Thursday, June 21, 2012
Reach Out and Touch (Faith)
I was asked to more fully describe an application that we teach to our students. This particular one is taught in progressive stages (with variations being added as the student progresses and/or encounter's them while practicing the motions).
The kihon/basic version, consists of a Left Inside Parry, done in conjunction with a Right Outside/Forward Forearm strike. This is one of those technique's that doesn't change, regardless of which hand (Right/Left) the uke/aggressor attempts to strike with.
The (Really) basic version would be shown to react to a Right Punch (being thrown) by parrying the aggressor's (striking) Right hand across their chest (to waist level) with their own Left Hand, while performing a Right (handed) Outside Forearm Strike, followed by a Right Hand (thumb-up) “milking-punch” Strike to the uke's (Left) upper chest cavity (or the Right side of the uke's neck).
As the student becomes familiar with this motion, we have the uke randomly switch, between (performing) a Right punch, and a Left punch. For the Left Punch both of the tori's arm's will motion the exact same, except that the tori's Left hand will touch the uke's Right shoulder, and wipe downward upon the uke's chest (or strike the Right-Side of the uke's Neck). The tori's Right hand raises (as done previously), and then motions forward (similar to a back-fist). This (Right) hand can either strike the uke's arm (slightly above the elbow, to the medial aspect, where a nerve is located), or can open and pass over the uke's arm, to be swept downward. This will be followed with the Right arm motioning the uke's Left arm across their body, while pivoting (itself) upward to apply an arm-bar.
The technique is further expanded to include every possible scenario that the uke is likely (or even able) to perform. There are multiple responses to any option that the uke may choose to do with either arm (these include the “standard” straight punch, a hay-maker, a miss with a pull-back), as well as any combination of these motions (done by either arm).
As with many technique's, we have students begin by performing the essential actions in the air (Hands only, no footwork).
A. The student begins in a Natural stance, with both hands at their
B. As the uke begins their strike, the tori will cover their groin area
using their Right hand while raising their Left hand straight
upwards and forward (from their body).
C. The Right hand will continue to rise, covering the ribs and acting
as a back-up for the Left hand's covering motions.When the Left
hand reaches the shoulder height (of the uke), their Left hand
will motion across to the center of the uke's chest.
D. As the tori's Left hand reaches the center of the uke's chest, that
hand will begin motioning (in a wiping manner, palm out/down)
downward towards the uke's belt-line.
E. The Tori's Right hand will reach a vertical position, then motion
forward (initially, to strike the uke upon their upper-chest.
Once these basic hand motions are understood, we will include the basic footwork....
A. As the hands motion upward, the tori's bodyweight is shifted to
the balls of their feet.
B. The tori will pivot (on the ball's of their feet) and shift their
weight to the Left foot.
C. The tori will raise their knee (initially protecting the groin) to
gain the attention of the uke (both as distraction, and to
divert the uke's attention away from the tori's hands).
D. The tori will then perform a straight kick (preferably just
above and to the medial-side of the uke's Left Knee). Either, the
raising of the knee, or the kick to the leg of the uke, will often
cause the uke to lean forward (moving their head/neck closer to
the tori) while motioning their hips rearward.
E. Depending upon the uke's actions/reactions, if their head motions
closer to the tori, it may be more prudent to strike them upon (the
Right-side of) their neck (other than the previously mentioned
upper-chest cavity location). The foot of the kicking leg, should
be dropped (placed) directly downward (as shown)from where it
From this point on, the student would be working on (various) take-down, arm manipulations and controlling techniques. If there turns out to be an interest, then maybe I'll explain/show how we do some of those motions. This is one of those techniques that has multiple directions that it can be taken, or can respond to.
My initial desire was to illustrate how this same motion would be used (in the same manor) whether the uke were to strike with (either) their Right or their Left hand. There was previously some confusion as to how that could be (from reader's). If I have sufficient uke's/models (of which I only had 1, aka: "Ian" on this evening), then I'll provide photos exampling that ability (utilizing this technique's motions).
Ian is presently working on this particular manner of applying this technique (his ranking is Ikkyu). A student of lower kyu-rank, would be using a more simplistic version of the same technique. In RyuTe, all student's work on some form of the same technique, together.
For beginning students, much of this (manner of) practice, is to familiarize the student with extending out towards the uke/aggressor. To often students want to chase the aggressor's hand (often, all the way back into their own face, LOL). If you notice, Ian is reaching out towards the (imagined) uke's shoulders (his hands are closer to the uke, than to himself). It is this distance that we want students to become comfortable with.
If you find this information some-what interesting or if you have any questions, I'd be happy to elaborate on anything I've discussed here. I don't (really) write this blog for me (I'm already familiar with what I'm writing about, LOL). I write it to answer questions regarding what I teach (for you, the reader), and what I teach/study is RyuTe. There have (of course) also been times when reader's have enlightened me to things and circumstances that had been previously missed/unrealized as well.
For those with any experience with RyuTe, the motions should be immediately recognizable (from Naihanchi kata), as well as the variations on the "Double-Block" (our Double Forearm Strike).