Friday, January 24, 2014
Pause, (for) Effect
When I first began my studies with Oyata's methodology, I was shown/told to perform 3 defensive actions simultaneously. This would include a defensive motion with each arm, and one leg application. Aside from being damned difficult to achieve (simultaneously), it never felt “right”. When I had an opportunity (years later) to ask Oyata about it, he looked at me and said “yes, 3 motion, but not always all 3 at same time. You have to fill the cup before you can drink from it”.
After hearing this, I began “seeing” this (what he was talking about) in “actual” application of the motions. Though clearly possible to complete the 3 actions “together”, it was often more productive to space them apart. Doing so would create situations (in the uke's positioning) that would create more efficient results.
This was most obvious with the (beginning) application of a “Cover/Strike” with a leg kick. By hesitating (before using the kick), the targeted leg would become “loaded” (with the weight being then shifted to that leg before kicking it).
What I had observed with many (beginning) students use of the kick (including myself), was that it was being utilized too early (to achieve the same results that had been described to, and witnessed by us when Oyata performed the motion).
What was more important (at least to myself), was that a greater amount of power and accuracy was also being mandated (through this “early” application of the kick). When I began waiting (those few milliseconds, LOL), the uke's leg would become “loaded” with the uke's body-weight, and barely a “tap” was required to achieve the desired action (from the uke).
It reminded me of our sparring “joke” (when I was studying Shito-Ryu), if 2 people throw a Side-kick at the same time (at one another), the slower kick wins (if you don't understand this, then you haven't done much “sparring”, LOL). It illustrates that “speed” is not always the best option. This also demonstrated Oyata's “saying” of “Arm's before Feet”. Hand motions often create the situation to make those leg strikes possible (or at least more efficient).
When applying Tuite, the timing of any kicks (with the technique) can vary (depending on the technique, and the situation). We've demonstrated to our students the differences in timing of the kicks (as well as the uke's responses) depending upon “when” the kick is utilized with the Tuite.
One of the more common demonstrations illustrates that an uke's (hand) strike, can be stopped without touching the uke. Not exactly being any manner of a “Ki” demonstration, LOL, it does show how the opponent can be (easily) distracted. By simply lifting the knee up (quickly, between you and the uke), the uke will “stop” their intended striking hand. It sounds ridiculous, but “I” have used this “distraction” (on several occasions) to great effect! The uke's (intended) “strike”, has stopped (mid-flight) from the concern of the lifted leg “kicking” (which was never my intent with it). With the aggressor's hand/arm “stopped” (in mid-air), it's a much simpler matter to strike and/or manipulate it as I require (or desire).
This is one of the (numerous) reasons Oyata taught us to motion 3 limbs at once. Tactically, it's too many things for an aggressor to assess, and/or react to. Strategically, it interrupts their intended assault “plan”, and provides us with a more optimal positioning (for protecting ourselves from being struck, and for any counters).
Of course none of this is applicable, if not “timed” correctly.That means it requires Practice.