Sports Karate vs Original Karate

Discussion in 'Karate' started by shotokanster, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    It is a little different, IMHO. For the left foot crescent kick, it is the left hand that strikes to the face or that would hold the head in place, not the right hand. The left foot then brings the head to the right hand after impact. So it is really between the left hand on the face and the left foot on the back of the head that causes the knock out effect (or makes the opponent see stars) because they get hit in the face and they want to go backwards away from the hit but instead they "run into a wall they didn't know was there" which is the crescent kick. The right hand in this case is part of the sandwich effect because after hitting the wall, the opponent then bounces forward into the right hand with the momentum of the foot behind their head.

    Northern Kung Fu influences had high kicks. The technique or application is based on that. If the original karate kata with a waist high kick, that does not take away from the sandwich effect, only different targets.

    A common variation for a waist high crescent kick is the kick to the back of the thigh and using the leg to guide the foot to the back of the knee to buckle the knee. So it is from the same position as the head kick. The opponent is turned sideways facing to your right, for example, and with your left hand you strike across to their face, with your left foot you strike to the back of the thigh at the same time, then your right hand strikes the hip track to ensure that you can pull your leg back (or otherwise you risk the opponent falling on your own leg). The right hand timing is that it meets the left foot so that you can exchange positions and recover the foot to were it is safe from being grabbed or injury.

    So the left foot slapping into the right hand is to develop the timing for the kick and hand to exchange position. The part that is often missed in the kata is that the left hand needs to strike at the face and then the kick comes to the back of the leg and the exchange is made between the left foot and right hand.

    Of course everything is opposite if kicking with right leg, then right hand creates the sandwich and then right foot and left hand meet so that they can exchange positions.

    I can't think of the exact term for it, but when foot meets hand, that means foot goes back to ground and hand takes over. Maybe the term is transfer, like why you check with one hand and transfer seamlessly to the other hand.

    I think this guy addresses the lower kick use of the crescent kick fairly well:

    [ame=""]Tai Chi Chen Taiji Application - Whirlwind Kick - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  2. Th0mas

    Th0mas Valued Member

    Phew! I got totally befuddled reading all the responses, so apologies if someone covered this.

    The hand in the cresent kick motion in kata has a very real application in self-protection fighting. It is a datum for finding the target. period.

    The same applies for the use of the hand with the elbow strike. The hand is used to find and control the target (quite a difficult thing to do in the confusion of a real fight). It is easier to see this with the elbow strike (if you don't cup his head and you try striking your opponent he will quite easily move his head away.).

    For the cresent kick I don't believe the kick is meant to strike at the same height as the datum hand (it is left there for the following elbow strike). Iain abernethy has a good application for it (similar to the sandwich thing above). When your opponent is standing in a natural stance, you hand pulls the shoulder towards you whilst the crescent kick takes out his legs, the head drops to a perfect height for the follow up elbow strike.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  3. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Did you catch that at 1:12 the right hand comes back with the kick and the kick goes into the left hand. However, with the flying crescent (head height) he did not use his hand to come across the face with the kick. Interesting, I wonder what application they are being taught for that flying kick.
  4. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Nice points.

    Again, and sorry for all the posts I'm making. There are multiple levels of details. On one point you have developing the timing and finding the target, which is the first lesson. However, then there is developing the sandwich effect where you are combining two strikes from opposite directions. And then there is the pressure point application where you are hitting specific targets like how the right key fits into a lock.

    For the elbow strike, you can strike to the back of the head with the hand, and then create a sandwich effect with bringing the chin into the elbow strike. As the elbow comes across the chin at a slightly downward 30 degree angle, the finger tips of other hand pull on the brain stem causing the knock out.

    So while I jumped to the pressure point striking, it should not take away the need for the brute force method of timing and hitting a target.
  5. Th0mas

    Th0mas Valued Member

    Hi Rebel

    Yes I agree with you, there are certainly interesting opportunities to be had with the sandwich effect - round house block with double palm strick at the end of Nijushiho (don't know the japanese term for the technique), with correct timing striking the side of the body and jaw at the same time can be absolutely devastating (learnt through personal painful experience).

    ...and please don't apologise, carry on with your posts - great reading
  6. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    *amused that her one comment about handsmacking created a whole discussion about the cute little mikazuki geri. ^^ *
  7. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    I'm not sure I'm visualising this correctly. Are you saying that the left hand strikes the head just before or at the same time as the left foot? From the same direction (forehand) or the opposite direction (backhand)? And then the left foot pushes the head into the waiting right hand?

    Fair enough, its not for me to comment on the applications of Northern Kung Fu. But I don't believe for one moment that a head height kick is what the Okinawans had in mind when they encoded this movement into kata.

    Oh agreed, I did mention 'sandwiching' myself after all.

  8. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    The timing is left hand strikes at virtually the same time as left leg (left leg should strike just a little bit before the left hand)... this is the pressure point timing for two relaxed and fast hits (like when you clap your hand together). If both are to the head, then targets are back of head and face. If kick is low then target of hand strike is the upper chest or throat.

    The timing is a bit tricky because you "show" them the hand before the kick hits as a bit of a distraction.

    From the opposite direction (backhand) only you turn your hand over so it strikes with the palm.

    In the idea of the pressure point strike, it is left hand and left foot together... the right hand could also strike at the same time as the left hand striking.

    However, the pressure point strike is perhaps obfuscated by the more generic movements of a kata. So you don't see the action of the left hand but only see the left foot and right hand come together.

    Anyway, what you end up with is a crescent kick to the back of your opponent's head that causes them to be stunned and lean forward into the right palm strike. The left foot would be on the back of the neck of the opponent at the time the right palm smash hits.

    There are a few hidden high kicks in Okinawan karate. They were described to me as "secret weapons" because you would not see them in forms. In particular the kick to the throat striking with the big toe was one of these secret weapons. Such a kick with the toes meant that the karateka must condition the toes for such a strike and continue to do so as the toes, like fingers, require conditioning to be a good striking surface.

    I believe the crescent kick combined with the palm strike from the other side is another one of these techniques that you would not see visibly in forms but is hidden and only revealed in bunkai.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  9. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    Thanks for the clarification Reb.

    I must confess that I’m not seeing the head shot you describe as an application of the kata movement for a couple of reasons.

    1. More generally, it sounds like a rather athletic movement, rife with possibility for going totally fubar. From the position you described there are a host of other things that you could do that are safer to do yet equally effective. Why commit to a high risk tactic when there are safer equally effective options?

    2. I don’t really see it mechanically corresponding to the kata movement. In what you describe it seems the key component is the timing and placement between the kick and the same hand. Yet this is not practised at all in the kata. This may only be a personal point of view but I just don’t buy into applications that are not either mechanically or tactically similar to the kata movement. IMO practising the kata should improve your ability to do the bunkai - but this can only be the case if there is a mechanical or tactical link between the two. Not wishing to be contentious, but I just don’t see that link between the kata and the technique you describe.

    OK, this as a technique I can buy into, but I don’t see it as an application of this particular kata movement. The key principle in this technique is that the same side leg and arm are moving in opposite directions, scissoring the opponent’s body between them. I regard this as ‘scissoring’ rather than ‘sandwiching’ as it works at 2 different heights at the same time, thus applying opposite forces to the opponent’s upper and lower body.

    As discussed above, scissoring does not happen in this kata movement but there other kata movements where it does appear. Ironically perhaps, one such movement is one of the places where I was decrying the modern addition of a crescent kick! In Bassai Dai, just before the actual crescent kick you turn / step forward into a straddle stance with a low knife hand block. Here is the scissoring action. You can swing the leg but you don’t really need to. The leg can just step in behind the opponent’s lead leg, barely leaving the floor. Pressure is applied to the opponent’s leg not just by the momentum of your own leg but also by the way you drop into straddle stance. As you drop into stance your lead arm levers the opponent’s upper body back. Hey presto they go down with no loss of balance on your part, and using only the mechanics of the kata movement.

    I enjoy a good toe-tip kick myself. I think in this example I’d like to bring the opponent’s head down a bit before delivering the kick - not just to make the kick easier but also to break the opponent’s balance, so that momentarily they’re too busy righting themselves instead of hurting me or avoiding the kick.

    I don’t worry about conditioning my toes. Mostly when I ‘get into fights’ I’m wearing shoes and I always reserve the toe-tip for snap kicks to soft targets.

  10. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I see your point. I was going on about a more hidden bunkai.

    I learned that every movement could have multiple applications.

    For the crescent kick there is also multiple applications against an arm. The most generic is perhaps simply kicking the opponent's arm to the side as a surprise, maybe getting them to drop a weapon.

    A little more complex is to grab the arm, extend it and crescent kick over the top of the arm for an arm bar or an omoplata.

    And the break version of the above is to slap the wrist one direction while kicking the elbow in the other direction for a quick hyperextension break (which may not break but will stun the arm) followed by an elbow to apply an armbar.

    Just some thoughts.
  11. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    I wholeheartedly agree re: multiple applications. However, a few years ago I had a revelation...

    People present all sorts of things as bunkai, but there should (IMO) be a straightforward way of working out whether a technique can truly be considered bunkai of a particular movement. And that, I realised, is simply whether the technique embodies the principles expressed in the kata movement (ignore for a moment whether its a practical, useful technique or not - that's another issue). If it does embody the kata principle, then practising the kata solo will help improve/reinforce your performance of the technique against an opponent. If it doesn't, then no amount of solo kata practice will have any effect re: that particular technique.

    Of course, it might be argued that the kata is a mnemonic device, as long as it reminds you of a particular technique then that's enough. I don't buy into that. It might have some value for a teacher in remembering what to teach next, but it doesn't help the practitioner in polishing their technique. IMO -if you need a reminder, then write it down.

    So I don't see any need, or any evidence, of secrets associated with kata that are not 'shown'. But there are loads of hidden techniques in kata - they're hidden in the best place, right in plain sight! That way, the practitioner gets to practice them but the observer is completely ignorant of what's going on.

    I don't like it, but I grant that there are times when things are going so badly that this might be the best option you've got available.

    I like this more. Its similar to one I mentioned earlier where you sweep your leg over the arm, kick the head and bar the arm with a combination of leg and arm working together. But I would give this credence if you've already dropped the opponent part way down and you've got hold of their wrist. Trying it on a standing opponent would seem rash to me.

    Not so keen on that one - sounds a bit fiddly and quite reliant on accuracy when you're not sticking to the limb. If I could manage this then I could definitely manage the same with just my arms - a far less risky option.

    A variation on the same theme springs to mind though: from a cross-arm wrist grab if I grab the opponent's wrist and manage to blind-side them, then maybe I could swing my other leg straight up to strike the triceps tendon. I specify the triceps tendon as I want to avoid bashing my thigh or shin into the tip of their elbow. I'm not sure it should count as an application of crescent kick though, given that the leg would need to swing straight up not inwards. I'd also need to play with it a bit to decide whether I thought there was any value in it.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  12. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    The kicking straight up to break the arm was a counter I was taught to someone that leaves their jab out. At the same time as the kick, you use your hand to strike to their hand or wrist.

    Lots of different combinations use this same timing of hand and foot.
  13. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Yes, in this variation the opponent would already be dropped part way down. Like in this video:

    [ame=""]Mikazuki geri - YouTube[/ame]
  14. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Hey Mike,

    Found this one. At about 1:30 in the video looks like the movement was interpreted as a shoulder lock followed by leg sweep. Didn't you mention something like this?

    [ame=""]Bunkai Heian Godan - YouTube[/ame]

    Then the next movement shows the crescent kick striking the arm followed by an elbow to the back of the head (kind of like how I mentioned the crescent kick could be used to strike the arm).
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  15. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    Hi Reb

    I like some of dandjurdjevic's stuff. This one showed some promise, it hadn't occurred to me to swing the leg over the shoulder when doing a nikyo. I think I'd have preferred to drop the opponent lower before throwing the kick. I'd also prefer, rather than nikyo, to rotate the opponent's arm over, the combined effect making it very difficult for him to do anything useful with the other arm. But I can see where the whole thing could work well if you time it right -crack the nikyo on sharp and throw the kick while he's still dropping.

    The Heian Godan bunkai vid - I hated that! I wasn't at all convinced by the mikazuki techniques, but to be fair that may in part be due to them being presented in such a stultified unrealistic performance. Whatever it is of value that people see in these demo's I just don't get it.

  16. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

  17. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    What do you mean that's not going to work on t3h 5TR33T?

  18. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I'm sure if anyone attacked you like that on t3h STR33T it would work perfectly my dear Llama. :)
  19. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    That's all I need to know, my dear JWT!
  20. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Hard to find examples of my preferred way to do a crescent kick, but basically here is an example. The foot comes up and just step through the target.

    [ame=""]Cory Tait vs. Dino Gambatesa KO - YouTube[/ame]

Share This Page