Class, 4/7

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Natural movement is one key to any encounter. Drunks frequently walk away from accidents because they are relaxed at the moment of impact. While I’m not suggesting that we walk through life drunk waiting for the chance physical encounter to come upon us, I am saying that rigid movement when applying (or receiving) physical technique can only get you into trouble.

Soke frequently talks about ‘being nothing,’ having ‘no thought, no technique’ and lately I am able to see this more and more manifest itself in my training.

This evening, we worked on quite a few ‘walking’ techniques wherein you approach your opponent and strike him with quick short kicks that the casual bystander would see perhaps as a strange step…not a kick. And the favorite demonstration that wowed the crowd was a stern kick to the groin…by pivoting your hips (and your pelvis) forward, you are able to withstand this type of blow, and/or feign injury to set-up your opponent.

Nine times out of ten, a very obvious kick towards the groin elicits the same response in your opponent; they lurch forward, trying to protect themselves, and in so doing, expose their arms for an easy throw. This throw can also be countered by stepping around your opponent’s feet as they go to throw you from one side or the other.

We also worked on a scenario wherein your opponent grabs you by both lapels and starts to push you back…you are off-balance (much as we martial artists would like to think that we always have perfect balance), and must generate the power in your spine to ‘flick’ your hands at your opponent’s chest or arms to have him/her release their grab. Alternately, with the first flick to the chest, you can grasp their arms, drop to the ground, and throw them over your head (using a quick kick to the opponent’s stomach helps too).

Last but not least, the prior attack was modified to include a knife to the throat. This can be countered by the ‘flick’ described above to the stomach, which releases the pressure on the knife just enough to complete an omote-gyaku.

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