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    Default There is no block

    "There are no blocks in Karate,only striking and locking."
    --Eizo Shimabukuro

    "There is no 'uke' in karate. There is 'tsuki'(thrusting). There is 'Geri' (kicking). There is 'ate' (striking). But there is no 'uke' in karate."

    --Teruo Chinen



    comments?
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: There is no block

    clearly Eizo forgot to tell Teruo about the locking.
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    Default Re: There is no block

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    "There are no blocks in Karate,only striking and locking."
    --Eizo Shimabukuro

    "There is no 'uke' in karate. There is 'tsuki'(thrusting). There is 'Geri' (kicking). There is 'ate' (striking). But there is no 'uke' in karate."

    --Teruo Chinen



    comments?

    As far as the first comment, it guess it could be looked at as finding offensive applications in the kata through traditional bunkai. It could also mean developing an offensive mindset, every action designed to defeat the opponent. Kind of like the one strike, one kill mentality.
    The closest interpretation for the second. Thrusting, kicking and striking are all action found within karate and can be practiced without a target. Uke is the object that said actions are performed against. Sorry, but my understanding of eastern thought is rudimentary at best.

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    Default Re: There is no block

    The hard part about any quote, and especially something like this is to know the context of what they were saying and what was specifically being discussed.

    As background, Eizo Shimabukuro, was the younger brother of Tatsuo Shimabuku (alternate spelling) the founder of Isshin-Ryu. Eizo also studied with Chojun Miyagi and Chotoku Kyan along with learning from his brother. Eizo teaches a form of Shorin-Ryu. Terou Chinen is one of the top instructors in Goju-Ryu and comes from that background. As you can see in the following video from Chinen, there is blocking, striking, kicking, and locking.


    Part of what they say, knowing a little about those styles, is in the semantics. For MANY people (including the okinawans and japanese) they use the word "uke" to mean "block", even though it is well known that it means "to recieve". When we think of "block" we assign the meaning that it means to "stop" something, in okinawan karate NOTHING is done in a vacuum without the consideration of the followup. In the original Ippon Kumite's (which were based on Renzuko kumite--continuous sparring) the purpose of the drill was to deal with the opponent's attack so they couldn't continue. The "block" was meant to take the attack and turn it to your advantage, or in other terms to recieve and accept it. You were not concerned in just "stopping" the punch/kick, you were changing the opponent since the attack and opponent are the same thing. It would VERY much be like in EPAK that the initial technique controls the HWD of the attacker.

    So when you watch the video of Eizo Shimabukuro, it looks like he is "blocking" some of the attacks, but you only see the ippon, or one point in time that is being trained to set up what would follow at deeper levels. You are not seeing the follow up that is inherently included in the kenpo self-defense techniques and why when you do see the two person application drills it looks very "kenpo-ish".


    Goju-Ryu bunkai with Taira Sensei
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

    Romans 13:4

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Blocking is an important step in the learning and training process. Strong blocking, like good breakfalling, can protect someone in far more scenarios than just an assault. I don't think we ever abandon blocks, but their philosophy and application changes as a student progresses. When I first learned a block it was setting up a barricade to protect my body against a strike. Now my philosophy is much simpler. If a strike is coming, don't be there.

    I've heard seniors say "There are no blocks in Kenpo" much like the two quotes in the OP. Context is king when it comes to interpretation. Blocks are important, but at some point they cease being what they were at the beginning.
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    Default Re: There is no block

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    "There are no blocks in Karate,only striking and locking."
    --Eizo Shimabukuro

    "There is no 'uke' in karate. There is 'tsuki'(thrusting). There is 'Geri' (kicking). There is 'ate' (striking). But there is no 'uke' in karate."

    --Teruo Chinen



    comments?
    A block is a deflection and a parry is a redirection of something or someone invading your space. Therefore a block is a redirecting strike with a particular idea of zone cancellation in American Kenpo.

    Uke...those are crash test dummies, all martial arts have such a training tool otherwise they are air training and equipment training which will get you dead in a combat situation.
    “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”Albert Einstein

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    Default Re: There is no block

    I'm reading an interesting book on bunkai which puts across the premise that maybe what the Okinawans taught the Japanese as blocks are actually not. Upward block is really a forearm up under the chin, inward block really a hammerfist, , etc.
    Not saying I buy it in totality, or at all, and not sure the author does either, just exploring a little....
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Instead of "Blocking" shouldn't we be checking our opponents ability to hurt us? Blocking would then be just one of the many ways we do that. Rather than thinking in terms of offense or defense, we simply cancel that guy.
    Also Mastering Tsing Tao.

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Would give credance to the idea that katas contain more information than some believe.

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    I'm reading an interesting book on bunkai which puts across the premise that maybe what the Okinawans taught the Japanese as blocks are actually not. Upward block is really a forearm up under the chin, inward block really a hammerfist, , etc.
    Not saying I buy it in totality, or at all, and not sure the author does either, just exploring a little....
    That idea would fit in with their focus on pressure points
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    Default Re: There is no block

    I'll try and find the blog post by Charles Goodin, curator of the Hawaii Karate Museum. He talks about how once you put a label on the motion in the kata it becomes/became frozen with that idea. Once pictures were taken to put into books showing kata and publishers required a label to call it, everything became a "block" since that was easiest to show and talk about. So, all those motions were something else at one time and still continue to be so when you look deeper.

    One of the examples Mr. Goodin gave was a+1=2. At first glance if asked to find "a", most people with basic algrebra would say a=1. Using the karate analogy, we just solved for "chudan uke" = "block". But, what if later on we were told that "a" is actually a complex equation how many ways can we still get to the answer at 2?
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    "There are no blocks in Karate,only striking and locking."
    --Eizo Shimabukuro
    This reminds me of one of the sayings in the kali system that I study, "there is no defense, only offense and counter-offense." This isn't to be taken you are never in a situation where you are defending yourself, but rather that you should be immediately attacking the attack. It is an attitude and approach that permeates the system, and quite frankly you can find similar approaches in most historical combat systems. Oh and in the Ed Parkers "Kenpo Karate" he describes what most now call blocks as "basic strikes."

    “These are a few of the basic strikes of Kenpo Karate. You will be amazed when you discover the many counters in which these few strikes can be utilized. These strikes can be used against all kinds of blows and kicks. p.67
    "There is no 'uke' in karate. There is 'tsuki'(thrusting). There is 'Geri' (kicking). There is 'ate' (striking). But there is no 'uke' in karate."

    --Teruo Chinen
    I suspect this comes from the etymology of "uke." Uke roughly translates as "receiver," so there is no "receiving" in karate which correlates to Shimabakuro Sensei's statement.
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    Default Re: There is no block

    Shuto Uke = knifehand block. EZ. But is that all the movement can be used for? No. Apps abound, for those willing to think beyond the initial print.

    In shiled-bearing fencing, you learn the simplest action of using a shield in battle: Put it between you and the incoming swing, and after the clang in your ears has left immediacy, swing your sward back at the guy what swung on you.

    Then, if you live through your first few battles, you start exploring new applications. Screw blocking his sword strike; side-step it and thrust the tip of your blade into his windpipe.

    Then you get better. Screw side-stepping... when you see him start to contract his muscles to gather himself up for the task of swinging his blade, dart in and stick the tip of your sword into his windpipe.

    Would you have lived long enough to make these growth transitions, were it not for the initial newbie use of your shield? So you teach it to the next rank and file... and they won't mentally let go of the "shields up" stage, to progress to whatevers next. What to do? Write, somewhere, that shields ought not be used in fighting; that battle is not about the shield, but about the side-step, parry, and thrust. The scarred old dogs will read it, and get it. The younguns will turn their head sideways in that doggie "arooo?" look, while practicing getting their shield in the path of an attack.
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: There is no block

    And you can also shove the edge of your shield into somebody's face, or knees, etc.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Quote Originally Posted by punisher73 View Post
    I'll try and find the blog post by Charles Goodin, curator of the Hawaii Karate Museum. He talks about how once you put a label on the motion in the kata it becomes/became frozen with that idea. Once pictures were taken to put into books showing kata and publishers required a label to call it, everything became a "block" since that was easiest to show and talk about. So, all those motions were something else at one time and still continue to be so when you look deeper.

    One of the examples Mr. Goodin gave was a+1=2. At first glance if asked to find "a", most people with basic algrebra would say a=1. Using the karate analogy, we just solved for "chudan uke" = "block". But, what if later on we were told that "a" is actually a complex equation how many ways can we still get to the answer at 2?
    Here is the article as promised.
    http://seinenkai.com/art-bunkai.html
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Hi all - my first substantive post here (I did a post in the meet and greet section).

    I've noticed this topic come up on the web in a number of places including on my own forums, so I wrote this (lengthy) piece!

    http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com.au...no-blocks.html

    It is one of my "soapbox issues" because I'm a big user of "blocks" (which includes parries, deflections, etc.).

    I hope it is of some interest!

    Dan

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    Default Re: There is no block

    I enjoyed the article, as well as the several others linked to it. Good stuff, Dan.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "...I already watched the videos, and quite frankly, they're bullsh*t."

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Quote Originally Posted by dandjurdjevic View Post
    Hi all - my first substantive post here (I did a post in the meet and greet section).

    I've noticed this topic come up on the web in a number of places including on my own forums, so I wrote this (lengthy) piece!

    http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com.au...no-blocks.html

    It is one of my "soapbox issues" because I'm a big user of "blocks" (which includes parries, deflections, etc.).

    I hope it is of some interest!

    Dan
    Thanks for your articles Dan..i really enjoy them
    Tradition is not about the preservation of the ashes, but about keeping the flame alive

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    Default There is no block

    Welcome to the forum! I've really enjoyed reading your articles.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: There is no block

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    Shuto Uke = knifehand block. EZ. But is that all the movement can be used for? No. Apps abound, for those willing to think beyond the initial print.

    In shiled-bearing fencing, you learn the simplest action of using a shield in battle: Put it between you and the incoming swing, and after the clang in your ears has left immediacy, swing your sward back at the guy what swung on you.

    Then, if you live through your first few battles, you start exploring new applications. Screw blocking his sword strike; side-step it and thrust the tip of your blade into his windpipe.

    Then you get better. Screw side-stepping... when you see him start to contract his muscles to gather himself up for the task of swinging his blade, dart in and stick the tip of your sword into his windpipe.

    Would you have lived long enough to make these growth transitions, were it not for the initial newbie use of your shield? So you teach it to the next rank and file... and they won't mentally let go of the "shields up" stage, to progress to whatevers next. What to do? Write, somewhere, that shields ought not be used in fighting; that battle is not about the shield, but about the side-step, parry, and thrust. The scarred old dogs will read it, and get it. The younguns will turn their head sideways in that doggie "arooo?" look, while practicing getting their shield in the path of an attack.
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    And you can also shove the edge of your shield into somebody's face, or knees, etc.
    aye, I believe the shield was actually considered a weapon and not a piece of armour, and was used very aggressively. It's use as a barrier between oneself and the incoming attack was less important than it's use to strike and press the attack. One could use a shield alone, without a weapon in the other hand, as an effective weapon against an armed opponent. I'm thinking there might have been some Roman gladiatorial set-ups wherein one gladiator had use of a shield, without other weapon. I.e, Shield vs. Trident, stuff like that.
    Michael


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