate it to no avail.
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Blade
Today’s Kyokushin practitioners will have a hard time protecting their faces because theyr used to their own sport where they just stand at zero distance and throw body shots until someone gets tired, its really an iron man competition.

However Mas Oyama did beat thailand’s muay thai champion and so did several of his students.
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setsu nin to
When we start writting about Kyokushin I have one question. Whats your opinion on 100 Kumite?
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BLACK PANTA
quote:

Originally posted by Hammerhead
quote:

Originally posted by L_Z Wong_Fei_Hung
The Stories are great Gentlemen(Ladies)

I say this with all respect but the whole point seems to elude you all

Then what, pray, good sir, is the point?

Panta: I think the muay thai influence in kyokushin, if any, and if it did come from any one man, more likely came from that one of Oyama’s students who went to Thailand and successfully fought several muay thai fighters in a row. It’s unsubstantiated, but he may well have been so impressed by some of his opponents that he incorporated some of the things they did into his karate. More likely, I think it came from numerous and by and large nameless kyokushin students who crosstrain in other systems.

Hey hammer it wasn’t me that said Kyokushin had the muai thai influence lol I believe it was MA dude. lol.
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Hammerhead
PAnta: LOL, I know, I addressed that particular comment to him (L_Z_Wongfeihung). The later one addressed specifically to you had your name on it
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li_siao_lung
Ei Setsu….

Are you talking about full-contact kumite? If my understanding of ur question is correct then I say this: It is not logical. Kumite’s purpose is to incorporate the concept of patience and control by which a Karateka’s skill is measured in a sense. So why bother to create such? I think its a contradiction because if full-contact would be a concept, then why would it be called Kumite or sparring? Besides, participating in a full-contact showdown incorporating the whole concept of “No Rules” would incorporate killing in it most probably so the meaning “full-contact” is automatically cancelled. I am sorry if I offended anyone. Questions are welcomed and will be answered to my best extent of knowledge.

Thank You!
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dscott
Wing Chun Uses an Advanced form of getting power in a punch

dscott do you know why you pull back near the outside of your chest. and why would you never fight like that.? do you not know the reason why????[/quote 

No….why?
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jlambvo
Yeah, sorry Darkside but peasants smashing through samurai armor and all that is pretty ludicrous. I would gladly stick on yoroi and have a karateka go at the chest plate. There are plenty of grappling AND striking methods developed for exploiting structural weaknesses in armor, but none I’ve encountered involve trying to break through it with bear hands.

At the same time, if there WERE Okinawans fighting armored samurai I doubt their opponents were trying to box them in the face, preferring the old “shiny point thing in your gut” approach, so the kind of guard that works in the ring wasn’t necessary… maybe this is a reason? Accessing a weapon at your belt makes some sense too, but the mechanics of the punch wouldn’t carry a tanto very well.

I’ve heard that the original Japanese karateka were much more fluid and relaxed than the stuff we usually see over here.
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DeStRuCtIkOn
quote:

Originally posted by jlambvo
Accessing a weapon at your belt makes some sense too, but the mechanics of the punch wouldn’t carry a tanto very well.

Unless you grabbed it so the blade is held in an underhand fashion with the edge towards your opponent.
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bamboo

quote:

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Originally posted by jlambvo
Accessing a weapon at your belt makes some sense too, but the mechanics of the punch wouldn’t carry a tanto very well.
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Unless you grabbed it so the blade is held in an underhand fashion with the edge towards your opponent.

Thank you Des, I tried it out with a tanto in full uniform (hakama et al) saturday to just to check and it works quite well. It was a change to grab to the tanto but after a few tries it becomes quite easy.

-bamboo
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BLACK PANTA
quote:

Originally posted by jlambvo

I’ve heard that the original Japanese karateka were much more fluid and relaxed than the stuff we usually see over here.

To my knowledge there are many different forms of Karate. Some do incorporate soft fluid movements. To my knowledge Karate is an off shoot of Okinawa Kempo, wich is an off shoot of Shaolin Kung Fu. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to know there are soft forms/movements of Karate.
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matrix
hey darkside that whole thing about punching through armor is complete rubbish

its like the whole thing about okinawans going to battle with sword weilding samurai’s bare handed

its rubbish
those arent real reasons

the only reason i know for punching for the hip is power generation it doesnt really matter cuz karate has a number of punching techniques and only a few come from the hip. most of the ones u wud use in the street dont come from the hip so whats the problem?

people shud know by now that karate is not so easy to pick holes in or else it wudnt be as popular as it is today

the reason we use deep stances ( i stress deep not long stances) is for two reasons. the first is for strength, the second is as a fighter who relies on striking power a karateka needs to be stable, the lower you are the more stable. you cant move around as fast but we train your footwork to accomodate this. the result is strong stable base from which to execute techniques. look at good karate guys and you will see what i mean. point fighters aside tho some of them are really good and just point fight for the thrill of it

my karate is JKA shotokan. there is a technical commitee based in Japan and they constantly reassess and the art and make necessary changes. this being said there havent been many changes in the last 30 years. all the changes have been subtle.

the art is pretty good i like it anyway
im not really an authority on it but i dont swallow bullshit so i ask a lot of questions myself and have been satisfied with the answers. so if u got any questions i wont bullshit u

keep em coming
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matrix
oh yeh about the hands in the ready stance

traditionally the lead hand is left up to fend attacks to the head and the other hand is kept low incase of takedown attempts. if some one shoots in on you you can give a couple uppercuts before they succeed or get a sweet under hook and revese the takedown if your other hand is kept low in the ready position. more commonly it is used for counter attacks tho.

anyway when your wearing gloves its ok to swing wide cuz you have a great big glove blocking your face from attacks but when bare fist you are open to some sweet head shots so you dont swing as often and there is less of a need to have your hands up to stop you gettin pummelled

also in karate we fight at a distance from each other that is much further away than in muay thai or kickboxing so again your less likely to be pummelled so again less of a need to keep your both hands high

i dont know if this makes sense or not so let me know what u think
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matrix
if we came up against a kickboxer or muay thai we are more likely to hit them before they can hit us because of this distance thing.
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8LimbsScientist
Hey guys, thanks for all the answers.

So, after reading all of these answers a few things come to mind.

I now understand that not all karate punches come up from the hip, but the ready stances?

Hammerhead, you bring up an interesting point about the “body bridging” hand position. Is what you are describing similar to the stance from Choy Li Fut where the arms are outstretched with only a slight bend at the elbows?

How exactly does one fight like that? You are right, it would get you knocked out quickly in the ring, but I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be equally as dangerous in the street?

Also, as far as I know Phahuyut is just a more formal word for muay Thai (taken from the Pali-Sanskrit bhahu, “arm” and yodha, “combat”) and has been used in a competitive sport at least since the “Lanna” era (1296-1558 AD). Are you talking about one of the more combative forms of Krabi Krabong, or one of the military, bare knuckle styles? Where did you see this style in action?
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8LimbsScientist
quote:

Originally posted by matrix
oh yeh about the hands in the ready stance

Sorry, I hit the submit button before you posted this

quote:

anyway when your wearing gloves its ok to swing wide cuz you have a great big glove blocking your face from attacks but when bare fist you are open to some sweet head shots so you dont swing as often and there is less of a need to have your hands up to stop you gettin pummelled…also in karate we fight at a distance from each other that is much further away than in muay thai or kickboxing so again your less likely to be pummelled so again less of a need to keep your both hands high

Well, if you are facing another karateka, I’ll agree that there might not be as many head punches thrown, but if you are fighting a boxer or even some street punk, you are going to get a lot of punches thrown at your head. If its the punk, then a lot of them will probably be wild punches of course.

But here’s the thing that jumps out at me. When boxers make the switch to kickboxing they are almost always vulnerable to getting kicked in the head because they are used to dropping their hands down when they get out of punch range. It seems that if you are in a range to do any kind of damage to somebody, then you are simultaneously in range for them to do damage to you, unless your legs are super long. So wouldn’t the karate fighter be in just as much danger of getting a kick in the head as the nak muay or the western boxer?
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jlambvo

quote:

It seems that if you are in a range to do any kind of damage to somebody, then you are simultaneously in range for them to do damage to you, unless your legs are super long.

Ahh, the wonderful magic of geometry my friend. I’m sure (or hope at least) that this is in boxing (or any martial art); there are angles you can take that allow you to make a penetrating strike to the opponent while he can’t touch you (without moving his feet and giving you time).

The simplest example is in our first partnered exercise, ichiminjo no kata. The opponent steps forward with a high straight punch, you displace back slightly at a 45 degree angle. The “magic” spot is barely outside the arc of his closest arm, but you can rock in with your body and punch him. Height difference doesn’t matter much. We illustrated this in class on Sunday pairing someone with an attacker almost a foot taller, it still applied.
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8LimbsScientist
Well I don’t mean to say that you must eat a punch in order to land a punch. What I mean is, when you throw a punch, you are in range for your opponent to throw a punch as well. Ditto for kicks. Now you might go through an entire fight and be able to dodge and block every strike and land tons of them, but I’m just saying the possibility is there.

The reason I brought this up is because range isn’t an excuse for not keeping your guard up. No one steps into kicking range expecting to get kicked in the head, you step in and throw your kick or whatever, but maybe the guy anticipated or is just plain lucky. Or maybe HE steps in and throws. This is why we keep our hands up at all times.

Maybe I should have put this thread up in Style vs. Style. I think this non-flame oriented style comparison is what that forum should be about.
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jlambvo
Actually, I literally mean that there is a sweet spot (not easy but this iswhy it’s called such) and body alignment where you can land a hit (a strong one) and the opponent actually cannot reach you (it has to do with the position of the shoulders and hips as well), but that is beside the point.

I’ve been speculating on the difference in guards lately as well. We very often will deliberately expose a weakness to the opponent that is too good to pass up (from a position where we can attack if he still chooses not to) and let him believe he will reach it before slamming the window of opportunity shut with a counterattack (which might be responsive, simultaneous, or preemptive timing). Strategically this provokes a commited and well-mounted attack, which has its own weaknesses that can be exploited and turned back on the opponent. In this way, the confrontation can be decided very quickly; it’s more like an approach you would use fencing with swords.

A guard and fighting style more typical to boxing and most MMA allows a decent defense while throwing quick probing attacks, either creating an opportunity for a power hit or often bridging into clinch and takedown, followed by a struggle on the ground for dominant position.

You have to consider the context in which the former strategy developed. On a battlefield with thousands of armed combatants, you don’t have time to circle around testing for an opening. The process still sort of occurs, but it’s compressed into a brief moment. One vs. multiple or multiple vs. multiple will get messy quick no matter what, and there simply isn’t time or room to engage that way, especially when weapons are thrown into the mix. It opens you up to danger much more directly, but in a way you have to accept you’ll likely be killed in the melee anyway and at least this gets it over with more quickly. (Also, the minor injuries you would indure in something more like boxing could mean your life when you fight the next guy/s.)

This is why muto-dori gata is so important: sword and spear evasion drills. You must get used to having deadly objects coming at you while wide open and getting out of the way when the attacker believes he’ll hit you. Developing this skill gives you the time in a fight to analyze an attack enough to circumvent and exploit it.

The problem is when people who’ve trained this way try to fight like boxers or some unholy marriage of the two.

8limbs, I totally agree with your sentiment. Best style vs. style thread i’ve read yet
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8LimbsScientist
See thats whats funny to me to because we are all pretty much studying ways to do the same thing. While we go about it differently, we are all trying to learn how to oppose another human being physically.

What do you think about TMA fighters adopting a boxers defense (for striking) or developing an unholy marriage of the two ( )?

I feel that on the street most people go after head shots. Most fights I’ve seen the principle target is someones head, either for punches, bottles, chairs, etc. I feel this necessitates having your hands up near your head to intercept these strikes.

The problem is that in real life we don’t have big 12 oz. gloves on to pad our faces, and even if we manage to block a punch with our fists, it either gets through anyway or else we end up punching ourselves. Thats why I like the Crazy Monkey defense from Rodney King of SBG.

I feel like TMAs would have developed something along the lines of Crazy Monkey due to the fact that they never were developed around big cushy gloves. What does Budo Taijutsu do as far as blocking strikes to the head and where do you leave your hands when you are in a confrontation?

Also, anyone from any other style feel free to answer the above question.
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jlambvo
I have never seen a hard block in Budo Taijutsu. Our “block” is simply to move out of the path of the strike–any contact with the offending appendage is actually an attack (usually a bonus): striking nerves or joints to damage/incapacitate the limb, trapping/capturing, or redirecting it to affect the opponents balance (or any combination thereof). This methology allows you to quickly take the initiative from a safe position.

We have many kamae/postures, and although we do not do forms (beyond the simple five movements of the sanshin ) most techniques can be broken down into transitioning between these kamae (Shinden Fudo ryu doesn’t physically adopt kamae at all, but does so internally… hard to explain).

The foundation kamae is ichimonji : Your feet are about shoulder width apart, the knees relaxed out to sink the hips (which should be free to move around), situated so that your weight is being supported almost entirely by the tendons and joint positions rather than leg muscles. The left (lead) foot is forward toward the opponent, the right (rear) is 90 degrees to the side. Sometimes the right will be angled more forward depending on the attitude; the 90 degree alignment is more open but is easier to confront multiple opponents as such.

The left hand is extended as a shuto sword-blade fist about the position you would use to shake hands (so the muscles are mostly relaxed) pointed at your opponent’s heart and the right is held in front ofyour heart or resting in the crux of your lead elbow. The idea here is to hold your arms like a spear and shield; the lead hand posts out and must be circumvented for you to be attacked. Attempting to drive through someone in this kamae will run the the lead hand into your throat.

If you don’t know what muto-dori gata is, I suggest you try to pick it up somehow. The drills we do include: person(a) holds a sword overhand (training and especially padded ones will do though I recommend something potentially lethal at some point) and person(b) stands before him in a normal standing posture. (a) swings the sword (as well as he can) with the full intention to hit (b). (b) must evade with body movement such that (a) cannot readjust the swing OR hit his target with a followup attack. A more advanced version is to have one or both walking toward each other, and more difficult yet is to walk toward each other but thrusting with a spear (much harder to see the movement). This is how you get used to getting out of the way. *Any* attack is ultimately on an arc or moving in a straight line.

In the kata I described, you attack by starting in the ichimonji posture on the right side and stepping forward into the left side version but making the proper fist. The lead hand can move or block defenses and protects you from simultaneous strikes. Because we hit with footwork and moving from kamea to kamae, you are balanced and defended the whole time, you can wait until the last moment to chosoe your target and fist, and you have already entered once you’ve hit and as such can capitalize on the effects immediately.

I would honestly put up the postures we use against a boxer, but you have to fully put your trust in them and make sure you know how to hit well. The most common problems I see with these postures are letting the arms and back collapse, a tendency to throw the spine forward (so you can fall forward as you miss) and an extension of this a poor understanding of how to ground one’s self upon impact. The few times I’ve applied this striking against a boxing stance, the punch might be blocked but it caves in the person’s posture and I can immediately followup with other attacks.
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FHATODude
what’s the “Crazy Monkey Defense”?
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Hammerhead
Sorry I didn’t answer your questions earlier, 8Limbs – I clear forgot about this thread for a few days. Good to see that we have a good discussion going here.

jlambvo and yourself have covered many technical details here, so I’ll just zoom in on the Chinese angle. The CLF stance you’re talking about is rather…unique to CLF and has its own uses – CLF fighters generally take a side stance with both hands up in a sort of loose boxing guard, which again is quite unique in southern styles, which tend to face an opponent square or half-square. The typical karate/southern chinese stance I was thinking of was more of a square or half-square (that is, facing an opponent squarely or half-squarely) stance of varying height. The thing to remember is that many stances aren’t static positions per se, but rather transitional postures, particularly the ones with the hands held in a low guard. Those actually represent attack or post-attack postures to teach the proper bracing to transfer power. In fact, it’s not strictly true that all karate and southern Chinese stances and guards are low, but it is certainly true that there is usually one hand held low to guard the body, usually the rear one. As it was mentioned earlier, many of the stances in kata are there for training purposes rather than direct application in fighting per se. The actual fighting stances are based upon the same principles as the training stances, but aren’t entirely the same. In fact, the typical traditional fighting stance has one hand outstretched to between half and three-quarters arm’s length to bridge at either mid or high level while the other is held back to guard the body and wind up for committed attacks – I personally like use stances like this. It is interesting to note that the old bareknuckle boxers used similar stances to this as they didn’t have the benefit of 12 or 16oz gloves, which meant that covering up against an attack meant huge holes in one’s defence.

Likewise, karate punches all derive power from the hips, but they aren’t necessarily always cocked back to be launched from hip level. However, the short, jab-like punches of traditional karate are done with the same intent and body mechanics as the fully-cocked hip-launched punches – this aspect is well-demonstrated in the kata shisochin and sanseru, among others, which involve throwing short snap punches out with an emphasis on hip motion. In that sense, you could say that the jabs in traditional karate are far more committed than, say, a boxing jab, which is a probe and combo opener, at least as used in today’s boxing. Again, it’s interesting to note that the primary offensive weapon of the old bareknucle boxers was a jab, which was done entirely different to today’s jab. Rather than an annoying peck to fluster an opponent and reveal holes in his defence, it was executed as a massive smash over a short distance with the fighter’s full bodyweight packed behind it.

In the end, I suppose this highlights the mentality behind karate/Ryukyu kenpo more than anything else – it yields very little and relies very much on committed attacks aimed at ending a fight as quickly as possible while minimising any exchange of blows that might take place. Like any other martial art, sound in theory, but if said karateka whiffs or can’t take an opponent out in a few good shots, oh gawd… But there you go – that’s the essence of karate – ikken hissatsu .

The low, braced stances build the strength and endurance necessary to make fast, committed lunging attacks that throw the full weight of one’s body into an attack. Ideally, the karateka either throws the first attack (for the record, I say “bullshite” to Funakoshi’s famous saying, “There is no first attack in karate”), catching an opponent by surprise and seizing the initiative, or else counterattacks the moment an opponent attacks, either way taking advantage of an opponent’s moment of vulnerability to bring as much power to bear as possible in a few good shots. At least, that’s the way it’s meant to be Just a little more seriously, this is a characteristic not only of karate, but of many, if not most Chinese styles, north and south – they are often strongest at the onset of the engagement, since this is the point they are built to dominate, and tend to decline in effectiveness the longer a fight wears on, at least against an opponent who is capable of reading what his opponent is about to do.

Speaking of pahayuth, I was referring to the traditional battlefield styles taught to soldiers – a Thai friend of mine once showed me a few techniques showed to him by a master of muay who trains in a park near where he lives in Thailand, and there was a definite strong southern Chinese influence in many of the techniques used.

Regarding the point about smashing through armour, I don’t find it quite so outlandish. There was only ever one style of full plate armour used by the Japanese and that was do yoroi, which came into existence late in the Sengoku period and was only ever used where firearms were expected on the other side. All other forms of yoroi were built as much for mobility as well as protection and, as a result, were not very effective at resisting crushing and blunt impact, which is a characteristic of all flexible armour. Good yoroi could keep out swordcuts fairly well, but a good blow from a tetsubo or konsaibo would more than likely displace lamellar plates and at least spill the coffee on the inside, so to speak. Even the hara-ate, or chestplates, weren’t all that solid and heavy – they couldn’t be if a warrior wanted to move around. With that in mind, someone whose fists could smash solid granite could conceivably put said fist through a few layers of lamellar. Even if he couldn’t break the armour, the man inside would certainly feel much of the impact
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darkside05
Lol, as if you couldn’t tell, i made that last post pretty late at night. But i’m glad you made that observation matrix. When it comes to punching through armor, i sincerely doubt it myself. But that was what one instructor (not mine) mentioned once before. Basically our ideas are based on the same principles though, the punches were for power. Sorry for sounding dumb back there. Thursday night, i’m gonna ask about the whole story behind the hip punches and see what my sensei says, considering i know he is very educated on all this stuff. Again matrix and all others who said that was bull and rubbish, thanks for the observation .

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darkside05
OH and one more thing…… PLEASE PLEASE don’t call pink belt on me! We all have bad days. I was just going on what i had been told. So PLEASE don’t make me a pinky!
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FHATODude
what do you mean by “loose boxing stance’ (have a pic?)
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Hammerhead
By that, I mean loose as opposed to tight, referring to the hands held up at a distance from the body as opposed to very close to the face, the latter of which is the norm in gloves-on matches. And there are several prime examples of this posture here: http://www.unlicensed2000.com/earlybareknuckle.html
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