Friday, December 7, 2018
The concept of there being (only) “hard” and/or “soft” styles is (to myself) limiting. In general, these "types" are distinguished by the system's inclusion of strikes (or not) and the inclusion of some
degree of "mental" reflection and/or practice (commonly seen in the form of "meditation"). Learning
the delivery of "strikes" is the more simplistic of the two. It Is the easier of the two for student's to
understand, so it is what is initially learned and practiced by the average (beginning) student. Grab's
and parrying (or deflection) motion defenses, are often reserved to the more experienced student.
Any, if not all styles of defense utilize both of these concepts, they only vary in the degree of their
use of either (between the different “systems”).
The ability to effectively utilize "strikes" is commonly dependent upon the (physical) size/strength of the student. The application of manipulation (types of) techniques (should) have no such limitations imposed upon their use. Oyata's methodology for the use of either of these applications, was dependent upon the student using their entire body (within that use). The use of the “fist” was more often limited to the use of the first two knuckles (of the utilized hand). Emphasis was made upon the wrist (of the striking hand). It was only necessary that the wrist remains straight (to prevent “buckling”) on impact with that forward strike. The “fingers” remained loose/relaxed. As long as the wrist maintains a straight alignment (with the forearm), the wrist would be unlikely to “buckle”.
Being that the intent/use of the fist was rarely intended to be (mainly) dependent upon the amount of delivered force/momentum, it was the placement of that strike that was of greater concern. The amount of force delivered, only added to that strikes use/effect.
The “punch” that Oyata used, was shown/demonstrated to include a lateral “milking” action (of the striking wrist) upon impact. This was shown to create additional reactions (by the Uke) with its inclusion. Those reactions are demonstrated whether the strike is delivered with force, or not.
The use/availability of greater amounts of force are obviously beneficial, but should not be considered to be mandatory (for the effectiveness of an application/technique). The idea is to create a specific reaction, that can be (further) utilized with additional motions to create the desired response.
Efficient application of technique is achieved by entire body application of the movement being utilized. This is done by using the concept of force efficiency. When combined with correct technique application (regardless of the amount of physical strength utilized), The technique will be applied in the most efficient manner.
Force Efficiency equates to correct (body/frame) alignment being applied with the attempted application. That alignment includes specific directions (of motion and alignment) to be used within the delivery of the attempted application. Any additional motion (being included by the student), is commonly unneeded and/or equates to being wasted motion.
Though being (at least to ourselves) a simple (if not obvious) use of (body) motion, we have had student's who have argued otherwise (commonly by presenting arguments that they “feel” more powerful when including those actions). The fact that they “feel” those motions, should example the uselessness of those motions. When a motion achieves the (ideal) transfer of the generated energy/momentum, the person should not “feel” anything. This is commonly exampled when a student states that they “felt” nothing during the performance of an action (although the results of that action, resulted in an obvious transfer of mass and momentum). If/when the motion is felt (by the user), it is not being transferred (into the target/subject). The most common example of this is when students include a "hip" shimmy. The motion achieves nothing, but the student "feels" it (and therefore "thinks" that it has made the motion more powerful).
There are motions that can increase the amount of delivered mass/energy. Those motions are performed in (often subtle) ways that can be achieved without the inclusion of forced "additional" motion. One of the simplest is the continued (relaxed) inclusion of a limb joint's extension. This is most easily exampled with the use of a forearm strike. As the forearm makes contact (with the intended/target location), the (striking) student's wrist is relaxed. This allows the (striking) wrist to then wrap around the targeted (Uke's) arm. Doing so will increase the amount of delivered momentum/energy into the impacted object (I.E. the Uke's arm). By the Tori maintaining a “straight” wrist (during this action), they are countering, if not decreasing the amount of delivered momentum. It was the inclusion of these types of simple changes/actions, that make Oyata's methodology more productive (if not “effective”).