Sunday, February 12, 2017

Atemi/Kyusho Direction of Application

 Though the term “Kyusho” is being regularly utilized to describe (any) strikes, those strikes are more commonly Atemi (strikes). Unless a strike results in achieving a particular response (that couldn't be achieved by another type/manner of “strike”), it shouldn't be considered to be a “Kyusho” (type) strike. Oyata considered “Atemi” strikes, to be distraction (strikes). This means that an atemi strike commonly results in causing minimal, if any physical injury/damage, but will result in achieving a particular response. “Kyusho” strikes (regularly) can or do (directly) cause physical damage if/when properly applied.
  Considering that the majority of confrontations and/or situations don't require the use of those types of techniques, the majority of what is taught (within Oyata Te) are atemi strikes. Those persons that seek (or claim to teach) the “magical” one-touch/strike technique, have bought into the fantasy of the “deadly Eastern Warrior”. Oyata didn't teach that manner of technique application. He became “popular” from his neck-strike “knockouts”, but that amounted to being a (very) small piece of his methodology (and was considered to be an atemi type of strike).
  Regardless of whether a strike was considered to be Atemi, or Kyusho, that strike required that it be applied in the correct direction, and with the correct amount of force. It's commonly assumed, that “more” force (being used with those strikes) is “better” (than less force). This assumption is inaccurate. Numerous examples of those applications can be performed incorrectly through the use of excessive force.
  Those individual's teaching the “more”(force) is (always) better, have never studied with Oyata. He (Oyata) would often demonstrate how excessive force would negate an applications effectiveness. Though producing an “effect”, that effect would never be equal (or even close) to the results he achieved with those same motions using less power, but (more) correct technique. This was the result of understanding the motion/technique, and not simply attempting to replicate those motions. This was also (readily) displayed with the (attempted) replication of his (Oyata's) Tuite techniques (by “others”).
  In order to (properly) utilize the strikes that Oyata taught, one needs to understand what the strike (upon the particular location) is intending to achieve. The most common response (to an atemi application) is a withdrawal of the impacted location (commonly being directly away from the location and direction of impact). The same result could/would (often) be achieved with a push (to the location) as well. This is readily evident in the application of Oyata's Tuite techniques.
  Many of the “observed” examples (being taught by other methodology's) attempt to distinguish locations by “how” they are utilized (ie. Via a “push”, “rub”{?} or “strike”). Those systems that do, are (commonly) interested in promoting how “painful” the manor (of application) that they teach is. “Pain” is an irrelevancy (to technique application). It (pain) is subjective (to the individual) and should not be considered relevant to a techniques (proper) use/application. It is the reaction/response to the motion that is important (defensively).
  When this (“response”) approach is used (in the application of this manner of technique), it achieves a defensive function within one's defensive actions. Oyata considered size and strength, to be irrelevant factors (when considering technique application). When a technique is properly applied, those factors should not effect the desired reaction (from the applications use). Using this approach changes how (numerous) commonly taught techniques are applied (or even considered for use). The idea of using “brute force” (as one's “main” defensive option, and/or means of application) is limited to those student's who are capable of achieving that level of force. This is commonly exampled by those “instructors” (of that mentality) once they have aged and/or have suffered injury, (often from the pursuit of that methodology) that can no longer replicate the very applications that they once taught/endorsed.
  In 30 years of study with Oyata, I never saw him use (or teach) “strength” or “power” to achieve a desired reaction to an applied motion or technique. Can strength be used to achieve some of those results?, of course, but that shouldn't be the “Basis” for any techniques use or it's inclusion in a defensive training curriculum. Doing so, only perpetuates inaccurate beliefs in regards to the effectiveness of those techniques. 



Anonymous said...

Can you talk more about what Kyusho is? What types of specific unreplicatable outcomes do these strikes achieve that make them unique one from another?

Openhand said...

If your meaning, What makes them “Kyusho” as opposed to “Atemi”, then I would say that the result (of the locations use) is the greatest distinction. Stating that a location is a “Kyusho” point, tends to imply that it's use will elicit results that are seriously debilitating and/or permanent in responses/reaction (to their use). There are numerous factors that could be used to determine that distinction. I'm a bit confused by your “unreplicatable” statement (it either “is” or “isn't”?). If they can't be replicated, then they wouldn't be “valid”.
In our use of the term, it implies a serious (if not permanent) result. That result could be physical damage/injury, or even death. (I.E. we don't use the term as "loosely" as one is inclined to see done elsewhere).
"Atemi" is (more often) the appropriate term to use (when describing these locations).