A Reference Guide for the New Student

A Reference Guide for the New Student
(This text is designed to be a Reference to assist an individual in their study of the art of Te.)
  Oyata's art of "te", is an Okinawan (based) system of “Life-Protection” that was developed, and taught by Taika Seiyu Oyata. The information provided therein, consists of the techniques, training methods and theory's (as explained to, and interpreted by the author) which have been utilized in his own training while studying Te as a beginning student, and were then used (by him) in the instruction of his own student's, as well as with his own continued study/practice. The author (at the time of these writings) has been studying/practicing Te, for 30+ years, either directly (from Taika himself) or through/with one of Taika's premier student's.  That does not mean to imply that the author considers himself to be (in any way) either an expert, or an authority on Taika's methodology. These methods and explanations, are (also) by no means, the only possible interpretations of Taika's teachings.
  It should also be noted, that the use of written information (regarding the instruction of Te) should never be used in lieu of “One on One” guidance from an actual, trained instructor.
  Oyata's methodology is based around the (basic) premiss, that an aggressor (person doing the attacking action) is only able to utilize 2 manner's of implementing an unarmed “attack” upon an individual. This is done by using their hands, or by use of their legs. If utilizing their hands, they could Strike you, they could Push you, and/or they could Grab you. They could also use their legs to Kick you (keeping in mind, that they could only use 1 leg at a time to do so, or else they would fall down). Any of these may be done in rapid succession of one another (if not seemingly in unison), and including the use of 1 leg (in concert with both arms), but very often, they would be done independently.
  The person Defending themselves, is likewise limited to 3 manners of implementing their defense and/or counter. The difference between the two ( the attacker and the defender) is in their execution ability. The defender will have 2 arms, and 1 leg available for their defense (they also, still have to stand upon 1 leg). An aggressor is only able to attack (at a time) with 1 leg, or 2 arms, of which either situation creates vulnerabilities (of their own defense). Oyata's methodology attempts to exploit those vulnerabilities.
  Once the introductory stances have been shown to a beginning student, and their utilization is understood, the student will then begin working on the numerous Hand, and Foot motions/techniques, and the manner's of implementing them. Along with these, the techniques of “Tuite”(Grab-Hand) will also be taught to the student. The use of each of these motions, and their being utilized in conjunction with one another(in what are referred to as “Applications”), is demonstrated to be a mandatory requirement for their effective use.
  During the course of learning these methods of defensive motion and tactics, the student is shown/taught and demonstrated various theory’s of defense and their application to what is being taught in Oyata's system.

The Development of Oyata's System of Te
  Taika's instruction in the Okinawan methodology of “Life Protection”, came from the tutelage of his 2 instructor's. Both of these men, when Taika began training with them, were in their mid/late 90's. Both had been (originally) in the Okinawan King's Royal Guard (before being demoted because of mainland Japan's demilitarization of the Okinawan Royalty during the late 1800's). Because of Taika's Family heritage, and his demonstrated character, he was accepted (by them) as being worthy of being taught the principles and methods of the art of “Te”(that they had originally learned). This form of the art, had been largely forgotten, or lost due to the second world war and the subsequent loss of life (along with what few written records existed) during the invasion/occupation of the Island of Okinawa.
  Taika learned from, and studied with these two master's until their deaths a few year's later. During that time, Taika was taught techniques, methods of observation, and theory's of application related to personal combat to aid him in his (own) research/study of the art of “Te”. Taika's own continuing research, led him to other Okinawan instructor's, though not as a “student” per say, but only to be shown those instructor's versions of what they were teaching. From what his instructor's had taught him about technique and application, combined with his own research, Taika developed what came to be "his" manner of performing Te.
  The word Ryu, is a reference to the RyuKyu Islands (Okinawa being the main island), “Te” being the Japanese word for hand (Japanese now being the main language utilized on Okinawa instead of the Okinawan dialect, which would use the word “Di” instead of “Te”).
  Taika had begun teaching the form of “te” on Okinawa in the early 60's locally referred to as "Ryukyu Kenpo". His students often included numerous American service men stationed there at the time. He became friends of some of them, and with their encouragement, he visited the United States after their return home (having ended their military obligations on Okinawa). Initially, he didn't care for the American's he met there (they weren't “friendly” enough, LOL). He then visited Kansas City, and found the attitudes and level of “friendliness”, to his liking, and on his 2nd visit, choose to move there permanently.
  When Taika first began teaching in the U.S., what he found was a “Hodgepodge” of convoluted teachings of various (forms of) martial arts, none of which were close to what he understood to be the Okinawan art of “Te”. As he toured the U.S. (giving demonstrations of his art) he garnered much attention, usually in regards to (what became known as) his “knock-out” strikes, and the art which he named “Tuite”, a term he had created, using the Okinawan pronunciation of the kanji for “Grab”(tui), and the Japanese pronunciation of the kanji for “hand”(te).
  Originally, what he taught, he called “Ryukyu Kenpo” (a generic term, commonly used to describe any Okinawan form of the art of “Te”). During the mid 80's, an attendee of several seminars, began using the name, and promoting his own version of what Taika was teaching. Not wanting (in any way) to be associated with either the individual, or what he was teaching, Taika began using the name “Ryu Te”. Taika also promptly had the name Ryu Te “copyrighted”, including his hand written form of it (since the aforementioned individual had also utilized “Taika's” brushing of the kanji for the previous "style" name that he utilized). 
 The instructor's of this school have since separated from the "Ryu Te" organization, and are calling the instructed art "Oyata Te" (based on the instruction provided by Oyata in his weekly classes)
  Taika had never stopped his own development and research in improving his art. What he taught in his later years, compared to what he taught when first arriving here (in the U.S.) is substantially different from what was taught then. Since those times, there have been numerous student's who have either “quit”, or been “kicked-out” of his Association (for various reasons). Some (very few) voluntarily chose to leave (and presumably, remained in good standing), but numerous others were forced out (because of their “unbecoming/inappropriate ” behavior). He then chose to limit his instruction of students (to those whom he tended to consider as being family).
  Taika continued to (further) develop and refine his system. Taika passed away in 2012, he has left the further development of what he taught to those student's who remained loyal to both him, and to what he was teaching. 

The Training Concepts used in Te
 To begin the practice of any martial art method, one should first be familiar with the principles of which that method is based around. The primary purpose from the study of Te, is “Life-Protection”. This can be interpreted as meaning the “life” of the person using the techniques of Te, or the person who receives (the results from that use of) those techniques.
  The prospective student should consider whether they posses the mental fortitude, to accept the probable results from the utilization of those techniques. To apply a technique that will cause (and often do so graphically) physical harm to an individual, can be emotionally disturbing experience to many individuals. 
 The techniques that are learned in the practice of Te, will often “dislocate” (any one, or number of) an aggressor's anatomical “joints” (when utilized during an actual assault). The physical results from the use of some Kyusho strikes, can result in violent (and/or visually disturbing) outcomes. The very real danger of creating permanent physical damage, is one that has to be accepted as a consequence from the use of many of these techniques when utilized at full power, speed and intent. 
  This aspect of training, is rarely addressed by the majority of Martial arts student's. Because of the probability of these occurrences with the utilization of Oyata's techniques, We (as  instructor's) have an obligation to inform prospective student's of these probabilities.
  When training in Oyata's Te, the prospective student should be aware that the techniques and principles being taught are NOT intended for “Sport Karate” application or use. If (the majority of) his techniques were to be utilized in/at/for a “Sport Karate” competition, serious injury would be a likely, if not probable outcome (for which the user, would most likely be legally responsible for).
  If the prospective student, being FULLY AWARE OF THESE PROBABILITIES chooses to continue with enrolling in our class, they do so with the understanding that they can be held fully responsible for any of their own “misuse” (legal, or otherwise). It should be further understood that the techniques described therein should only be utilized in the event of Life Threatening Circumstances of self or upon others.
With that being stated, and understood (by the prospective student), the following information provides a general description of the taught material.

Understanding the Concept of 
“Life Protection”
and it's Differences from “Self-Defense”

  Oyata's methodology, is (initially) taught as being a “Life Protection” method/system. Although this is similar to being a Self-Defense method, it is (slightly) different. A Self-Defense methodology is designed, and taught to be methods of protecting one's (own) person from physical aggression. Being a “Life” Protection system, entails including the protection of “others” lives also. This (should) include the life of an aggressor as well. Though (sometimes) difficult to conceive/understand, being (essentially) the cause of an aggressor to lose their life (only because they attacked you to begin with), is not (from Oyata's “perspective”) considered an (in any way) preferred outcome
  Keeping that concept in mind, the student should understand that many of the initial strikes taught, are being shown to the student in order that they should be used prior to any of the (more) damaging strikes are. This allows the (original) aggressor the option of abandoning their initial attempt to assault you (after being inflicted with the more minor injuries that result from your initial technique applications). The student should keep in mind, that we're not talking about “ew, that hurts”, types of injuries. We're referring to the “My arm and/or leg isn't working now” types of injuries (“Minor”, becomes a matter of relevance).
  To a bystander/observer, many of Oyata's techniques (when utilized full-power/speed), appear to be Very brutal. Depending upon one's perspective, they (the techniques) would very likely fit that description. Though having a violent appearance (of both execution, and result) the real measure, is whether the injury suffered is permanent or temporary? And/or does it cause/create permanent damage?). If the answer to either of these is No, then should the system really, be considered to be (unnecessarily) Brutal? or simply, effective
  Taika had always taught, that there are “2” fights (to be considered). 1st is the physical fight, (between the two individuals), 2nd is the legal fight (between the lawyers, of those two individuals). To “forget about”, or ignore either one of these fights, is simply demonstrating your own ignorance. Since his becoming a citizen of the U.S., Taika has become acutely aware of the litigious nature of Americans. Keeping this Fact in mind (while training), should aid in motivating one's attempts to attain proficiency at those less (permanently) debilitating techniques/applications. 
  Being aware that these differences, are only part of the equation. One still has to choose which manner of technique application that they will utilize. Very often, the more brutal a technique is, then the easier/faster it is to apply. And (as a “Rule”), the less damage that one wishes to inflict, the more difficult that technique will be to utilize.
  For “training” purposes, We attempt to have our student's train in the most difficult and challenging manor possible. When working on techniques in class, we are attempting to make a technique “work” on someone who knows exactly what we are attempting to do, how we are attempting to make it happen and will (very often) know exactly how to foil those attempts while we are doing so. If and/or when they are able to disrupt those attempts, our students train to be able to either, correct their attempt or change the technique (to another if necessary) and/or modify the original to compensate for the training partner's attempt at deterring it's completion. 
  Those less damaging techniques mentioned earlier, often require that the student not complete, or follow-through with their own techniques and/or motions (in order to allow their training partners limbs to motion to a position of physical safety to prevent serious injury). This in turn, provides opportunity’s for that person to counter, and/or evade the progression of the student's original technique. 
  To the beginning student, this form of practice often seems wasteful and/or unnecessary. It should be remembered, that RyuTe's purpose, includes “Life Protection”, not only “Self Defense”. 
Recognizing the Body's Natural Weaknesses and Motion
  Simply knowing how a technique is supposed to be done, is insufficient knowledge for being able to make a technique work in any given circumstance. There are numerous factors involved with having the ability to complete that task, and part of learning that ability, includes an awareness of what motions are, and are not (considered to be) Natural.
  When Taika first began learning his instructor's art, they would spend hours discussing the various motions that one makes as they proceed throughout their day. These discussions included descriptions of how people commonly walk and/or run, how people react (physically) to various common events and/or occurrences throughout one's day. Descriptions of how people stand, turn, sit, even fall. The purpose of these conversations, was to learn and understand what was (actually) entailed with. and what is referred to, as being “Natural” motion, and reaction. These conversations didn't occur over hours, they constituted several weeks (if not months) of discussion about those subjects. This was before Taika was even shown a stance (much less an actual technique). Once he was (shown an actual “technique”), constant reference to the discussions they'd had previously were made, along with how those topics related to what he was then being shown, and taught.
  Unless, or (at least) Until, one understands what constitutes a “natural” motion, one's progression in learning Te will be greatly hindered. The majority of student's are surprised to learn many of the (what most people would've considered previously to of been) “common” motions that are regularly performed by everyone, yet are completely ignored in regards to their application to personal combative situations.
  Many of the bodies natural motions, are dictated by the physical limitations of the joints and their surrounding connective tissue (tendons, muscles, etc.). The student of Oyata's methodology, needs to be aware of (both) their own, and of others (body limbs) “Range of Motion” (a.k.a.”ROM”) for every joint located upon the human body. Having a working knowledge of this information will greatly aid the student with the control, and/or manipulation of an individual (be it during an aggressive situation, or one of necessary compliance situations).
  An understanding of the bodies bone structure will provide the  student with a working knowledge of structural weaknesses, and strengths of the human body. Bones of the limbs can be utilized (by an opponent, or one's self) as weapons and/or leverage weapons themselves (as well as wielded in much the same manner as a club).
  Having a working knowledge of the bodies muscular system, will provide the student with an understanding of How a limb is, or can be put into motion, and will enable that student with the required knowledge to understand how to disable that limb from being able to be utilized. Knowing the physical location of the muscles and how, as well as where they attach to the skeletal system, will allow the student to target the tendons and/or muscle body depending on the result desired.
  A student being aware of the locations of the various internal organs will allow that student to know how and/or if a particular strike could effect those organs. Certain organs are more susceptible to the effects of being impacted (via “strikes” made against the areas of the body that they occupy). Though generally (or naturally) protected from external impacts, either from the skeletal structure or because of their physical location, certain internal organs can be accessed (to varying degrees) from the utilization of the correct method and/or angle of a particular striking method.
  Knowing that every action and/or motion made, is controlled by signals from the brain (via “nerves”), having a knowledge of the location of those nerves which are susceptible to external stimuli (strikes) is (from a perspective of defensive techniques application) mandatory for the student to effectively apply their techniques to those locations. Student's also need to be aware of the difference between conscious actions, and sub-conscious (or subliminal) actions, reactions and motions. 
Fostering the Correct Attitude for Training in Oyata's Methodology
  When student's begin their training in Taika's art, they (often) initially focus upon the individual techniques and the (physical) motion of application. It should be understood, that in order for a technique (regardless of which) to be actively utilized (during a confrontational situation), there very often is the necessity of certain staging actions, or “set-ups” that need to be established before those techniques become (actually) applicable and/or usable. 
  In numerous martial art systems, the assumption is often made, that an aggressor will be completely ignorant of the purpose behind any defensive actions/techniques that a martial art student will be attempting. Given that the average aggressively inclined individual, has been involved in (most cases, numerous violent) previous physical encounters, it would make greater sense to make the presumption that they will be fully aware of (exactly) what you are attempting to do (in regards to any defensive motion or application). When one considers the (vast) number of “8-week” karate courses available to the general public (usually through “continued education” programs, provided at local schools), the odds are much greater that an aggressor will fully recognize (if not be completely familiar with) any attempt of the use of a “front-kick”, a “roundhouse-kick” or any (basic) “karate”(style of) straight punch and/or “blocks”.
  It's for that reason, that we encourage student's to presume that every move/technique they attempt, will be understood and recognized for what they are attempting to accomplish (with that action). To do otherwise is fostering a false belief in one's “superiority” (simply because of the attendance of a martial art class). The initial knowledge that one should attain from the attendance of any martial art class, should be a realization of the prevalent vulnerabilities that are naturally present to ourselves (as well as to an aggressor) during a physical confrontation.
  The instruction of Te attempts to accomplish that realization through the understanding of the aforementioned subjects of study.
  When one begins their attendance at a class, a serious attitude should be maintained (when practicing the shown/taught motions). This doesn't imply that Humor, should be a forbidden subject (as it can often be utilized to quell any “bruised ego's” during that training), but as student's are practicing motions and techniques, it is important that students understand that a less than committed attitude (about that practice) will become a hindrance to it's execution (in it's actual use in a defensive situation).

 Kata, and it's Application in 
 the Study of Te
  When Taika began his instruction of Te with his teachers, he was given training exercises. These included explanations of various motions that were commonly seen being done in numerous forms of popular kata of the time. He was often asked to interpret these motions (with no explanations being given). Determining logical interpretations was often quite difficult. Though being aware of the (popular) explanations being given at the time (by most systems), because of his instruction, he knew these to be incorrect (or at the very least simplistic), if not totally unrelated to what was originally being shown). After the death of his instructor's, Taika sought out the most original and/or accurate examples of the kata being commonly taught. This search led him to master Nakamura' and master Odo's dojo. Though not agreeing with either master's interpretations of the kata motions, he believed the versions being taught by them, to be the closest to the original versions that he could find. When Taika did (eventually) voice his disagreement (with one of the master's interpretations), he was dismissed from that dojo.
  Using the methodology of bunkai (interpretation) that was taught to him by his original instructor's, Taika began his research into the bunkai, or breaking-down (interpretation) of the motions derived from the kata learned from master Odo. Those interpretations were based upon “1 on 1” altercations (between 2 individual's). Interpretation's which included more (than that “1” opponent) would most often prove pointless to even pursue (much less to plan on winning).
  Taika (given his prior instruction), began by isolating each individual motion and researching it's various possible applications. These included both the motion as when performed within the kata, and if/when the motion was done in reverse. This was done with the knowledge that the creator's of the kata, were often attempting to conceal their techniques in case they should be observed during their practice of them (and this would also allow them to practice those motions at any time, as well as anywhere without concern of revealing their techniques to their possible enemies). Taika knew that often, only the gross, general (if not basic, yet often most important) motions (of a technique) would be (what was) being practiced from repeating the motions of the kata. Often, only a very small part of a given technique was being reviewed by going through those kata motions. From his own research, and based upon the teachings of his original 2 instructor's, Taika developed his system of Life-Protection.
  Knowing that Okinawa Te was (originally) based upon protecting the life of the user, it would have been ridicules to assume that any of the kata motions were related to (any form of) “sport sparring”. Kata, was designed to practice “Life Protection”, and was not any form of “sport” or “competition” practice. 
  When student's are shown the movements of a kata, initially those motions are performed in a regimented “metronome” like manner. This is done to assist the practicing student in being able to memorize the individual motions contained within that kata. As the student progresses in their study, they are shown an “application”manner of performing the kata. This consists of performing those same learned motions in (more closely resembling) the manner which they would be actually utilized. Students are encouraged to attempt to interpret their own meanings for each of the motions contained within each of the 12 standard kata taught within Oyata's system.
  Taika teaches that kata motions, are like letters of the alphabet. When all “lined up” they don't (really) spell anything, but when taken individually, and then combined with other letters (including those letters from other kata), you are then able to spell words, and (eventually) can write sentences (with those letters).
  When attempting to interpret those motions (Bunkai), student's should keep several things in mind. There is only 1 presumed opponent, Motions can be representative of (either) the forward, or the reverse application of a given motion. The opponent will commonly be (or at least initially) located directly in front of the practitioner (performing the kata). A stepping action, can represent a kick or a step (and “vise-verse”). A clenched hand, can represent a fist, or a grab (and be representative of the practitioner's or of the aggressor). An arm (and/or it's motion) can represent the arm of an aggressor, or the practitioner's own arm.
Understanding why the Body Positions are Being Taught, 
and their Use in the Application of the Techniques taught within Oyata's System
  When student's begin their instruction, the most common initial instruction will be of the body positions that Te utilizes. These are usually referred to as “Stances”. The purpose of these stances, is to provide the student with a stable platform for which to enact or perform the taught motions while maintaining a position of stability. These positions are usually in a constant state of transition (from one, to another) throughout a techniques implementation. Their practice, also develops a feeling of familiarity or comfort with their utilization.
  The majority of these stances, are not awkward to maintain (during their use), though when first presented them, they may seem so. These stances are prevalent within the majority of martial art systems. This usually is from their appearance within the numerous kata that are commonly practiced and are also practiced by the student's of Te.
  One of the (many) fads throughout the martial arts community, is the practice of shallow stances being utilized. This is (most often) an attempt at creating a more realistic (and in their view justified) application of those traditional stances. What needs to be considered, is that the majority of those systems (advocating this shallow stance use) is that they rarely teach (any form of) Tuite (the grappling art which Taika developed). If they do, then it is (usually) being taught as a separate skill set, and is rarely incorporated into their (general) defensive technique applications.
  When we drop our stance, we are also creating the opportunity to utilize our leg's (as well as our body weight) in combination with the arm's striking action (during the completion of a counter-strike). If your able to generate a strike that can produce 60lbs of striking force, and your weight (say, 160lbs) is added to that, then you are now producing approximately a 200lbs strike. Granted, there are other mediating factors to be considered into that equation, but regardless, by utilizing your body weight with a striking motion, you will increase the impact force of that strike. By lowering your stance (through the bending of your knees) this is a much simpler task to achieve.
Striking Techniques and their Utilization in Te
  The practice of any martial art includes various methods and forms of striking. Though many of these are similar between styles, the difference often comes from the principles of their application. The majority of martial arts, teach the concept of blocking (an aggressor's in-coming strike or kick). The term block infers placing between, or stopping an action or motion. In Te, we have chosen not to name these actions as being blocks (though they may often serve a similar purpose).
  Too often student's presume that because something is being called a block, they need only place it between that moving object and it's intended target (thereby blocking it). Oyata teaches, that an opponent's limb (that is motioning towards them, and is intending to cause damage/injury to us) should (instead) be struck. To some this may be viewed as a matter of semantics (and could be argued as such). But, it should be remembered that how we name something, is how we will perceive it (and therefor treat it). We desire that incoming limb to be struck, and hopefully damaged (so it won't attempt to strike us again). 
  When beginning Te, a student is soon taught the Milking Punch. The name refers to the motion that the punching hand makes at the conclusion of it's travel (after having made contact with the intended target). Student's are often (first) introduced to the suburito, a heavy wooden sword. The suburito is utilized for forearm development, and for learning to punch correctly, and with power. Swinging this heavy weapon over one's head, and then stopping it (in front of one's chest) works the muscle's of the forearm (which are the same muscles utilized when grabbing, and for maintaining a straight wrist when punching. The motion made by the user's hand/wrist (when swinging the suburito in the described manner) motions the user's wrist identically as when performing the Milking Punch.
  When practicing this punching motion (in formation, or during an exercise) we begin with the hand's placement being slightly to the front of the user's hip, at about the height of the belt-line (if one were wearing pants, and were to tuck their thumbs into their waist/belt line, this would be about the correct placement). We never pull the elbows back, and align the hands to either side of the body to begin an exercise or routine practice. When working on punching (repetitions) “in the air” (as when in formation), our punching practice is began from the aforementioned position and proceeds forward and upward to the desired height of the strikes termination. At the end of this motion the hand should end at a 45ยบ angle and does a slight sideways motion, pushing the fore knuckle forward (hence, the milking action/description, and identical to the motion made when using the suburito).
Foot and Leg Techniques Utilized in Te
  Martial arts (in general) are best known and recognized for their use of the feet (in a confrontation). Oyata's methodology though using the feet and legs, does not generally focus upon their use as striking implements,. Using the feet (or legs) does play an integral part of creating a complete technique, but to overly focus upon the feet alone would prove to be (considered) a liability. Unlike many (if not most) karate systems being taught,
  Oyata rarely (if ever) will teach to use a leg technique (“kick”) above the waist of an aggressor (unless that aggressor should already be down upon the ground). The legs, being the basis for establishing one's stability (be it during a confrontation, or not) are carrying the weight of the body that they support. Generally, that weight is in a constant shift (from one to another) between the two of them. Student's will be shown how to differentiate as to which leg (at any given time) is carrying the majority of that weight. By being considered the one to be carrying that weight, that leg's nerves are then considered to be active (and therefor, a viable target to be struck). With our legs (already) being down there, it makes more sense to utilize them to strike those targets that are located “below the waist” (we're not talking rocket science here).
  To do so, we will commonly utilize a “straight” kick. This is one of the first kicks shown to beginning students, it's also one of the most utilized kicks in the repertoire of Oyata's methodology. With the majority of our practice beginning in a natural stance, this is where this kick is (both) practiced, and utilized.
  When (first) using this kick, the knee is quickly raised to the center line of the body. This is initially done as a groin cover/blocking action. The raised foot is now extended outward (intending) to make contact just above the opponent's knee (and along the “inner-side”of the lower thigh) on the aggressor's leg. The striking leg should then make a “pushing” action (using the “bottom” of their foot), which results in rolling the aggressor's knee towards their outer side. This will (both) rotate the receiver (uke) towards that side, collapse the leg, and (quite probably) damage the ankle of that leg. Because of the hazards involved, practice is usually kept slow and controlled. Practice can be sped up, if the uke shifts their weight to the “opposite”leg (that isn't receiving the kick) and the tori (the one doing the kicking) demonstrates controlled restraint (by not “blasting” the uke's leg), and only emphasizing the pushing aspect of the strike.

  Contrary to what some systems would have you believe, Tuite is not universally taught within every Okinawan school of a martial art. There may very well be some form of “Torite” (which is the Japanese term for grab-hand), but Tuite is the term Taika began using for his form of this art. He combined the Okinawan pronunciation of the word for grab (Tui, pronounced Twee) with the Japanese word for hand (Te, pronounced “Tay”). Since Taika began demonstrating his method/techniques (in the mid 60's-early 70's), numerous other systems have begun utilizing the word Tuite, to describe their version of Torite.
  Tuite, being a form of grappling, is often being taught (by other systems) as being an independent art (separate from “Te”). It should be considered (by any student of Te) as being an integral part of the art of Taika Seiyu Oyata. Taika discovered these techniques (along with others ) hidden within the motions of the various kata. This was done from the encouragement and tutelage provided by his original instructors. They had provided him with quizzes done by illustrating motions from various kata, and asking him what those motions might represent. With time, and practice (along with guidance from his instructor's), Taika worked on developing (what he calls) his inner eye, which is the understanding from watching kata motions, what they represent. He states that all student's of Te should constantly be developing their own, Inner-eye.
  Many people will debate (if not argue) the applicability of numerous Tuite techniques. It needs to be kept in mind, that their implementation (in real-world situations) is not performed the same as when practicing those motions in a class environment. Practice done during a class, is designed to familiarize the student with the technique's principles of execution. Even when this is pointed out, some will still argue the probability of someone grabbing you in the manner practiced during a class(which is not in dispute). The techniques, are SITUATIONAL, meaning only in specific situations will they be likely to occur or have any practical applicability. It also needs to be noted, that the student has (and/or is taught) the ability (with practice) of being able to set up an aggressor to create those unlikely situations.
  Being practiced individually (if not completely separately) from other techniques, often conceals the application opportunities that are (often) available for the utilization of Tuite. During the course of (controlled) kumite, it is very common for individual's (often unwittingly) to grab one-another by the arm(s) and/or push them away, or even to attempt to push them over and/or off-balance. All of these are (neither more, nor less than being) version's of the very standing techniques that are routinely practiced (yet are often forgotten once in the mix of kumite). There are also numerous techniques who's (some will argue sole) purpose is to demonstrate various principles that are utilized within other techniques (whether being “Tuite”, or an individual application's premiss). 
  No technique (whether being “Tuite” or another) should be ignored, nor taken for granted. There is something to be learned, or some way for that motion to be applied, for every motion that has been included in a kata motions. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been a part of that kata, irrelevant motions and/or techniques would hardly need to be included in something designed to be repeated by subsequent generations.

The Practice of Applications Taught in Te
  The term “Applications” is one that was coined (by our school) to describe the (obviously enough) “combining” of several individual Te techniques (and are then practiced together in a more realistic and/or applicable manner).
  These are initially made-up of the simpler motions/techniques and are utilized as defenses from commonly utilized assault attempts (Punches, kicks, Grab's etc.). As the student progresses in their knowledge and ability level, they are shown numerous other “combinations”. These do not (necessarily) become more complicated (in their execution) but only offer greater options of choice for utilization in the various situations presented.
  When first attempting these motions only the hand/arm motions are being practiced. As the student progresses they will begin additionally incorporating the “kicks”with that practice, and finally, will incorporate controlled “take-downs” and ground-based control and manipulation methods in their practice.
The progression of each individual student will most often be different, and will be independently directed by the instructor.
  Kumite, is the practice of (varying-speeds of ) technique application with another training partner. Some systems utilize versions of kumite in order to have competitive matches/contests. Some schools of Te do so also (though not any of the one's which the author instructs at). Te has (it's own) version of competitive kumite (that is practiced by numerous schools in the system). This is referred to as “Bogu-Kumite”. When competing in a Bogu-Kumite match, the participants are wearing “Kendo (like)” head-gear, full chest/rib and back protective gear, and (usually) “fingered” gloves (which allow) for the grabbing of an opponent. Strikes are allowed to be targeted anywhere on the body, except for the groin, and/or the knee's (as all other especially vulnerable locations are sufficiently protected).
  The scoring of Points, are limited to the head and the chest/mid-section. When a point is scored, the match is stopped (though this can vary from school-to-school), both participants return to their original starting positions, and the match resumes. A match is continued until (usually) “3” points are achieved by one of the participants.
  There is also a version of Bogu-Kumite, that has both contestants begin in a natural stance (facing each other), with their hands at their sides. One person is identified as the aggressor, and the other as the defender. Each participant is allowed “3” striking/grappling (which includes kicks ) methods/motions to be utilized (per “round”). “Points” are scored by the defender from preventing a scoring strike to be made by the aggressor during the round, and/or by the aggressor scoring a point from making a “scoring” strike during the round. The Role's of aggressor/defender are alternated with each round (usually) only lasting for a few seconds, allowing each participant 2 opportunities to be the defender/aggressor. Despite the protective gear being utilized, the risk (if not higher odds) of injury make this a very brutal form of competition.
 In regards to the study of "Life-Protection", the practice of "Bogu Kumite" was abandoned by Oyata during the early-mid "90's" (as he felt it had no relation to personal defense).
Instruction of Traditional Okinawan Weapons
  The practice of Okinawan martial arts will often include instruction in the classical Okinawan weapons (often mistakenly referred to as “Kobudo” which actually means "Ancient martial way"), Oyata has also included this area of study (weapons) in his system's practice. Although the use of these weapons is both impractical and probably “illegal” (for most of these weapons), through their practice, many open-hand applications can be more easily understood (much like the practice using the suburito is).
  Various schools will offer (equally) various weapon's instruction (sometimes only being in the instruction of the kata for those weapons). The weapons kata instruction (offered at our school) includes: the “Sai”, the “Tanbo”, the “Chizikunbo”, the “Bo”, the “Jo” , the “Eku”, the “Nunchaku”and the “Manji-Sai”.
  There are (often) various kata available for each of these weapons. For those who are wanting to know, we also have access to instruction for the “Kama”, we choose to not (initially) offer it (#1, because none of our instructor's are versed in it, or it's kata, and #2, because we feel it's usefulness/relation to “open-hand” techniques can be more easily conveyed through practice of other weapon's practice). The majority of weapon's training (in regards to direct utilization of that weapon) is severely limited (if not “illegal” in most U.S. States), hence, we tend to view weapons training to be only useful for historical knowledge and/or for conveying/practicing certain open-hand applications.

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