Tuesday, March 31, 2009


"Grabbing and pulling hand is the retracting hand"
I remember my 1st impression of karate when seeing practioners withdraw the none "active "hand to their hip and leaving themselves wide open .I thought "no one fights like this "this was later born out when seeing some sparring matches .Indeed no one fights like that not even karate ka.So why the retracting the hand to hip emphasis.It has to do with original intent.
Original intent was to control and subdue an attacker which can not in a lot of cases be accomplished by strikes alone.Karate was never intended to be used in matched fighting between equals but for subduing unprovoked and or criminal assaults.
The habit of not allowing tournament competitors to grab sets them up for defeat by those that do and do it well.
When you retract the hand to the hip think of it as having an attackers arm or jacket even his hair or an ear grasped tightly in that hand as you pull him into your strike .The hair or ear grab allows you great control in steering the heads posistion "where the head goes body follows"for performing take downs and throws.
I encourage my students to spar open handed and grab at every opportunity.
But what of counters to grabs you might ask?I am going to be blunt here 90% of so called self defence techniques taught in any dojo against lapel grabs wrist grabs arm grabs etc are utter bullshit.
Put it to the test next time you practice a lapel grab defence have your partner throw a constant barrage of punches at your head with his non grabbing hand as you try and defend against the grab.The claim is it takes years to develope the proper timing etc etc etc .Any art that requires years of training in order to be effective is basically useless as a means of self defense.

Can these defenses be made to work?Yes by superior body posistioning as revealed thru kata .

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