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Thread: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

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    Default Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    The escaping arts of Kosho Ryu are an often misunderstood element of the style. What does it mean to "escape"?
    Escaping could be synonymous with evasion and it should be the first thing that new students of kosho should work on and continuing students should strive to perfect.
    The best thing about learning the escaping pattern of Kosho is that it can be applied to any martial arts discipline, especially to people that like to compete in sparring competitions. It will increase your foot speed and help you to maintain balance in movement.

    Mitose sensei decribed Kempo thusly: " Kenpo art is similar to judo atemi, but the art and philosophy is different. How to maneuver and have your opponent place himself into a position to be attacked is taught by Kenpo."

    "Atemi in Judo?", you say. "I've never heard of such nonsense."
    Not many people have, as it is usually only taught to people that rank godan or higher. Tori will strike quickly at their opponent to off balance (kuzushi - 崩し) them and then complete the throw.

    Mitose sensei also had this to say about Kempo: " Kenpo is similar, in some respects to boxing, but it differs in the fundamentals. Kenpo is purely an art of self-defense. It should not be treated as a sport or game."

    Boxing eh? This is where the footwork comes into play, as well as the old "stick and move". Hitting your opponent without getting hit is something everyone wants to do.....i hope.

    While we do study a lot of kata in the SKSKI, we dont really do any techniques like you might see in EPAK or Tracy Kenpo.
    But, what we do practice are drills to develop a sense of timing, rhythm, and distance.
    One such drill is the 3/8 octagon drill. the name describes the nature of the drill. If done as a 2 man set, you have an opponent strike at you 8 times from 3 angles while you defend or escape from all 8 angles.
    Sounds like fun, right? Of course it does....
    This drill will help you to develop a lot of speed and leg strength....it will also help develop the ability to change direction quickly.

    Here is a description of doing it as a single person drill:
    1. stand in the middle of your imaginary octagon, feet shoulder width apart, thats angle 1 straight ahead. Your weight is on the balls of your feet, back slightly arched forward and your hands are in a praying position with your fingertips inline with the tip of your nose at a comfortable distance away from your face.
    2. Now you are going to step forward, leading with the left foot but pushing off with the trailing right foot (more on that later, but always push off with the trailing foot), and then pull your right foot up so that you're in a pseudo-walking position with your weight still on the balls of your feet. As you step forward, open your hands from the praying position in a clearing motion as if you were parting curtains.
    3. Move back to centre the opposite way, starting with the right foot, and closing your hands back to praying position. That is the complete movement for angle one.
    4. From centre, step back with your left foot to angle 2, following with your right foot (still facing angle one). The hand position here will have you opening your hands from the praying position and setting them up as if you were going to grab your opponents arm by the wrist and elbow, the left hand facing down on top of the wrist, the right hand under the elbow facing up.
    5. Return to centre and the praying position.
    6. Angle 3 is to your left. Step with your left foot to facing angle 3, slide up with your right foot, hands in the clearing position.
    7. Return to centre and praying hands.
    8. Angle 4 is to your right. Repeat step six, only reverse the feet.
    9. Return to centre and praying hands (I see a pattern developing here).
    10. Now we are doing angle 5 and 6. This is done the same as angle one and two, but facing angle five.
    11. Angles 7 and 8. On angle 7, lead with your right foot and use the clearing motion, return to centre, angle 8 will have you stepping back with your right foot bringing back the left with the grabbing motion. Only this time, the left hand is under the elbow, the right hand is grabbing the wrist on top. Return to centre and praying hands.
    12. Staying in the centre, reach down and touch the floor between your feet (frog position) and quickly return to praying hands position.

    This is how you do a single person 3/8 drill.
    Here's an animated .gif to demonstrate:
    3-8drill.gif

    Pushing off with the trailing foot is important because a) your body can remain in position without any extra lateral movement and b) it's faster and more effecient.
    When boxing, to go right you push off with your left and vice versa.
    Staying on the balls of your feet helps to improve your balance and really strengthen your legs. If you doubt your own training sincerity and want to make sure your staying on your toes, try taping some thumbtacks to your heels (yes, pointy end up, you dont want holes in your mats.) believe me, it keeps you honest.
    The frog position at the end of the drill is kind of like a disappearing trick. You can use this position to off balance, strike sensitive areas on the lower legs and feet, or throw your opponent.
    The point of always moving back to centre is that it causes your opponent to be striking at a ghost. You're moving twice to his one movement.
    Work it slow until you get the footwork down and then increase the speed until you can really whip through it.
    If anything, you will get a heck of a leg workout.

    Quotes are taken from: What is Self Defense? by James Mitose
    Last edited by Blackcatbonz; 11-19-2005 at 12:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    DudeLove the graphic!!

    Thanks for posting

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Beyond the obvious escaping benefits, can these drill be used as a blocking pattern. Punching or kicking drills? If so how would it work??


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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    I think that this drill is great for working punches, blocks and kicks, but it does have to be modified slightly.
    Here is something that could be used for a simple kicking drill that would have you kicking back to the centre of the octagon

    Assume the same posture as the beginning of the escaping drill.
    1. step to angle one and use ushiro geri to kick back to centre.
    2. step back to angle 2 and kick centre with mae geri.
    3. side step to angle 3 and kick back to centre with yoko geri.
    4. side step to angle 4 and kick back to centre with yoko geri.
    5. a) step to facing angle 5 and kake geri (hook kick) with left leg to centre b) step to angle 5 with left foot pivoting to face back to centre use right mikazuki geri (crescent kick)
    6. step back to angle 6 and kick back to centre with left mawashi geri.
    7. same as angle 5 using opposite legs.
    8. step back to angle 8 and kick back to centre with right mawashi geri.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Just to add on to my last post.
    for angles 6 and 8 you could also turn to face those angles and kick back to centre with either a hook kick or back kick.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Ryukai has a very similar exercise. There are no set hand positions but you do travel the 8 directions in pretty much the way you describe. Added to that are leaps to each corner and moving in a pivot from the edge of an imaginary box (not an octagon) on the border of the area you perform the exercise.

    This is called square movement, one of the three varieties with drills. The others are triangular and circular movements.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Kosho also has jumping and escaping patterns that use a box and triangle.
    this is just a few of many drills.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Since you are orientating yourself to the center, would it not make sense on #3 and 4 to face the center, instead of away from the center? Potentially giving your back to the attacker

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kai
    Since you are orientating yourself to the center, would it not make sense on #3 and 4 to face the center, instead of away from the center? Potentially giving your back to the attacker
    Good catch. Escaping drills you face away. Attcking drill you do face center.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    the purpose of the drill is to get used to moving. there are many times when someone could conceivably be in a situation that would require them to sidestep and kick back to centre with a sidekick.
    there are no hard and fast rules in kosho that say you must face away when escaping and face centre when attacking.
    the octagon is about understanding strategic placement and timing, having your back to your attacker shouldnt be a big deal.

    but in the end.....its just a drill.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Besides Kosho, wherer else do we find these drills?

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu


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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    the purpose of the drill is to get used to moving. there are many times when someone could conceivably be in a situation that would require them to sidestep and kick back to centre with a sidekick.
    there are no hard and fast rules in kosho that say you must face away when escaping and face centre when attacking.
    the octagon is about understanding strategic placement and timing, having your back to your attacker shouldnt be a big deal.

    but in the end.....its just a drill.

    My teacher was not a big fan of ever giving your opponent your back, maybe that was just him-or he had a bad experience.

    Angles 3 and 4 you would have to go with a back kick, since you are completely turned away.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    ( I was asking more the eybeams or gakusai guy)

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    8 angles is just a way to describe your environment. FMA has 8 angles of strikes. You first apply it to the ground. Then you can also apply it to your opponent.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kai
    My teacher was not a big fan of ever giving your opponent your back, maybe that was just him-or he had a bad experience.

    Angles 3 and 4 you would have to go with a back kick, since you are completely turned away.
    in the kicking drill that i described, the movements to angles 3 and 4 require you to sidestep, thereby facilitating the sidekick back to centre.
    this sidestep makes use of the box escaping pattern that Mitose sensei describes in "what is true self defense?"
    the step you use would be like a shuffle which would have you pushing off with your left foot if moving right or your right foot if moving left.
    the pushing off movement reduces any lateral telegraphing that you might see if you were to just step left or right. it also serves to help connect the column leg to the ground so that the kick can be thrown immediately rather than having to re-adjust once the body becomes settled in position.

    the 3/8 drill while similar in the fact that it uses the 8 angles, is teaching a different skill.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kai
    Since you are orientating yourself to the center, would it not make sense on #3 and 4 to face the center, instead of away from the center? Potentially giving your back to the attacker
    You can indeed do it that way as well. In cases where you turn away, the application would be to respond to an attacker who is behind or flanking you. Then again, in Ryukai these are not "escaping arts" as much as raw body movement (taisabaki) skills. You develop attributes in the sqaure, circle and triangle with taisabaki and then apply them in various environments with taijutsu*-waza.


    * No, nothing to do with ninjas or the Bujinkan

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kai
    ( I was asking more the eybeams or gakusai guy)
    It is found in Ryukai kenpo as part of a set of taisabaki drills. Ryukai uses square instead of an octagon, with lines in 8 even directions.

    Variations of the drill include turning as well as maintaining facing.

    After this, the drill routine includes sinking and jumping while changing direction. The idea is to build the coordination and strength necessary to duck and jump while maintaining posture and moving offline.

    The final part of the drill involves moving to the edge of the square and traversing it with a sequence of shuffles and 90-degree pivots.

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Quote Originally Posted by eyebeams
    It is found in Ryukai kenpo as part of a set of taisabaki drills. Ryukai uses square instead of an octagon, with lines in 8 even directions.

    Variations of the drill include turning as well as maintaining facing.

    After this, the drill routine includes sinking and jumping while changing direction. The idea is to build the coordination and strength necessary to duck and jump while maintaining posture and moving offline.

    The final part of the drill involves moving to the edge of the square and traversing it with a sequence of shuffles and 90-degree pivots.
    that sounds like something right out of the book "what is true self defense?"

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    Default Re: Escaping Arts of Kosho Ryu

    Where is that in the book??

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