¯ o Baseball Magazine’s Shorinji Kempo Goh¯ Book – companion notes in English

Gassh¯ . o In 2000 and 2001, the Japanese publisher Baseball Magazine produced three volumes of explanations of Shorinji Kempo h¯ kei [training patterns] using high-speed photograph sequences. The photographs o themselves are so helpful that many non-readers of Japanese have bought the books, despite being unable to understand the explanatory notes given for each technique. It became clear that providing even a partial translation of those notes into English might be a useful thing to do. This document therefore covers the notes in the first volume, which is dedicated to g oh¯ and ¯ o illustrates twenty-three h¯ kei in six technique families, selected from the syllabus up to 3rd dan. The book o also contains a chapter on Shorinji Kempo’s history, which I have not attempted to translate. I have also made no attempt to restructure the explanations to suit a more natural flow of English, opting instead to provide an almost word-for-word translation that replicates the note-like chunking of the Japanese text. One hope is that this close correspondence of the texts will encourage some bilingual readers to check the translation and let me know about important errors and omissions. I have already received much help of this kind from Tameo Mizuno sensei and other Japanese kenshi in London, but please note that even if the original books carry the authority of hombu and its instructors, the translations offered here are approximate, and are necessarily limited by the translator’s own experience of the Japanese language and of Shorinji Kempo. In line with the international teaching of Shorinji Kempo, the names of all basic technique elements – as well as of the h¯ kei themselves – are not translated. Any reader unsure of the meaning of some expression o should in the first instance ask his or her sempai or branch master. Finally, for the most part in these notes I have avoided expressions such as ‘his or her’ (or ‘their’, for that matter), usually opting for the male pronoun. This is of course not intended to imply maleness of all kenshi, but does happen to fit the fact that these books show only men demonstrating the techniques. Enjoy your training! Kesshu. Aran Lunzer (shodan, jun kenshi) aran@bigfoot.com London, August 2002


Numbers in these titles are the page numbers in the original book. Ni¯ ken o 8: ry¯ sui geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . u 16: uchi uke zuki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Byakuren ken 24: tsubame gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32: chidori gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40: suigetsu gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48: hangetsu gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tenn¯ ken o 56: tsuki ten ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64: gyaku ten ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72: tsuki ten ni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80: tsuki ten san . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88: keri ten san . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kakuritsu ken 96: kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104: mawashi geri san b¯ uke nami gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . o Sang¯ ken o 112: j¯ ji uke geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . u 120: shita uke jun geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128: gyaku tenshin geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136: han tenshin geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144: yoko tenshin geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152: harai uke geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chi¯ ken o 160: jun geri chi ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168: gyaku geri chi ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176: gyaku geri chi san . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188: harai uke chi ni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 7 9 9 10 11 12 12 13 14 14 15 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 21 22 23 24

Ni¯ ken o
This group of h¯ kei is based on j¯ dan attack/defence combinations, and constitutes an essential training sylo o labus for helping beginners master the basic techniques. When higher-level kenshi perform the techniques, rather than single counter-attacks they should practice three- or four-strike sequences.

¯ 8: ryusui geri
the difference between g¯ h¯ and juh¯ o o ¯ o In j¯ h¯ practice, no-one would try to perform kata muna otoshi in response to a wrist being grabbed, or u o gyaku gote as a response to a grab to the upper arm. It’s not even the case that every kind of grab to the lapels can be handled using kata muna otoshi: having grabbed, the attacker might push, pull or twist, and for each different kind of attack there is a different kind of counter-attack. When you think about it, typically in j¯ h¯ you don’t have a range of different ways to deal with a single type of attack. u o But what about g¯ h¯ ? o o Taking ni¯ ken as an example, there can be many different techniques for dealing with the same attack. o You can defend and counter-attack a jodan choku zuki using any one of ryusui geri, uchi age zuki, uchi age ¯ ¯ geri, uchi uke zuki. . . So what criteria are there to limit the responses one can use in g oh¯ ? ¯ o Jumping ahead to the answer: the point is that the techniques you can use when confronting an attacker are constrained by your distance, relative arrangement [tai/hiraki], foot placement, stance and so on. thinking about stance from the defender’s point of view Looking at photo sequence A, we can see that completing the kick in response to the incoming attack takes about five frames. So the time it takes to carry out ryusui geri is comparable to the time it takes to blink. ¯ With such a small amount of time available, whatever body movement you do cannot be complex. The ky¯ han’s listing of basic techniques includes sixteen categories of naming and explanation that o relate to stance: eight are based on the position of the feet, and eight on the way of standing [e.g., weight distribution]. Ry¯ sui geri’s four variants (hidari or migi, omote or ura) fall under the following of these categories: u for foot position, they are all gyaku choji dachi [e.g., as used in ch¯ dan gamae]; for way of standing, either u ¯ zen kutsu dachi or k¯ kutsu dachi. Our photo sequence here shows the hidari mae, omote variant. o According to the ky¯ han, zen kutsu dachi is principally a defensive stance from which one moves o backwards, while k¯ kutsu dachi is principally a stance for moving forwards to make an attack. o In picture A1, the defender has consciously taken up a somewhat zen kutsu stance. He then moves his weight to his back leg, performs ryusui uke, and kicks with his front leg. Essentially, the stance was chosen ¯ so that moving his body in the intended direction would be easy. Trying to perform ry¯ sui uke forwards from zen kutsu dachi would put you in an inconvenient stooping u position; trying to do ry¯ sui geri backwards from k¯ kutsu dachi would involve leaning too far back. In u o neither case could you make an effective counter-attack. But we often see kenshi who only think of ko kutsu dachi and zen kutsu dachi in attack terms, as being ¯ the stances for jun geri and gyaku geri respectively. Therefore, not just for ry¯ sui geri but for g¯ h¯ training in general, one must be conscious of stance and u o o kamae from the defender’s perspective too – understanding in which direction one can smoothly shift one’s weight, and practising the combined defence and counter-attack in response to an attack. To communicate this point to beginners, getting them to practice a simple technique is effective in helping them focus their attention. That’s precisely why ryusui geri is the first g¯ h¯ technique to be o o ¯ introduced. caption p8 Picture 1 shows hidari ch¯ dan gamae; picture 2 shows hidari ichiji gamae. these are the two u most commonly used basic stances for the hokei [patterns] in the g¯ h¯ branch of Shorinji Kempo. The feet o o ¯ are in gyaku ch¯ ji dachi. o 3

caption p9 Ry¯ sui geri does not depend on ashi sabaki [foot movement], but on changing one’s stance u from zen kutsu dachi to k¯ kutsu dachi, or vice versa. In this way one can move the body clear of the o incoming attack, then add a counter-attack. In performing ry usui uke one must not only dodge the punch, ¯ but also prepare both hands to cope with any sequence of further attacks – possibly to j odan or to ch¯ dan. u ¯ caption p10 Ry¯ sui geri is a h¯ kei that involves the body movement called ryusui [lit: flowing water] in u o ¯ order to dodge an attack, and a keri counter-attack. Trying to perform the counter-attack at the same time as the dodge will spoil one’s posture and make the kick impossible. From the stance used to invite the attack, you must move your weight to what will become the standing leg for your kick, and make the counter-attack from a position of stability.

16: uchi uke zuki
a technique is not just a single pattern, but has a range depending on circumstances H¯ kei practice is an extremely important kind of training for mastering the basics of Shorinji Kempo. o For uchi uke zuki, the most commonly practiced form is probably the case shown in our photo sequence – in which the partners take up a tai gamae stance, and in response to a gyaku zuki the defender performs the ura form of the technique. All techniques have at least two forms, dealing with left and right sides. And it’s not unusual for each of these to have omote and ura forms, making four in all. This isn’t variation at the level of different people having their own individual styles; the point is that any given h¯ kei has at least two distinct patterns, rather than just one. o The practice of h¯ kei, put simply, enables one to form habits for responding to some attack with a o defence/counter-attack combination. To form the right habits one must be conscious of the elements that are to be learned, and repeatedly practise them. People who practise at the bare-minimum issoku ikken spacing may find that performing uchi uke zuki with greater spacing is easier; they certainly won’t find that it becomes more difficult. However, people who only ever practise using far space are likely to find that, if attacked instead from close space, the attack will seem faster and the defence habits they have formed will be insufficient to cope. Through practice, attacker and defender must find their bare-minimum neutral training distance, and train to shorten the distance from which they can deal with attacks. caption p16 Uchi uke is performed with fingers and thumb outstretched, and uses want o. By blocking ¯ near the attacker’s fist it becomes easier to use the block to destabilise his posture. captions p17 The omote form of uchi uke zuki: in goh¯ , an ura form is when the defender blocks then ¯ o moves towards the attacker’s rear; moving towards the attacker’s chest is omote. In omote uchi uke zuki the defender ends up directly in front of the attacker’s fist – so go no sen timing (block, then counter) would be too slow. One must use tai no sen, in which the block and counter-attack are carried out almost simultaneously with the attack. caption p18 Uchi uke zuki is a h¯ kei in which a choku zuki attack is handled using uchi uke followed by o a ch¯ dan counter-attack. u To neutralise the attack, rather than depend only on uchi uke the defender can move his front foot diagonally forwards, taking his body away off the line of attack and increasing the block’s effectiveness.

Byakuren ken
This group is made up of g¯ h¯ h¯ kei involving basic dan k¯ b¯ , i.e., two-stage techniques in which a o o o o o blocking hand is immediately used for a counter-attack. The principle in byakuren ken is that a single hand 4

performs the block and counter-attack so rapidly that it is almost a single motion. In performing these h¯ kei, importance must be placed on both speed and control. o

24: tsubame gaeshi
tsubame gaeshi is the basic form of dan han ko ¯ In the ky¯ han, Kaiso describes tsubame gaeshi as follows: ‘byakuren ken dai ichi is a beautiful form o involving a quick hand movement, originally named after the flight of the swallow, that combines a onehanded block and counter-attack as almost a single gesture, followed by a three-hit ren han k o with an ¯ artful tai sabaki. . . . Tsubame gaeshi is the basic form of dan han k o [multi-stage counter-attack], used ¯ when an attacker steps in with sashi komi ashi from hiraki gamae and performs j odan gyaku zuki.’ ¯ From this we can gather that the most important aspect of practising tsubame gaeshi is perfecting the connection of the uchi uke to the shuto giri, as a dan han k¯ . o ¯ points to watch in tsubame gaeshi The number one point is understanding and practising the single-handed combination of block and immediate counter-attack. It is also important not to dodge aside too far at the time of the block. If your body movement is too big, you won’t be able to perform either an effective shuto giri or a smooth ren han k¯ . One of the causes o ¯ of this problem is moving the feet incorrectly, stepping far out to the side. The foot movement in tsubame gaeshi is mae chidori ashi. Consciously step the front foot forwards at a slight diagonal, so that your feet lead the movement of your centre of gravity and stabilise your body’s centre line, enabling you to launch the counter-attack. Understand that the purpose of the defender’s mae chidori ashi is not to close distance for the sake of the counter-attack, but to dodge the incoming punch. The attacker launches an attack aimed at where the defender is standing. What the defender has to do is perform mae chidori ashi and uchi uke as defence, then from a stable posture launch an immediate counter-attack on the opponent who is now within hitting distance. Executing shut o giri paves the way for ¯ an effective ren han k¯ . o captions p25 Taiki gamae is a stance that invites a jodan attack. The stance incorporates neko ashi dachi, ¯ which lets you make a rapid kin teki geri at any time. Whenever you take up a stance, you must be clearly conscious of which areas it establishes as jitsu and which as kyo. In taiki gamae, to invite a j odan attack ¯ you make that part kyo, while making chudan and below jitsu to prevent attacks from coming there. ¯ The key movement in tsubame gaeshi is from the uchi uke (picture 1) to the shut o giri (picture 2). Be ¯ certain to perform the shut¯ giri properly, and not just put your focus on the chudan zuki (picture 3). o ¯ caption p26 In response to the incoming attack, the defender steps his front foot slightly diagonally forwards to move his upper body out of the way, blocks with uchi uke, then performs shut o giri with the ¯ same wan t¯ . The attacker’s step in to perform the attack also sets up the distance for the defender to o counter-attack – so there’s no need for the defender to make a big step forwards.

32: chidori gaeshi
what is the ‘correct’ form of a h¯ kei? o Let’s confirm [from the ky¯ han] the attacker’s and defender’s movements in chidori gaeshi: o ‘Attacker: from hidari ichiji gamae, sashi komi ashi with the left foot, then right-hand j odan gyaku ¯ zuki. ‘Defender: from hidari taiki gamae, (1) mae chidori ashi leading with the left foot, then a dan k o ¯ b¯ in which a left-hand uchi uke turns into an immediate ura te (ura ken) uchi; (2) continuing, perform o 5

ch¯ dan gyaku zuki with the right hand, and slightly close [yose ashi] the right foot. (ren han k o description u ¯ omitted).’ But isn’t it common to see kenshi start in tai gamae and practice chidori gaeshi against a sashikae ashi, jun zuki attack? This isn’t a case of one being right, the other wrong. The truth is that chidori gaeshi can be an effective counter to either gyaku zuki or jun zuki. Given an attacker who intends a j¯ dan punch, it’s perfectly possible that from an especially closeo quarters hiraki gamae he might try gyaku zuki, or that from a rather far-apart tai gamae he might close distance with sashikae ashi and launch jun zuki. It seems that there are some people who, encountering a form that’s different from the one they have always practiced, denounce it as a mistake. But every g¯ h¯ h¯ kei has at least a pair of left and right forms, and many have four for left/right, o o o omote/ura – plus maybe a ren han ko. The ren han k¯ itself can vary endlessly depending on the circumo ¯ stances of attacker and defender, so couldn’t you say that a h okei doesn’t really have a form at all? ¯ One of the easy traps to fall into is focussing too much on a single attack/defence combination, thereby tending to narrow one’s understanding and one’s acquisition of techniques. The standard for judging whether a h¯ kei is being performed correctly should be whether or not the defender, in response to the o attack, performs a sound defence and counter-attack informed by the special characteristics of some family of techniques. dan k¯ b¯ cuts time off the counter-attack o o In the ky¯ han, Kaiso says ‘In byakuren ken embu, importance must be placed on speed and control.’ o But if you fixate on the words ‘speed and control’ and take up stance intent on moving quickly, the tension in your body will tend to spoil your response. Putting together the mae chidori ashi, uchi uke, meuchi smoothly but positively, always working at your own pace, is what will lead you to the desired result of a fast counter-attack. tsubame gaeshi and chidori gaeshi are omote and ura Both tsubame gaeshi and chidori gaeshi are techniques that invite a j odan attack and respond with dan ko ¯ ¯ b¯ . o In hiraki gamae, tsubame gaeshi is effective against gyaku zuki and chidori gaeshi against jun zuki. For tai gamae the opposite is true. First get this relationship clear in your mind, then start with the defender fixed in either migi mae or hidari mae as you vary the relative arrangement [tai/hiraki], and after practicing jun zuki train with gyaku zuki, and so on, to broaden the range of attacks you can deal with. caption p32 Chidori gaeshi and tsubame gaeshi have an omote/ura relationship. The effectiveness of the meuchi is increased by not putting in all your strength but keeping the arm soft. caption p34 The counter-attack in chidori gaeshi is meuchi. Meuchi is an ura te [back of the hand] strike, for which the fingers must be relaxed. Having parried the incoming punch, the defender softens his arm from the elbow down to make a whip-like counter-attack aimed at the attacker’s eyes.

40: suigetsu gaeshi
a h¯ kei that truly embodies all five elements of atemi o When you hear byakuren ken, the feature that comes to mind is probably dan k o b¯ – using the same hand ¯ o to block then immediately counter-attack. But in suigetsu gaeshi it’s not that you use one hand both to block and counter, but that the counterattack involves a dan zuki combination of yoko furi zuki and sh o ken uchi. ¯ 6

Let’s review the attacker’s and defender’s movements in suigetsu gaeshi: ‘Attacker: from migi ch udan ¯ gamae, sashi komi ashi and j¯ dan choku zuki. Defender: from hidari taiki gamae, (1) mae chidori ashi, o hidari uchi uke, and at the same time yoko furi zuki to suigetsu with migi hira ken, immediately drawing the hand away again backwards. Then bring migi shoken back to finish the counter-attack with a swing ¯ down onto keikotsu [the bones of the neck]. (2) with both hands push attacker over; sagari; zanshin.’ In any g¯ h¯ h¯ kei, you have to fulfil the five elements of atemi – namely, (1) the position of the target o o o ky¯ sho, (2) striking distance, (3) angle, (4) speed and (5) kyo/jitsu. u The first counter-strike in suigetsu gaeshi is a yoko furi zuki to the attacker’s suigetsu. As is clear in each of the photo sequences, the attacker’s position after making jun zuki opens up a kyo in his posture – with his weight on the front leg, the front arm outstretched, and ch udan exposed. ¯ Suigetsu must be struck with an upwards blow from directly in front. Because in this case the attacker’s body is half turned away, a choku zuki would arrive at the wrong angle and would be ineffective. By using yoko furi zuki it is possible to deliver a strike at the correct angle for this kyo opportunity. In addition, yoko furi zuki is an especially effective strike in cases like this in which it is used against the trunk from close distance. This is because, by adjustments such as changing the angle of the elbow, you can compensate for being somewhat close or far away as a result of the mae chidori ashi dodge. After the yoko furi zuki, immediately pull the hand away backwards then put in sh o ken uchi to keikotsu. ¯ In this case, too, the five elements of atemi are satisfied insofar as the attack to suigetsu has made the attacker stoop forwards. Together, this makes an effective dan zuki. Of course it is not just in suigetsu gaeshi that it is important to hit the kyusho in the correct way – which ¯ means drawing the attacker into a position of kyo, then, taking into account the separation between attacker and defender, immediately applying a decisive strike by hitting the chosen ky usho at an angle that will be ¯ effective. the kind of atemi practice that h¯ kei let you do o If you examine the tsuki counter attacks used in nio ken, the overwhelming majority are choku zuki. By ¯ contrast, in byakuren ken you find a whole range of counter-attack techniques: shut o giri in tsubame gaeshi, ¯ meuchi in chidori gaeshi, kumade uchi in hangetsu gaeshi and furi zuki in suigetsu gaeshi. Furthermore, these atemi are aimed at kyusho on the neck or face; all maximally effective strikes, that ¯ will work even from close distance. It could be said that the byakuren ken patterns are for coping in close quarters. As part of this they require rapid counter-attack techniques, which put dan ko b¯ and dan zuki to especially good use. ¯ o For practicing atemi such as this, that are used for han geki [counter-attacks] rather than initial attacks, s¯ tai practice is vital. When you practice hokei with a partner, you have to get the hang of correct positiono ¯ ing (which affects physical kyo and jitsu), the location of the target ky usho, distance, angle, and timing – ¯ all needed to make the counter-attack atemi effective. So while there are some elements of training that cannot be achieved by h okei, they do have this other ¯ aspect of enabling the practice of effective atemi. caption p40 The main point of suigetsu gaeshi is the dan zuki, which involves striking suigetsu (photo 1), drawing back the hand (photo 2), then hitting the attacker’s seikotsu with sh o ken uchi (photo 3). ¯ caption p42 Suigetsu gaeshi involves meeting the incoming attack with uchi uke, simultaneously using one’s position alongside the attacker to put in a decisive furi zuki to suigetsu. Then, drawing back the fist from suigetsu as if extracting the elbow upwards, strike the back of the neck with the same hand. After these atemi, finish by pushing the attacker over.

48: hangetsu gaeshi
defence that relies just on the hands isn’t enough In hangetsu gaeshi a defender standing in midare gamae responds to an incoming ren zuki using hangetsu uke and a shita uke oshi dome, then counter-attacks with kumade zuki. 7

Looking carefully at the times where hangetsu gaeshi goes wrong, it seems that the problem lies in the part involving the body dodge. To be specific, the problem arises when a defender tries to perform oshi dome against gyaku zuki while his or her ch¯ dan region is still in the attacker’s path. The result is a posture with the backside sticking out, u from which neither the defence nor counter-attack can be performed well. change from k¯ kutsu dachi to zen kutsu dachi o So what kind of dodge should be performed in hangetsu gaeshi? Let’s have a look at photo sequence B. Frame 1 shows the defender inviting the attack in midare gamae with a slightly k o kutsu dachi stance. ¯ One thing to notice at this point is that his body is somewhat straight-on. In frames 2 to 6, the attacker launches a full-power ren ko against the position where the defender ¯ was inviting. During this time the defender responds to the ren k o by making a side-step to the right, and ¯ changing from k¯ kutsu dachi to zen kutsu dachi. During this time his body can be seen to be more side-on o than when he was inviting the attack. Changing body position in this kind of way allows the defender to dodge the incoming attack as if he just slips past it. Looking in even finer detail, you can see that in frame 3 the hangetsu uke is in contact with the jun zuki, but as a result of the yoko ashi the defender has already dodged clear of the attack. In frames 4 to 6 the gyaku zuki is stopped with oshi dome, but it can be seen that this block doesn’t happen from in front of the attacker but by stepping around to the attacker’s back and stopping the punch from the side. And looking at photo sequence C, in frame 1 the attacker’s and defender’s bodies are in line, but in frame 9, the point where the defender has finished his defence, his body is completely clear of the line of attack. That said, it’s not just a matter of getting out of the way of the attacks; the hangetsu uke and oshi dome combination acts both as a solid defence and a way to disrupt the attacker’s posture, in preparation for the counter-attack. draw in the attack and deal with it There is a tendency for the defence and counter-attack in response to a ren k o to feel somewhat rushed. ¯ However, as long as you aren’t fixated on the hand movements but focus your attention on the footwork and tai sabaki that form the core of the defence, hangetsu gaeshi isn’t so different from shita uke geri, also a tai gamae technique. The point is that if an attacker takes aim and launches his attack, a single step is enough to move the defender away from the aimed-at location. Therefore whether it’s a single attack or some combination, the lower-body movements needed to get out of the way are the same. To put together a defence/counter combination you have to take up stance without being tense, calm your mind, clearly picture the defence and counter-attack, then invite the attack in and deal with it. caption p48 Midare gamae: the front hand guards against jun geri, while the back hand protects the torso. Like taiki gamae, this stance is used when inviting a jodan attack. ¯ caption p49 The attacker’s ren k¯ isn’t avoided by hand movement alone. By changing from k o kutsu o ¯ dachi to zen kutsu dachi and moving the centre of the body, you get the body clear of the line of attack. Not just in hangetsu gaeshi but in goh¯ in general, defence requires a harmonised combination of body and ¯ o hand movements. caption p50 Dealing with the attacker’s ren ko using hand movement alone is virtually impossible. ¯ In response to the j¯ dan, ch¯ dan attack sequence it is vital to accompany the hangetsu uke, shita uke o u defence sequence with a shift of the body’s centre-line and a kai shin [change of body angle]. The blocks 8

should be done not with the intention of intercepting the attacks, but of protecting the face, then protecting ch¯ dan. u

Tenn¯ ken o
A group of h¯ kei involving ren k¯ b¯ . The attacks either involve a sequence of punches, or punching o o o followed by kicking, and all start with a jodan attack. A special feature is punch combinations in which, in ¯ a single effort, the attacker launches right- and left-hand attacks so rapidly that they appear to arrive almost simultaneously – and with the power emphasis on the second strike rather than the first.

56: tsuki ten ichi
the movement of the lower body isn’t complex Tsuki ten ichi is a defence and counter-attack technique against j odan jun zuki, ch¯ dan gyaku zuki. u ¯ Compared with h¯ kei such as those in ni¯ ken, tsuki ten ichi could be said to involve movements of o o high complexity. But that’s only true for the upper body. Studying the defender’s lower-body movement in photo sequences A and B, we can see that it involves an ushiro chidori ashi form of ten shin, followed immediately by keri kaeshi. This is just as simple as the movement in a technique such as ten shin geri. We can also observe that the ushiro chidori ashi lets the defender move out of reach of the jun zuki, and evade the gyaku zuki. That increases the effectiveness of the uwa uke, shita uke combination, allowing the j¯ ch¯ ni ren k¯ attack to be handled without difficulty. o u o If part of the attack hits home, the problem is less likely to be slowness in the ren uke than an insufficient ushiro chidori ashi. Ushiro chidori ashi is a retreat in a diagonally backwards direction; one form of hiki ashi. But we quite often see people doing tsuki ten ichi without attention to the backwards-diagonal aspect – simply moving one step backwards. In most of these cases the defender doesn’t evade the attacker’s gyaku zuki at all, but stops it with the keri kaeshi. The problem with doing tsuki ten ichi like this is that if the attacker turns out to be someone with long reach, or if the attack is especially deep, moving back far enough to deal with the attack will mean that even if the blocks are successful, the chances are that you’ll end up unable to deliver the counter-attack. You must engrave in your mind the fact that ushiro chidori ashi is something completely different from a simple step backwards. Also, to cut down the time you need to perform the technique – so you don’t fall victim to a rapid attack – you have to think carefully about your posture before the technique begins. The preparatory positioning for tsuki ten ichi is hiraki gamae, at neutral issoku ikken distance, in ichiji gamae so as to be ready for a possible keri attack. To help do ushiro chidori ashi from this position, the defender’s weight should be slightly forwards (zen kutsu dachi). If you’re about to run a 100-metre race, you take up position so that as soon as the pistol fires you can start running. Incorrect preparation for a waza is like waiting to hear the pistol before you even get ready. In Shorinji Kempo techniques, where every moment counts, a sloppy stance loses you a lot of time. caption p57 The attacker waits in a somewhat zen kutsu stance (picture 1), then performs uwa uke with sorimi (picture 2), then ren uke with hikimi (picture 3). By moving with ushiro chidori ashi, the defender moves his body off the line of attack (picture 4). caption p58 The attack is a ren zuki: jun zuki then gyaku zuki. By using ushiro chidori ashi and setting his upper body over the back leg, the defender can move the jun zuki and gyaku zuki targets out of danger. As soon as his weight is on the back leg, he can perform a counter-kick with the front foot. 9

64: gyaku ten ichi
one point to watch is the hiki ashi For gyaku ten ichi, the attacker’s and defender’s movements are as follows: ‘Attacker: (1) fumi komi ashi with left foot, then a ni ren ko of j¯ dan choku zuki with the right hand o ¯ followed by ch¯ dan gyaku zuki with the left. u ‘Defender: (1) ushiro chidori ashi to the left, a ren uke of uchi uke with the left hand followed by uchi harai uke with the right, (2) keri komi with right leg, (3) kumo ashi to retreat; zanshin.’ Since the attacker combines his j¯ dan gyaku zuki and ch¯ dan jun zuki as a ni ren k¯ , naturally the o u o defender’s uchi uke and uchi harai uke form a ren uke. To make effective use of a ren uke, the ashi sabaki becomes especially important. One thing to watch for in particular is the hiki ashi. If you make a big step away you’ll spoil your distance for the counter-kick, so the ideal is to make a small ushiro chidori ashi and swing the upper body away, evading the first attack with tai sabaki. If you retreat straight backwards, you won’t satisfactorily get your body off the attack line. So, just as for tsuki ten ichi, a half-hearted ushiro chidori ashi means you won’t be able to evade completely the incoming attack. preparing for subsequent movements is important So let’s check the movements for gyaku ten ichi, using photo sequence B. In frame 1 the defender is standing in ichiji gamae with zen kutsu dachi, inviting a tsuki attack. From frame 2 to frame 7, the attacker throws gyaku zuki. In response to this, the defender moves his body away with ushiro chidori ashi, performing uchi uke while dodging the incoming punch. Because the attacker launches his ren k¯ focussing on where the defender was initially standing, effectively this ushiro o chidori ashi also serves to dodge the second, jun zuki attack. To join defence and counter-attack smoothly, you have to include in each movement the preparation for the next. For an ushiro chidori ashi moving through to uchi uke, you start in zen kutsu dachi. Then if you want to follow uchi uke immediately with uchi harai uke and keri kaeshi, you have to prepare by pulling back the right hand. it’s inviting the attack that makes a technique work Above we mentioned that the attacker launches the attack based on where the defender was standing, but it seems that many people worry about what to do if the attack comes instead to where they have moved. There are also lots of people who, even though they move aside with ushiro chidori ashi, in fact still get hit. What both these cases have in common is that the defender has failed to take on his proper role in inviting the attacks. Where the attacker anticipates the position to which the defender will move, and strikes, the defender gets hit because he moves there. And even if the defender’s tai sabaki is correct, if he panics and moves too soon, he gives the attacker the opportunity to adjust the path of the attack – again increasing the chances of being hit. As long as the attacker is using techniques correctly, his movements are very compact. What this means is that even against a fast defender it’s possible that he can adjust. As defender one must be fully aware of this, and rather than take up stance with the thought ‘I don’t want to get hit’, should make calm mental preparation with an attitude more like ‘Go on, try hitting me here’. caption p64 The moment after performing the ushiro chidori ashi to move the body, and blocking with uchi uke, the uchi harai uke must be ready. And almost at the same time as the uchi harai uke is the jun geri. 10

caption p66 The defender invites from a somewhat zen kutsu dachi stance. In response to the attacker’s gyaku zuki, jun zuki combination (ren ko), he moves his rear foot diagonally backwards to get his body out ¯ of the way of the attack. While moving the feet you must start uchi uke, while performing uchi uke start uchi harai uke, while performing uchi harai uke start the counter-kick.

72: tsuki ten ni
bending and straightening the arm is the key The movements in tsuki ten ni are as follows: ‘Attacker: fumikomi ashi with the left foot, then a ren ko of j¯ dan choku zuki with the left hand, jodan o ¯ ¯ choku zuki with the right hand. ‘Defender: (1) ushiro chidori ashi leading with the left foot, then a right-hand dan uke of uchi age uke followed by uchi otoshi in an inwards direction; (2) keri age with the right leg; (3) taishin [retreat], zanshin.’ A special characteristic of tenn¯ ken attacks is their combination of left and right punches thrown with o no pause, in a single breath. Since the attack is coming as a ren ko without any pause, it would be difficult for a defender to deal ¯ with the attack’s speed if the uchi age and uchi otoshi are broken up as two counts. To perform a smooth dan uke it’s no use trying to keep the arm bent and move it in a path that is almost horizontal. If you actually try to do this, you’ll soon see that it puts severe strain on the shoulder. Trying to use this kind of unnatural blocking movement not only makes it hard to deal with a rapid attack, but could even lead to shoulder injury. Although byakuren ken’s tsubame gaeshi is the archetypal dan k o b¯ [rather than a dan uke], the path ¯ o followed in that case between the uchi uke and shuto giri is highly relevant here. ¯ In tsubame gaeshi, the arm used for the dan ko b¯ against j¯ dan choku zuki is first bent to perform uchi o ¯ o uke, then straightened alongside the attacker’s arm to perform the shut o giri. ¯ Bending and straightening is a very natural movement for the human arm, so it doesn’t put strain on the shoulder or elsewhere. Because of this lack of strain, a fast defence/counter-attack combination is possible. Likewise, if for the dan uke in tsuki ten ni you don’t fix the elbow and try to move it horizontally, but instead make good use of the arm’s flexion and extension, you can perform a rapid dan uke suited to the incoming attack. perform defence and counter-attack using the whole body Let’s confirm the movements involved in tsuki ten ni by looking at the photo sequences. The defender invites a j¯ dan attack by calmly waiting in an ichiji gamae, slightly zen kutsu dachi stance. o The attacker correspondingly launches a ren zuki to jodan. ¯ Looking at frames 1 to 5 of sequence B you can see that the defender dodges the attacker’s left-hand j¯ dan choku zuki with hidari ushiro chidori ashi, then while making a fist with his right hand bends the o arm and performs uchi age uke. Then frames 6 to 8 see him open up his hand again and rapidly straighten the arm to change through to uchi otoshi uke. The reason for making a fist during uchi age uke is that this helps the action of the arm’s flexor muscles, while opening the hand for uchi otoshi uke helps the extensor muscles. What I also want you to notice here is the fact that the uchi age uke is accompanied by the ushiro chidori ashi. Similarly, the uchi otoshi uke block isn’t just a matter of straightening the arm, but also involves a turn of the hips and a thrusting forward of the shoulder. When dealing with an attack, it’s vital not to rely purely on arm movements, but to combine them appropriately with ashi sabaki and tai sabaki. In this way all the body’s movements work together, letting you defend and counter-attack without difficulty. 11

caption p73 So as not to fall prey to the rapid ren geki, the uchi age uke and uchi otoshi uke cannot be performed as movements ‘one, two’ but must be a single stroke. To make this possible it’s important for the arm not to be tense, and for the shoulder and elbow joints to move smoothly. caption p74 To maximise the performance of the arm’s flexor and extensor muscles while performing a dan uke of uchi age uke and uchi otoshi uke, clench the fist for the former and open it out for the latter. It’s vital that the uchi age uke and uchi otoshi uke are performed not as two separate actions, but as a single connected movement.

80: tsuki ten san
when handling attacks, bear in mind what might come next Tsuki ten san and keri ten san both start with the same ni ren attack of j odan choku tsuki, ch¯ dan choku u ¯ tsuki. If you think about what kind of attack could follow this jo, ch¯ combination, you’ll realise that it has u ¯ to be either jun zuki or gyaku geri. Taken the other way round, what this means is that after performing a ren uke in response to a j o, ch¯ u ¯ ni ren k¯ , you had better be in a posture from which you’re ready to deal with either a punch or a kick, o whichever comes. Among the elements that go to make up a hokei there are those that are visible in the form, and those ¯ such as ch¯ soku, happ¯ moku and zanshin that have no obvious appearance. Having performed ren uke you o o must be in a zanshin from which both uwa uke and juji uke are possible, and in order to sense whether the ¯ next attack is j¯ dan or ch¯ dan you must be using happomoku. o u ¯ Additionally, in order to deal calmly with attacks, your mental state and your breathing must be as controlled as they were during your initial stance. your body’s centre-line must not be tilted If you look closely at the defender’s movements in the photo sequences, you’ll see that after performing the ren uke his body’s axis is upright and stable. Both hands, having done their blocking, are in front of the body ready for further use. In general we can say that kenshi who at this point cannot freely respond to either a punch or a kick are typically bent over, and their hands are fully committed either to dealing with a further expected punch or with an expected kick. Having your body stable and upright is exactly what you need so that in response to a punch you can easily perform sorimi uke and an effective counter-attack. But from this position you can also perform hikimi uke or hiza uke, and thus deal with a kick too. caption p81 By accurately blocking the jun zuki, gyaku zuki ni ren k o using ushiro chidori ashi and ren ¯ uke, defending against a third attack becomes easy. caption p82 The way of avoiding the ni ren ko of j¯ dan jun zuki, ch¯ dan gyaku zuki is the same as for o u ¯ tsuki ten ichi, using a ren uke of uwa uke, doji uke. ¯ Having ascertained that a third punch is coming, perform uwa uke and dodge with a movement that shifts your weight to the rear leg, finishing with jun geri.

88: keri ten san
a defence and counter-attack for san ren ko ¯ As was mentioned at the start of this section, the tenno ken family of techniques all have a ren geki that ¯ begins with a punch. Keri ten san involves blocking punches followed by a kick, then performing a kick counter-attack. 12

Obviously, a technique that requires you to block and counter the kick that arrives as the third attack will only come together if you successfully parry the previous jun zuki and gyaku zuki. Therefore keri ten san is not a technique you can put to use unless you have the basic capacity to block punches and follow up with a kick counter-attack. It’s also important to think beyond the definition of this particular h okei, and remember that the attack’s ¯ final kick might be something like kinteki geri or mawashi geri rather than keri age. Therefore as your level improves you must figure out and become practiced at the various combinations of defence/counter-attack that you could perform after the ren uke – using shita j uji uke, yoko j¯ ji uke, hiza u ¯ uke or maybe even san b¯ uke depending on the angle of the incoming kick. o Since in real life the choice of attack is entirely up to the attacker, all kenshi must seek to step up the level of their training, in line with their abilities, until even forceful attacks can be dealt with. skillful, coordinated use of both hands In the ky¯ han, Kaiso wrote ‘The special feature of ten san no kata lies in the coordinated use of ren uke o and dan uke by both hands.’ So let’s look at photo sequence A to see how the defender in keri ten san makes use of his hands. His right hand performs uwa uke in response to the initial jodan choku zuki attack, then uchi uke to deal ¯ with the third attack (the kick). The left hand performs shita uke to deal with the second-place ch udan choku zuki, then uchi barai uke ¯ for the kick. So in essence there is a ren uke of uwa uke with the right hand and shita uke with the left, and two dan uke combinations: uwa uke, uchi uke for the right hand and shita uke, uchi barai uke for the left. You have to remember that it’s the skillful combination of these hand actions, along with ashi sabaki and tai sabaki, that together make the technique as a whole work. Proficiency in any Shorinji Kempo technique requires being conscious of and becoming practiced in a large number of individual elements. But it’s no good greedily trying to get to grips with all these elements as quickly as possible. In one training session you should focus on a single element, building up your stock of techniques slowly but surely. Though it may seem like a long way round, it’s the fastest route to improvement. One of the interesting things about Shorinji Kempo is that no matter how strong you are, if you don’t carefully mesh together the elements that make up a given technique you won’t be able to do it. In fact I think there’s a lot of fun involved in the process of learning how to perform the technique to compensate if you happen not to be so strong. caption p89 To allow confirmation of the defence movements involved in keri ten san we’ve snapped them here as four separate pictures. However, since the attack comes as a rapid ren k o, the defender cannot ¯ perform them as four separate movements. Note that if there turns out to be a pause in the attack after the jun zuki, the defender can perform uwa uke geri; if there’s a pause after the ren zuki, the defender can do tsuki ten ichi. caption p90 In keri ten san a correct balance of tai sabaki and te sabaki [use of the hands] is absolutely vital. After the ren uke, both hands change through to juji uke to deal with the kick, but for this te sabaki it ¯ is important not to put power into the arms except for the focussed instant when the block makes contact.

Kakuritsu ken
These are forms involving attack and defence using the legs. They all include standing on one leg to perform hiza uke followed by keri kaeshi – an unusual counter-attack technique that is referred to as har o ¯ kyaku geki [wave-like leg attack]. 13

96: kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi
a technique with a definite go no sen response As indicated by the nami gaeshi part of the name of kakuritsu ken techniques, their combination of defence and counter-attack involves a continuous motion that is likened to the ebb and flow of waves. Kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi is a defence and counter-attack in response to kinteki geri. As you’ll appreciate from the photo sequences, the sequence of hiki ashi, hiza uke, kinteki geri is performed in one motion without a pause. However, it’s quite common to see kenshi who pause at the hiza uke stage, or who have a tough time because they meet the attacker’s kick with a direct blow on the shin. The result is a vicious circle in which kakuritsu ken techniques don’t get practiced enough, so people never get good at them. Even if you happen to be unconcerned by a crashing style of block, it will break up the technique’s flow. If that happens the attacker will have time to pull back his leg, so even if you launch the kinteki geri counter-attack it probably won’t land. Conversely there are those who specifically avoid the direct shin blow, by simply launching machi geri to kinteki. In self-defence terms this is a dangerous gamble. Never mind what might happen against an arc-like attack such as mawashi geri; if you try to handle a fast, shortest-distance attack like kinteki geri just by waiting for it, and with no attempt at defence, even if you manage to hit the target there’s a high chance that you’ll be hit at the same time. You also have to bear in mind that this machi geri approach won’t help you to learn the specific lesson of this family of techniques, i.e., the go no sen response to kinteki geri using a wave-like leg movement. caption p97 Having aimed his kick at kinteki, the attacker isn’t going to stand around in that position for ever. For kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi to work, the defender must land the deciding counter-kick before the attacker has time to pull back his leg. To make a fast transition from hiza uke to kinteki geri, the defender must keep his knee loose. Making an effort to move as quickly as possible in fact makes the legs stiff, and reduces speed. Relaxedly lift the knee, and counter as soon as the kick has been blocked. caption p98 It’s important that having blocked kinteki geri with hiza uke you don’t stop, but in a movement like the turning of a wave immediately launch the kinteki geri counter-attack. Simply lifting the knee has the desired effect of creating an obstacle in the path of the incoming attack, and simply straightening the same leg delivers the counter.

104: mawashi geri san b¯ uke nami gaeshi o
don’t get fixated on taka mawashi geri In practising h¯ kei, the roles of attacker and defender are handed out and, in clear contrast to the situation o during randori, the practice is done using a pre-arranged form of attack. For mawashi geri san b o uke nami ¯ gaeshi, the attack stipulated by the kyohan is taka mawashi geri. ¯ Being able to perform the technique as described in the kyohan is of course important. However, it’s ¯ not good to become fixated on surface-level features as if they were cast-iron rules. Before discussing this, first let’s look to the kyohan for explanation of the kinds of situation in which ¯ san b¯ uke might be used: o ‘San ren b¯ (san b¯ uke) is a special kind of block based on a stance originally known as san b o jin. o o ¯ When a kick comes toward the face, as seen in the picture, it’s hard to judge whether it’s a simple taka geri or is in fact a dan geri combination that attacks gedan and jodan simultaneously. Therefore a special form ¯ of block that combines yoko j¯ ji uke and hiza uke becomes necessary.’ u As is clear from this explanation, the reason for using san bo uke as a defence is that the incoming ¯ attack is not necessarily coming to jodan. ¯ What you mustn’t do is interpret the kyohan’s specification of taka mawashi geri narrowly as meaning ¯ that no other attack is allowed, but must see it as one of a range of possible attacks. 14

If it were absolutely certain that the attack could only be taka mawashi geri, there would be no point in protecting kinteki. Any attempt to do so would be wasted effort. Therefore, even within the practice of mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi, it is important that from ¯ time to time the attacker mix in other attacks such as kinteki geri, ch udan geri, and maybe dan geri too. ¯ first understand kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi and juji uke geri ¯ Mawashi geri san b¯ uke nami gaeshi is, like kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi, a member of the kakuritsu o ken technique family. This family’s special characteristic is the har o kyaku geki [wave-like leg attack]. As ¯ indicated by the use of the word haro [waves], the transition from defence to counter-attack should be a ¯ continuous motion like the ebb and flow of a wave. Many people who have trouble with mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi do so because they are ¯ breaking up the defence and the counter-attack. As stated in the ky¯ han explanation, san b¯ uke is like a combination of yoko juji uke and hiza uke. o o ¯ Using this fact in another way, what you have to do is use practice of j uji uke geri and kinteki geri hiza ¯ uke nami gaeshi to grasp the timing of juji uke, hiza uke and the keri kaeshi. ¯ Then when you have become able to perform these two techniques, try doing kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi with j¯ ji uke added on, and conversely try moving with the sense that you are blending hiza uke into u j¯ ji uke geri. You’ll find that mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi becomes surprisingly easy. u ¯ Another point is that just because the attacker comes in with a high-level kick, that’s no reason for the counter-attack to be similarly high. The standard counter-attack in mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi is ch¯ dan geri. On the other u ¯ hand, the easiest and most effective counter-attack is probably kinteki geri – and the higher the attacker’s incoming kick, the easier it is to kick his kinteki. So as an exercise in practical self-defence application, how about mixing some kinteki geri counter-attacks into your practice? As an example of practical application, photo sequence C shows a kinteki counter-attack. caption p104 A defender standing in ichiji gamae gives the appearance of being prepared for a kick from straight ahead. However, what you must do is prepare mentally and physically to deal with any attack, whether it comes to kinteki, ch¯ dan or j¯ dan. u o caption p106 Mawashi geri san b¯ uke nami gaeshi is a h¯ kei performed against a taka mawashi geri o o attack, but this doesn’t mean that whenever a high attack comes in you should use san b o uke. Rather, it’s ¯ a blocking method that is effective when the defender cannot easily judge whether the attack is coming to kinteki, or is a dan geri, etc.

Sang¯ ken o
This group is made up of h¯ kei involving ch¯ dan attacks and defences. The attacks are either kicks or o u punches, and the responses involve blocking with a hand and countering with a kick. To save space in the photo sequences these techniques are shown with single attack/counter-attack combinations, but advanced students should perform ren han ko. ¯

¯ 112: juji uke geri
the time needed for juji uke geri ¯ G¯ h¯ techniques are made up of extremely fast movements. o o Have a look at photo sequence A. Between frames 1 and 10 the attacker closes distance and kicks, and the defender blocks and counter-kicks. This sequence was shot at a rate of 14 frames per second, so between each frame is approximately 0.07 seconds – and the entire duration of this defence and counter-attack is a measly 0.63 seconds. In this time the defender does a hiki ashi to protect kinteki, performs juji uke, and makes his counter-kick. ¯ 15

The ky¯ han has the following explanation of the defender’s movements: ‘From migi ichiji gamae [our o sequence shows hidari ichiji gamae] slightly pull back the right foot to protect kinteki, and while doing so simultaneously perform uchi harai uke with the left hand and uchi oshi uke with the right to make j uji uke, ¯ then immediately use the right leg for the deciding counter-kick.’ From this explanation it is clear that one is not meant to finish hiki ashi before doing the block, or to finish the block before doing the kick. As seen in the photo sequence, the juji uke happens during the hiki ashi, and at the moment of blocking, ¯ the counter-kick must already be on its way. Essentially all the movements are connected together. This kind of connected set of movements is referred to as ikki dosa. ¯ However, this ikki d¯ sa expression is often misunderstood. Some people think it means you just do the o counter-attack. Others think the movements happen all at once, with no discrimination between them. If you can grasp the proper meaning, of connecting a number of movements together without a break, you’ll soon see that ikki d¯ sa occurs not just in g¯ h¯ but in j¯ h¯ too. In fact, Shorinji Kempo’s techniques all o o o u o depend on such continuous sequences of movement. So in practicing h¯ kei you must set up exactly the stipulated conditions of distance, relative arrangement o [tai/hiraki], way of standing and kamae, then train so that under these conditions you become used to making a correct, accurate response in one continuous action. captions p113 The defender’s mental preparation when in kamae is essentially the same as that for mawashi geri samb¯ uke nami gaeshi. o J¯ ji uke is a strong block made up of simultaneous uchi harai uke and uchi uke. u caption p114 J¯ ji uke isn’t just a matter of making a cross with the arms and putting them in the way of u a kick. One hand performs uchi harai uke, the other uchi uke. At the moment of blocking, the front leg must be pulled in so that your posture is ready for a counter-kick – otherwise the counter will be late.

120: shita uke jun geri
pay attention to the attacker’s stance too The arrangement for this technique is tai gamae, with the attacker in ichiji gamae and the defender in hass o ¯ gamae. For someone to practice the defence for shita uke jun geri, it may seem that the attacker could just as well start from ch¯ dan gamae as from ichiji gamae. But given that the appropriate g oh¯ technique to use u ¯ o depends on the relative arrangement [tai/hiraki] and the respective stances of attacker and defender, it does matter how the attacker begins. The reason for attacking from ichiji gamae is that if you unthinkingly stay in ch udan gamae while ¯ closing distance to make a punch, the defender might not have to go to the trouble of performing shita uke jun geri but could do something simpler, such as machi geri. So ichiji gamae is the stance you use to be prepared against jun geri. Furthermore, the reason why the attacker will launch chudan jun zuki is precisely because he and the ¯ defender are in tai gamae, and the defender, by adopting hass o gamae, is protecting his j¯ dan targets but o ¯ inviting a ch¯ dan attack. If the defender were in chudan gamae, with his elbows close to his body, any u ¯ kind of ch¯ dan punch would be difficult; chudan jun zuki would seem a pretty long shot. The defender also u ¯ biasses the invitation towards jun zuki by turning himself slightly more side-on than the hass o gamae used ¯ for shita uke geri, thus ensuring that his suigetsu is at an awkward angle for a gyaku zuki attack. mental preparedness is crucial Taking up a proper stance involves not just adopting the right posture, but also truly understanding why this posture has been adopted. Let’s look at what the kyohan has to say about stance: ¯ ‘There are many people who think stance is just about body position. But however good the posture, if it is not accompanied by mental preparedness then it’s like the pose of a doll – worthless. Even if it appears 16

that your body position leaves no gaps or chinks, an unfocussed mind will ruin it; it’s no exaggeration to say that the most important element of stance is the preparedness of the mind. ‘Then again, it’s also a mistake to take great pains over the mental preparedness but think lightly of the posture. If your posture isn’t right, you won’t be able to respond to circumstances moment by moment.’ This is how Kaiso spoke of the importance of both posture and mind. And the mental preparedness we’re talking about here is not just a matter of determination or strong spirit. One way to think of it is that you should know the kyo and jitsu aspects of your physical posture, and use this to prepare in your head the various counter-attack strategies for a number of predicted attacks. On the other hand, you could think of the physical posture as the particular body position that will make it possible to put your mental preparations into effect. So without preparedness, any posture has a mass of unguarded openings, while a posture that is sloppy makes you unable to respond in appropriate ways. The ky ohan also has this to say: ¯ ‘Kamae concerns the battle-formation aspect of enabling effective attacks and defences in Shorinji Kempo. In other words, it must be the physical embodiment of the energy – concealed within – of unified mind, spirit and strength.’ Not just for shita uke jun geri, but in general, the success or failure of a technique is largely determined before it even begins, by these subtle tactics of stance and positioning. caption p120 The defender takes up hasso gamae with zen kutsu dachi. ¯ caption p121 Moving from zen kutsu dachi to ko kutsu dachi, perform shita uke and a counter-kick. ¯ caption p122 Having taken up hidari tai gamae, when the attacker performs jun zuki the defender blocks with the right hand, thus moving to the attacker’s ura. When practicing this h okei don’t just think of it as a ¯ punch being blocked by shita uke, but consider carefully the relationship of attacker and defender once the block has been made.

128: gyaku tenshin geri
shifting your body weight is the key For gyaku tenshin geri the attacker and defender start from hiraki gamae, and the attacker steps in with sashikae ashi to launch jun zuki. The defender does gyaku tenshin, keri kaeshi. Watching gyaku tenshin geri, we often see a failure to coordinate the movements of the upper and lower body – the feet get caught up, or the counter-attack after the tenshin is not delivered smoothly. Unlike shita uke jun geri, for gyaku tenshin geri the body doesn’t move in a straight line: from stance, the front foot is pulled back while the standing rear leg acts as the axis for a circular body movement; after this turn, what was the standing leg is used for the keri kaeshi. This foot movement is gyaku tensoku. If it isn’t executed well, the technique won’t work. It seems that the cause of getting the feet tangled, or for being late with the counter-kick, is often a problem in distributing body weight between the two legs. In the case of starting from hidari mae hasso gamae, your right leg will be the axis for the turn. When ¯ preparing for the attack you must already be in ko kutsu dachi, your weight on your right leg. ¯ Taking the extreme counter-example, if you try to defend with gyaku tensoku from zen kutsu dachi, there will be a small pause in shifting to ko kutsu dachi so that your weight is on the gyaku tensoku pivot ¯ foot. This is fine if you have the spare time needed for this movement, but if the attack is fast this kind of breathing space usually won’t be available. Even a small delay increases the pressure on the defender, making you more likely to stumble, or to fail to coordinate upper- and lower-body movement. Furthermore, you cannot perform a smooth kick with what was your standing leg unless your weight has been fully transferred to the leg that you drew back. Note that although gyaku tenshin turns the body, this doesn’t mean that the foot being pulled back has to follow a circular path. A good, snappy gyaku ten shin comes about by rapidly pulling back the front foot, promptly shifting the weight, and thrusting the hip forward for the keri kaeshi. 17

By stepping in with sashikae ashi, the attacker can get a good angle for hitting the defender’s ch udan. ¯ Shita uke jun geri suits the case in which the defender invites the attack from a somewhat zen kutsu dachi stance. When inviting from k¯ kutsu dachi, the effective way to spoil the attacker’s angle and take up a o good stance for a counter-attack is to use gyaku tenshin. shifting the weight and dodging are connected The defensive movements in gyaku tenshin geri are a skillful combination of a tenshin uke based on gyaku tensoku, and a shita uke. However, a lot of kenshi perform this technique relying too heavily on the shita uke. But if the gyaku tenshin is weak and you’re relying on the block, there’s no way you can have proper room to manoeuvre for the counter-attack. Shifting the weight onto the leg that was pulled back is also a vital ingredient in getting the body off the line of attack. When performing the turn, the upper body is supported by the standing leg. At the end of the turn, the full weight of the upper body gets transferred to the leg that was pulled back. So to start with the upper body is over one leg, and at the end it’s over the other. Thus the gyaku tenshin is what lets the body evade the attack, and this combined with shita uke is what makes an effective gyaku tenshin geri. caption p128 The defender takes up hasso gamae in k¯ kutsu dachi. o ¯ caption p129 The defender needn’t set out to spin his body around. By pulling the front foot to behind the rear foot and shifting his weight, the body naturally turns for the gyaku tenshin movement. caption p130 The main characteristic of the tai sabaki known as gyaku tenshin is evasion by moving the body completely off the line of attack. Rather than deliberately forcing his body to turn, the defender pulls his front foot to behind the rear one and quickly transfers his weight to it. This allows a simple, unforced shifting of the body.

136: han tenshin geri
similarities and differences relative to gyaku tenshin Han tenshin geri is a technique in which attacker and defender start in hiraki gamae, and in response to a fumi komi ashi, gyaku geri attack the defender performs han tenshin and a counter-kick. Both han tenshin and gyaku tenshin are effective forms of ashi sabaki against big step-in-and-kick attacks. The two movements suit different ways of standing. Gyaku tenshin is a circular movement about one’s rear standing foot; han tenshin is a rotation with the front foot as axis. Gyaku tenshin is the easier one to perform smoothly from k¯ kutsu dachi. o make the technique flow smoothly Let’s take a close look at han tenshin geri using the photo sequences. In frame 1 of series A, the defender prepares for the attack in a migi mae stance with slight zen kutsu dachi. In frames 2 to 8, the attacker performs fumi komi ashi then gyaku geri, and the defender meets this by pulling his left foot back to a position behind the right side of his right foot. This is a tenshin [body turn] involving han tensoku. Let’s look more closely. In frames 7 and 8 the feet are in the same places, but in frame 7 the heel of the left foot is in air, while in frame 8 it’s the right heel that is off the ground. So we could say that 7 is the instant when the han tenshin finishes, while 8 is where the keri kaeshi starts. Effectively the end of one is simultaneous with the start of the other. 18

Looking at the attacker during this time, in frame 7 he hasn’t yet straightened his knee. But even though he is set on delivering the kick, the defender has already moved away – and it’s too late for the attacker to change the kick’s path. Then in frame 8, even though the attacker’s kick isn’t yet fully extended the defender’s counter-kick has already begun. Looking at frames 9 to 12 we see that the defender’s kick lands in advance of the attacker pulling his foot back. So the attacker’s state when the counter-kick arrives is such that from ch udan to gedan is all in kyo, and ¯ he’s also unstably poised on one leg. This shows how the precise flow of attack and counter-attack can’t be mastered just by copying the superficial form of a technique. A technique only starts working given a proper understanding of how the tai sabaki, block, and counterattack are all inter-connected, and on a foundation of smooth movements of the feet and of one’s weight. use a composite approach Han tenshin geri includes uchi otoshi uke as part of the defence against the gyaku geri. But rather than consider the block the main element of the defence, you should see it only as supplementary protection for ch¯ dan. u If you half-heartedly do the han tenshin and rely on the uchi otoshi uke to protect you, then unless you manage to stop the kick firmly with your arm, it will get through. So you’re putting your arm in direct competition with the attacker’s leg, and the best you can really expect is a painful arm. However, no matter how swiftly an attacker kicks, the time needed to perform han tenshin should be a lot less. So don’t just rely on the block, but put together the foot movement, body movement, block, and counterattack; that way, you’ll be able to deal with even a powerful attack. caption p136 At the end of the day, the uchi otoshi uke in han tenshin geri is just supplementary; your focus should be on dodging the attack with the han tenshin form of tai sabaki. caption p138 Like gyaku tenshin, han tenshin is a form of tai sabaki for getting your body off the line of an incoming attack. An important point shared by han tenshin and gyaku tenshin is that at the instant when the tenshin ends, your shifting of body weight must also stop – leaving you ready to perform the kick counter-attack.

144: yoko tenshin geri
gyaku geri has both power and speed Yoko tenshin geri is a technique for dealing with a gyaku geri attack from tai gamae. When doing kicking practice with body protectors, the combination sashi komi ashi, gyaku geri is surely the most common kind of kick. Indeed, gyaku geri is a classic form of attack, bearing down on the defender with power and speed. To avoid such an attack, simply backing away is no good. If you do just back away, you won’t be able to reach to deliver a counter-attack, and if the attack is deep there’s a risk that it might get to you anyway. Looking over the sang¯ ken techniques, there is not a single one in which the defender simply backs o away. For shita uke jun geri you move diagonally backwards with ushiro chidori ashi, while both han ten shin geri and gyaku ten shin geri make use of turning movements that take the body off the line of attack. circumstances to the defender’s advantage The defender’s tai sabaki and counter-kick have to be more compact than the attacker’s step in and attack. Let’s analyse yoko tenshin geri in detail. However fast the attack, the fact is that the striking weapon (the sole of the attacker’s left foot) starts about two metres away from the target (the defender’s suigetsu). 19

Because the attack is aimed at the defender’s seichusen [centre line], the distance that he must move ¯ sideways to evade it is half his body width – maybe around 20cm. This is just one tenth of the distance to be travelled by the attack, and it’s a single-step movement that anyone can do. Moreover, when the attack happens the defender is standing firmly on both feet, so making a dodging movement is easy. By contrast, when the defender puts in his keri kaeshi, the attacker is standing on one leg and therefore cannot dodge. the importance of attack/defence timing Even if the defender’s dodge is only one-tenth the distance of the attack, starting the defence movements at the wrong time will scupper the chance of a straightforward defence and counter-attack. Looking at photo sequence A, we see that in frames 1 to 5, when the attacker is stepping in and up to the point of launching the gyaku geri, the defender waits calmly in a zen kutsu stance. The start of the yoko tenshin movement is frame 6, when the attacker has begun his gyaku geri. At this point the attack has been launched towards a decided target, and it would be difficult to change its path. By contrast, if the defender started moving as early as frame 3 or 4, the attacker would be able to adjust the path of the kick. Even with a yoko tenshin, the chance of being caught by the kick would be greatly increased. The attacker’s kick has to move ten times as far as the defender’s dodge. If the defender doesn’t rush, he can coolly draw in the attack so that after this dodge the attacker is in a position where he cannot perform tai sabaki against the counter-attack. caption p144 The techniques of sango ken must be done with clear awareness of kamae and relative ¯ arrangement [tai/hiraki]. Both han tenshin geri and yoko tenshin geri involve the same gyaku geri attack, but when waiting in zen kutsu dachi in tai gamae, the effective response to gyaku geri is yoko tenshin geri. caption p146 When facing each other in tai gamae, a gyaku geri attack is handled with yoko tenshin geri. When the attacker closes distance and kicks, this also brings him into range for a counter-kick. By not retreating but performing a sideways tenshin movement, the defender can take up distance for an effective counter-attack.

152: harai uke geri
block with a line, not a point At study sessions, students often say (1) against an attack like furi geri, surely harai uke geri won’t work – and (2) when I do harai uke my arm hurts; how can I avoid this? With respect to (1), you have to think about what’s needed for a successful attack. It’s true that the path of a furi geri differs from that of a sashi komi mawashi geri, so rigidly performing harai uke geri against it won’t work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself from furi geri. Attack and defence of kinteki is a strongly emphasised element of Shorinji Kempo. Against someone who is well practiced in kinteki geri as a defence tactic, furi geri is effectively removed as an attack option. Sashi komi mawashi geri is the kind of thing an attacker has to do in order to close distance without leaving himself open to a kinteki geri counter-attack. Question (2) is answered by thinking about how to make a successful defence. Watching the technique of those people who ask about hurting their arms, most are seen to block at right angles to the incoming kick. This means that a single point on the kicking leg is hitting a single point on the blocking arm. One important element of harai uke is hitting the nerve point san in k o. But concentrating too much ¯ on this is likely to lead to a crashing, head-on block. However much you toughen up your arms, this isn’t something they can cope with. If you look closely at photo sequence B, you’ll see that the block’s path follows that of the kicking leg. The attack in these photographs is quite shallow, so the block doesn’t make much contact. But even if the 20

attack were deep, using a block that follows the line of the leg and cuts deeply into san in k o means that ¯ the arm doesn’t just hit with one point. Turning the contact area from a point into a line reduces the impact shock, and hence the risk of injury. An additional result is that you hit san in ko. ¯ understand how a technique hangs together As its name suggests, harai uke geri involves defending against a kick using harai uke or uchi harai uke, then a keri counter-attack. There are many h¯ kei whose names simply combine those of their main defence and attack techniques: o harai uke geri, j¯ ji uke geri, uchi uke geri, ry¯ sui geri and so on. u u Watching the scene of people practicing goh¯ , we often see that if their harai uke or juji uke goes ¯ o ¯ wrong, they only think of trying to correct the movements of their hands. A g¯ h¯ technique is made up of elements that include (1) kamae, (2) foot placement, (3) foot moveo o ment, (4) tai sabaki [body movement], (5) defence techniques, (6) switching between attack and defence, (7) awareness of alternatives, chosoku, happ¯ moku, zanshin and so on. o ¯ However, elements like these can’t be learnt by blitzing them one at a time. They only work when skillfully woven together. Among the Shorinji Kempo defence techniques, not a single one involves complicated arm movements. Ultimately the movements come down to extending, retracting, or swinging the arm. Therefore when a block isn’t working well, rather than getting obsessed with just the arm movement, you must think of how stance, foot placement and foot movement are all connected, and work on improving the combination as a whole. caption p153 Using uchi harai uke while moving with mae kagi ashi, the defender can easily block against san in k¯ . o caption p154 Rather than thinking of the harai uke as being used to block the incoming kick, think of it as protecting your own ch¯ dan. By using ashi sabaki and tai sabaki to dodge the attack, you can stop the u kick with little or no damage to your own arm.

Chi¯ ken o
Like tenn¯ ken, these h¯ kei are based on ren k¯ b¯ . Whereas tenn¯ ken techniques deal with attacks that o o o o o begin with a punch, chi¯ ken addresses attacks starting with a kick. o

160: jun geri chi ichi
different stances call for different techniques Apart from chi¯ ken techniques, kinteki geri as an attack is addressed in kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi, o in kakuritsu ken. How is that technique different from this one? Anyone can see that for kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi the attack is just a single kinteki geri, whereas for jun geri chi ichi there is the additional hebi zuki. But the more fundamental difference lies in the defender’s stance. In kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi, the defender is in ko kutsu dachi. In jun geri chi ichi, the defender’s ¯ weight is evenly on both feet. When you’re in k¯ kutsu dachi, it’s easy to respond to kinteki geri by immediately doing hiki ashi and o hiza uke. But if your weight is evenly distributed, or if you’re in zen kutsu dachi, performing hiki ashi requires a split-second shift of the weight. To cover your vulnerability during that split second, you use ken uke. 21

ken uke is possible specifically when the attack is kinteki geri One of the staff members at hombu tells a story of having broken a finger in randori during student days, by unthinkingly using ken uke against a kick. I asked what kind of kick it was, and how the block was done. The answer was that the pair were in tai gamae, and when the opponent launched a jun geri to ch udan ¯ the defender immediately aimed a ken uke at the approaching foot. In all Shorinji Kempo’s h¯ kei, ken uke is never used against anything other than kinteki geri. o Kinteki geri is a style of kick designed to strike the groin area with the instep; it’s not intended for higher targets such as suigetsu. Ken uke is a block that can be used against kinteki geri, and likewise is not suited to other kicks. If a kick comes towards your suigetsu, using ken uke just because your relative positioning happens to be the same as for a kinteki geri attack is a reckless move. It’s not surprising if you break your fingers. In addition, even when applied against kinteki geri, to avoid hurting yourself the ken uke must be performed with a tightly clenched fist and an active wrist [i.e., not bent]. So ken uke is a block that, if done badly, brings the risk of injury. Nonetheless we use it, because stopping a kinteki geri using its intended target area is simply not a viable option. The attacker launches the kinteki geri while performing hebi zuki as a feint to j odan. The target of the ¯ kick is based on where the defender was originally standing. This is a crucial point. A defender always gets attacks to come to where he has taken up stance. By moving his body backwards, the defender shifts his target area away from its position when the kinteki geri attack was invited. And then he performs ken uke at the position originally occupied by that target. That way, the block naturally meets the kick. It’s absolutely not the case that the block is launched to target the kick. The kick comes flying at you in tenths of a second. Even if you tried, you couldn’t hope to hit the intended nerve point. Reading the attacker’s intentions, and using ken uke to cover up the kyo in your posture, is what allows it to be effective. caption p160 The defender faces the attacker in zen kutsu ichiji gamae. Protecting himself against the hebi zuki feint using uwa uke, he protects himself against the kinteki geri using his knee and ken uke. Ken uke should not be thought of as being aimed at the kicking foot, but as being put out to protect the kinteki region. caption p162 It’s very difficult to do a good ken uke by trying to aim it. But because the attacker’s kick is coming to kinteki, putting ken uke at the targeted location will catch it. Making such a block is like laying a trap for an animal to run into.

168: gyaku geri chi ichi
feinting to j¯ dan increases the effectiveness of the kick o In chi¯ ken’s chi ichi no kata are jun geri chi ichi and gyaku geri chi ichi. o Both of these h¯ kei involve a feint using hebi zuki or something similar, along with kinteki geri. The o difference between them lies in whether the kinteki geri is a jun geri or gyaku geri. When you consider the position of the kyusho [nerve point] in kinteki, an attack from straight ahead is ¯ clearly the most effective. Whether this attack can be made most effectively using jun geri or gyaku geri is largely determined by the relative arrangement [tai/hiraki] and separation of attacker and defender. From a given distance, because gyaku geri uses as its standing leg the one that is already closer to the defender, the kick reaches further than would jun geri. What this means when the opponents are standing at issoku ikken distance is that gyaku geri requires a smaller closing-distance movement than does jun geri. 22

On the other hand, because gyaku geri comes from a position further away from the defender, it is a larger movement that’s easier for the defender to read than a jun geri. In the case of jun geri chi ichi the attacker and defender are in tai gamae, from which jun geri provides the easier chance of an effective angle of attack against kinteki. However, because the defender is bound to have set up stance at a safe distance from the attacker, it’s necessary to distract him with hebi zuki while closing distance for the jun geri. Gyaku geri chi ichi is from hiraki gamae. In hiraki gamae it’s gyaku geri that offers the better chance of a good attack angle against kinteki. In order to make effective use of the large gyaku geri movement, it should be launched after using hebi zuki to take the defender’s attention away from the gedan region. So the hebi zuki used in techniques like jun geri chi ichi or gyaku geri chi ichi isn’t just part of some fixed kata, but serves to increase the effectiveness of the kick attack. training must include safety measures It can be said that the fiercer the attack used in practicing some hokei, the higher the level of training being ¯ achieved. However, because the h¯ kei in chi¯ ken involve potentially dangerous attacks to the eyes and to kinteki, o o there is a tendency for attackers to hold back. Therefore depending on the level of the practice it may be necessary for the defender to use a groin cup or mask as a safety measure. In terms of the intensity of its effect, and the fact that no-one can withstand being hit there, you could think of kinteki as the number-one kyusho against a man. ¯ When Shorinji Kempo is pursued as an approach to self defence, practicing defence and counter-attacks for this ‘number-one ky¯ sho’ is clearly of enormous importance. So insofar as practicing chi o ken’s chi u ¯ ichi no kata involves training both partners in the attack and defence of kinteki, you could regard these as being definitive techniques for Shorinji Kempo. captions p169 Although chi¯ ken is based around ren k¯ b¯ sequences that begin with a kick, jun geri o o o chi ichi and gyaku geri chi ichi make an exception by actually starting with hebi zuki. In the same way that tenn¯ ken has the characteristic that its attack combinations are thrown without a pause, the hebi zuki and o kinteki geri in chi¯ ken techniques are not two separate movements. The attacker must have the sense that o the hebi zuki is for drawing the attacker’s attention to jodan for a fleeting instant, during which the kinteki ¯ geri is also put in. Make sure that the wrist is active when performing ken uke. caption p170 Neither gyaku geri chi ichi nor jun geri chi ichi involves a kinteki geri attack launched out of the blue; they both use hebi zuki to first distract attention away from the gedan area. If the hebi zuki isn’t performed convincingly, it won’t work as a feint; the attacker must make this first attack one that would hit the defender if not blocked.

176: gyaku geri chi san
a skillful combination of dodge and block Let’s confirm the movements of gyaku geri chi san from the kyohan: ¯ ‘Attacker: (1) sashi komi ashi, right foot kinteki geri; (2) put the foot down, right-hand shut o giri to ¯ keich¯ ; (3) continue with left-hand ch¯ dan gyaku zuki. u u ‘Defender: (1) pulling back the left foot, perform ken uke with the left hand; (2) soto oshi uke with right hand; (3) left-hand shita uke, then while moving to ichiji gamae perform keri kaeshi with right foot.’ Although this explanation is divided up into steps 1, 2, 3, it goes without saying that in practice the gyaku geri, shut¯ giri, ch¯ dan zuki form a continuous ren ko. o u ¯ Photo sequence A shows the defender inviting kinteki geri from a zen kutsu stance, then protecting kinteki by performing ken uke while shifting to ko kutsu dachi. ¯ 23

According to the instructions given above, at step 1 the defender should perform ken uke while pulling back his left foot. Part of the purpose of this hiki ashi is to move the kinteki target backwards, away from the attack. You can see in the photo sequence that the defender doesn’t actually pull his left foot back. However, what the defender is doing here instead of hiki ashi is to dodge kinteki away from the incoming kick by using the movement from zen kutsu dachi to ko kutsu dachi. ¯ Using his momentum, the attacker follows kinteki geri with shuto giri and ch¯ dan zuki. This shut¯ giri u o ¯ has the same angle as in tsubame gaeshi, and constitutes a tremendously dangerous attack. Therefore, immediately after the ken uke, the defender uses ushiro chidori ashi as a tai sabaki that moves him out of the range and the path of the incoming attacks, and while blocking with soto oshi uke and shita uke performs the keri kaeshi counter-attack. Thus every attack is avoided by an effective combination of tai sabaki and blocking. predict attacks based on what would be the obvious movements Whereas tenn¯ ken addresses ren k¯ b¯ starting with a punch, chi¯ ken deals with sequences that start with o o o o a kick. One resource for judging whether an attack will start with a punch or a kick is the distance between attacker and defender. Since arms are shorter than legs, making a punch attack involves moving closer than would be necessary for a kick. Thus at a given distance one’s first concern should be to watch out for kicks rather than punches. Let’s consider the conditions needed for making a jun geri or gyaku geri attack from the issoku ikken, hiraki gamae preparatory stance used in gyaku geri chi san. We define issoku ikken as the distance from which a gyaku geri without a keri komi movement would just fail to reach its target. If the attacker brings forward his back foot [yose ashi], the front foot that would be the standing leg for gyaku geri is no nearer the defender, so jun geri is the more useful kick to do. If he instead steps his front foot forwards [fumikomi ashi], the most direct form of kick possible is gyaku geri – whereas jun geri would require him first to move the back leg forward and put all his weight on it. When you think about it, this is all natural and obvious. Within chi¯ ken we find jun/gyaku pairs: jun geri chi ichi and gyaku geri chi ichi, and jun geri chi san o and gyaku geri chi san. Practicing any one of these in isolation becomes just a matter of unthinkingly repeating the same movements. But practicing the paired hokei such that the attacker might equally launch either the jun or gyaku ¯ version, the defender has no choice but to use his head, using the attacker’s early movements as the clue for predicting and dealing with whichever attack is the natural follow-on. caption p176 Verification of the attacker’s movements. From hiraki gamae he performs a san ren k o ¯ starting with kinteki geri, then placing the kicking foot down in front and performing shut o giri and ch¯ dan u ¯ gyaku zuki. caption p178 The attacker launches a san ren ko made up of kinteki geri, shut¯ giri, ch¯ dan gyaku zuki. o u ¯ Even having successfully protected his kinteki with ken uke, if the defender then just stands there, the remaining ren k¯ attacks will hit him full-on. So he can either follow the ken uke with a keri kaeshi like in o gyaku geri chi ichi, or, as seen here, break distance and prepare for those attacks.

188: harai uke chi ni
don’t just go through the motions! The ky¯ han’s explanation of harai uke chi ni is as follows: o ‘(1) Attacker: stepping forward, mawashi geri with left foot. Defender: while opening the left foot out to the side, uchi harai uke with right arm; left hand in chudan gamae position. ¯ ‘(2) Attacker: while stepping in with fumikomi ashi, right-hand jodan gyaku zuki. Defender: while ¯ twisting the body, perform uchi uke with the left hand, then immediately use the right hand for a deciding atemi to ch¯ dan.’ u 24

Reading these instructions and blithely following them to perform harai uke chi ni, there is a tendency to fall into practice that simply goes through the motions: when mawashi geri arrives you protect yourself with uchi harai uke; then block the gyaku zuki with uchi uke; then make an atemi to ch udan. ¯ H¯ kei outside chi¯ ken for dealing with mawashi geri include harai uke geri, gedan gaeshi, ch udan o o ¯ gaeshi, j¯ ji uke geri, mawashi geri san b¯ uke nami gaeshi, and harai uke dan zuki. u o So with all these techniques available against the first attack in harai uke chi ni, why go to the special effort of preparing for an additional gyaku zuki? To answer this, we have to look at which of these other hokei are related to harai uke chi ni. ¯ the relationship between harai uke chi ni, gedan gaeshi and harai uke dan zuki In g¯ h¯ , the techniques available for use in confronting an opponent are constrained by distance, relative o o arrangement [tai/hiraki], foot placement, kamae, and so on. If you look at the preparatory stance in the photographs, you’ll see that it is hiraki gamae. At this stage we can therefore rule out of the choice list the responses juji uke geri and mawashi geri san bo uke nami ¯ ¯ gaeshi. Then look at the instant when the defender has blocked mawashi geri. Because his rear foot is out to the side, we have to rule out harai uke geri and chudan gaeshi. ¯ The only options remaining at this point are gedan gaeshi and harai uke dan zuki. The attacker, also bearing in mind these various possibilities, launches gyaku zuki. The 1955 edition of the ky¯ han makes this clear with the following guidance for the attacker: o ‘Replacing the left foot on the ground, and while maintaining your left hand as a guard against the defender’s right leg, j¯ dan gyaku zuki with the right hand.’ o attack and defence grounded in knowledge of the possible counter-attacks We see that the attacker doesn’t just go through the motions of throwing gyaku zuki, but takes care to guard against a counter-kick by the defender. And the defender, if intending to counter-attack with a punch, must remember to protect his own face while doing so. G¯ h¯ h¯ kei are decided on your opponent’s momentary openings of kyo. o o o Therefore you have to train to launch counter-attacks that take advantage of the kyo openings appearing in your opponent’s posture as a result of the attacks he makes. In practicing any h¯ kei, it isn’t enough simply to remember its overall form. o As your level improves, you shouldn’t just be mechanically stringing movements together. You should understand the relationship to other hokei, and explore aspects such as strategies for attack and defence, ¯ and the fight over who has the initiative (sen), so that your hokei don’t become cast into fixed shapes. ¯ caption p184 The position after blocking the attacker’s mawashi geri would also allow the gedan gaeshi response. caption p185 Harai uke chi ni becomes effective when the attacker launches gyaku zuki in the face of the defender’s possible counter-attack. caption p186 Thinking of what could come after the sashi komi mawashi geri, the distance is too great for jun zuki to be effective, and gyaku geri can’t happen because the right leg is acting as the supporting leg. So you can tell that the second attack must be gyaku zuki. During practice of h okei it is important to ¯ understand and become familiar with the kyo/jitsu aspects of posture.


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