Entrance to the Barn Dojo....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Third Principle...in no particular order

"Block the hands, protect against an elbow, but attack the head."

Attacking the head in the last
technique of Sanseiru.

The sequences or combinations in the Goju-ryu classical subjects begin with how to block or receive (uke) the opponent's attack, whether it is a punch/strike or a grab. But in the Goju kata, the defender will always go for the opponent's head or neck. These techniques are far more lethal. The idea, of course, is that this is a system of self-defense; it is not meant for sparring or sport. I have already spoken about this idea in reference to the "dreaded arm bar" of Seipai kata. But it is also true of the last technique in Sanseiru, for example.
Attacking the head
in Saifa.
Or this apparent middle-level punch in Saifa.
Or this elbow technique to the back of the neck or head in Seiunchin.

This is something to keep in mind when analyzing kata or looking for bunkai. The initial technique blocks or receives (uke) the opponent's attack. Sometimes this initial technique may be accompanied by a simultaneous attack with the other hand. However, whether the attack is simultaneous or not, this is followed by a bridging or controlling technique.  Once you have bridged the distance, or have hold of the attacker, look for the finishing techniques. These finishing techniques almost always involve an attack to the head.
Attacking the head in Seiunchin.

Even the seemingly ubiquitous mawashi-uke is mostly used against the opponent's head and neck when we see it in kata.


  1. Hello, sensei, and hope all is well.

    Just piping up to let you know I read your blog, and find it good reading. I do like the theme of the recent ones, of principles...in no particular order. :)

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