Thursday, August 29, 2013
We recently had our student's practicing the performance of various “neck” strikes. This was done with protective padding (on the uke) for their safety obviously, but it provided them with an understanding of what those strikes would “feel” like (on the receiving end).
Considering that this is “one” of the unique aspects of practicing Oyata's Life-Protection method, we feel that our student's should be familiar with what this application feel's like (as well as how to perform it, LOL).
For our purposes (that night), we only utilized 3 different types of strikes, Fore-knuckle (Punching), and an “Open-hand” strike to the side and back of the neck). The choice of application method was dictated by the uke's (body) reaction to the initial defensive motion utilized by the tori (in this case, a “parry” of the uke's “face” punch attempt).
Having practiced these types of strikes before, their execution wasn't the (only) goal of the practice method. What we commonly observe, is that the tori will (often times) exaggerate their own body's defensive motions. Though aiding them in their effort to avoid being struck, they (very often) would move themselves too far away to be able to apply a debilitating (counter) strike upon the uke (aggressor).
Whether an aggressor's strike misses by a ¼ inch, or by 3 feet, it's still a “miss”. The more that the tori motions, the greater the chance that the uke will attempt to correct their strike. Very often, that greater motion will place the tori too far away (from the uke) for a counter-strike to even be (correctly) applied. For that reason, we prefer that the student motion (their body) only as much as required (to avoid the aggressor's strike).
For the beginning student, this is an “awareness” that is only acquired through repeated practice (ie. Experience). It isn't simply a matter of learning how to perform a particular strike, but an understanding of all the additional factors that make that strike possible (both the uke's, and their own).
Student's can (often) get the mistaken idea that “sparring” can/will supply that knowledge and/or ability. IF that were true, it would make “teaching” much simpler, unfortunately it isn't. Sparring attempts to recreate a confrontation after all of the initial opportunities (for ending it) have already passed. The majority of Oyata's methodology is (designed) to be utilized before any of that manner of confrontation can even occur.
It's for that reason that the majority of our student's training is focused upon the initial motions of a confrontation. When those motions are successful, the student will be presented with numerous options (as to whether continue with any striking methods, or to begin submission techniques, or even to “leave”). All of which are determined from any initial actions success and/or failure.
As with the tori's body motions, the performance of the instructed “neck” strikes are done with minimal excessive motion. There is no need for those strikes to be “wound-up” (prior to their use), nor is excessive “power” required for their effectiveness. These strikes are only dependent upon proper placement, and direction (of application).
Through limiting one's (excessive) defensive motion, they will be in a more effective range for the application of these types of strikes. If/when one's arm's are completely extended when applying these types of strikes, they are rarely being applied properly (and demonstrate the impropriety of that distance for the attempted strike).