Taijutsu uke-nagashi, the 45 degree step

I think most of you have heard about the 45° step when you do the basic jodan-uke for example, this does not mean that you end up in a 45° angle to the attack that I so often see. I think this is a misunderstanding, and I will explain here so that you have to be an idiot if you don’t understand ;-).

But first let’s make some reference points. To get the distance right we need to understand that the opponent will hit you in the head with his right fist. And that you want to end up at a safe distance where you can block the opponent’s right arm from the inside without being to close or too far away. So you need to move your whole body as one unit about one arms length. So measure how far that is. I will use the tatami mat as a reference point so that you can easily understand. I recommend that you also use the tatami mat as I do here so that you can do the step without looking. And then look down and check if you are on the correct spot, angles and length wise.

Remember that you move the body one arm’s length, it doesn’t matter how long the opponent’s arms is. If he knows how deep he should punch (just through the target and not an inch more!) it will be perfect distance for you.

referencePoints1

When you move from point A to point B in the first step you should have the exact same angles but one arms length further back to the side. You should have rotated the whole body about 30° to the left, but the angles and alignment should be the same.

referencePoints2

So when you start in the basic Ichimonji no kamae both heel’s should be on the same line and pointing directly against the opponent’s center. I won’t go into detail about anything else than the footwork here. I might do a part two of this tutorial later?

stepb1

The right foot and toes should be pointing exactly 45° back to the right against the other corner of the tatami mat. Keep a rather low position with both knees bent (in basic training, be extra low), more weight on the right leg.

stepb2

Lift the right foot and push the body strongly and quickly back to the right with the left foot. You should explode from the position, so make sure the front leg is not too straight. Do not move the left foot first (I say that this is a bad habit). If you keep your right arm straight against the opponent, he will not step on the left foot, as he have to move around your arm.

stepb3

The right foot should go exactly 45° towards the corner of the tatami. Note how the right foot have turned a little, but the heel should be on the line. At the same time the left foot should follow the right foot in a straight line.

stepb4

As you can see this angle is about 30° from the starting point. Also worth mentioning is that the feet’s is never this wide apart as it is rather a jump than step, step. It is important that the upper body should not go anywhere else but straight backwards to the side as if you where on wheels.

stepb5

See how the left foot ends up on the same line. Now you have moved the body 30° back to the right. You should end up in the exact same position as when you started. Your kamae is “closed” and good, aimed directly to the opponents inside.

stepb7

From here you block and take his balance… as you can see you have also opened up the opponent’s lower region. You have the opening where you will place the right foot as you step in and counter with your own attack.

Training drill

A very good training drill is to stand in Ichimonji no kamae and move from point A to point B as explained above. Repeat this several times, you should move in a big circle keeping a perfect Ichimonji no kamae the whole time. Then change side and do it to the left. This is a good exercise that strenghten your legs and gives you a good foundation.

Happy training!

/Mats

緊縛 Year of the rope

The theme of this year is the rope. The rope can be used to describe many things…

The rope is flexible, it has no static form. It change form depending on circumstances. We should strive to be the same in our Taijutsu.

The rope can tie your weapons together, it can hold things together. When you use the rope for tying things together you should make the knot very easy to release, in a way that you quickly can release everything and free the rope. In Taijutsu, use the same principle. You can tie the opponent up, but you should be able to quickly get free. For example the ever so popular jujidori armlock from judo and MMA cage fighting is not it.

The rope can be used as a net, or linked to many things. Like the synapses in your brain, or cables between the internet routers. If you need to use a weapon in Taijutsu you know how to get it and use it without thinking. Because you already made a whole system where everything is the same. You don’t need to think because everything is already linked by the synapses.

Also you can psychologically tie up your opponent in Taijutsu as if you really had a rope in your hands. If you belive it strongly, do it as if you had an invisible rope. The opponent might feel trapped and confused… maybe!

TCJRNM Sanshin no Kata (warm-up drill video)

I just uploaded a new video on YouTube, please check it out, give comments and ratings :-).

This is from the forth coming Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki DVD coming sometime this summer. I’m not sure if exactly this segment will be on the DVD (it is a little too long I think?), I will decide this later when I have all the material filmed and edited.

TCJRNM Sanshin no Kata (warm-up drill)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A63TvGQAYg

/Mats