Friday, March 20, 2015

3 Old-Style Okinawan Bojutsu Systems

Here are videos of three Bojutsu systems for you to & compare and contrast. These clips are "fair-use" and are included here for comparison and educational purposes.

The first video show the Bojutsu of Oyata Seiyu shinshii (with Rokushaku-bo and Yonshaku-bo). This Bojutsu is from the Ufugusuku (Oshiro) family tradition, and was a system developed for use by Suigusuku (Shuri-castle) guards. The methods employed by these guards needed to include nonlethal force including even methods that could end an encounter with minimal injury (when the opponent post a minimal threat and/or was little more than a belligerent nuisance).

The second video is of Isa Kaishu shinshii, and shows the Ufuchiku ("Police Chief") system of Bojutsu. Like the Suigusuku guards, the law-enforcement professionals of Okinawa  were expected to be able to subdue individuals who posed only a low to moderate threat without causing serious (especially permanent debilitating) injury. So they also utilized similar entanglement methods and disarms.

Finally, the third video is a clip of the Udundi system of Bojutsu preserved by Motobu Choyu shinshii and his heir Uehara Seikichi shinshii. This system of bojutsu is fairly similar the previous two systems, but is more fluid and uses larger and more circular movements with the aim of throwing the opponent (as opposed to just disarming him and/or forcing him to the ground). The method is more sophisticated, but IMO also somewhat less practical, most likely due to the fact that the Udun would rarely (if ever) need to employ their skills and developed increasingly refined methods (that were also more removed from the harsh realities of real self-defense).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Continuous Motion Drills (& Their Hidden Utility)

Continuous motion drills" (drills which are repeated indefinitely in a repeating cycle) and more especially "reciprocal continuous motion drills" (both partners doing the same thing in a continuous cycle) are very useful as a basis for spontaneously inserting techniques.

Used in this way they are fundamentally similar to "sensitivity drills" like Chi-Sau, Push-Hands, or Filipino Hubud-Lubud. Most martial artist understand this intuitively, and when engaging in informal partner practice they will often insert a technique or two into the drill. The partner of course tries to counter and the result is a brief exchange of technique before returning to the drill.

Pretty much everybody does this when doing -informal- kote-kitae/ude-tanren training. Unfortunately, this is rarely taught as a formal method and its full potential is never realized. Luckily, there are gifted karateka who do understand the potential that these drills offer as formal practice methods.

 Here is a great example from Paul Enfiel shinshii of the Goju Karate Center:

Here is a video with Zenpo Shimabukuro, Dan Smith, and Arman (of the Kill Arman show) doing an Okinawan drill that can act both as a form of kote-kitae impact conditioning and as a kakie-like sensitivity drill. It is very popular on Okinawa and is extremely similar to a drill called "hubud lubud" in Filipino styles.

Here is a compilation video I created of various Okinawan continuous motion drills. These Okinawan drills can help develop sensitivity of touch and can provide a basic structure in which to practice close range techniques. Eventually, these drills can/should basically become a form of free-fighting done at close range (ie "trapping range").

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oyata Shinshii Teaching Police Officers in LA

This is truly a rare treat. Although I was given access to this video a couple of years ago, it has only very recently been shared publicly. It is footage of the late Oyata Seiyu shinshii teaching a police training workshop at UCLA in 1990. IMO Oyata shinshii is one of only a small number of true masters of old-style Okinawan karate in the 21 century. I recommend studying this video ASAP, because (sadly) many videos of this teacher are only made available to the public for a sort time.

Here is a brief demonstration video, also from the early 1990s.