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structure, strategy and application.
Do you have a good application for this kata move
seen in Pinan (Heian) two and several other forms?
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The previous technique in pyong an 2 being a knifejand
block, we can consider an attack having already been
parried. We step forward and strike the neck or collarbone
with the right knifehand (the spearhand thrust), and
to the nipple with the left knifehand (the supporting
hand). The spearhand slips behind the head to pull
as the turn begins, and the supporting hand slides
up the arm to strike the chin and snap the neck, ending
in a knifehand block position, left hand out to guard,
right hand at the chest.
I take a little different view of the spear hand
application. in one of my katas we enter the spear
hand from a rectangle knife hand block. the rectangle
knife hand is used to intercept a punch or a lapel
grab. the front hand of the rectangle block is used
to control the elbow area of the attacker while the
back hand of the rectangle block is used to control
the wrist. the wrist of the attacker is now in a slightly
elevated position with reference to their elbow. the
defender now steps forward initiating the spear. this
brings the wrist of the attacker down, bending the
attackers arm back onto their bicep. the foward hand
which had been controlling the elbow is used as a
ridge hand to the bend in the attackers elbow. when
the transition is complete the attacker has an arm
bar applied to them and they are usually headed towards
the ground, impacting on their backs.this application
comes from viewing "outside the box". looking
at the kata,the hand going to the elbow is below the
spearing arm. I take this as indicating where I apply
the technique verse how the technique should be applied.
just a thought from someone with a good instructor.
Regarding bunkai (application) of the movement shown
from pinan shodan (Heian Nidan, Pyong Ahn Yidan),
here is one of many:
Part 1: The circular downblock preceding the spearhand
thrust of course Deflects an attack downward slightly
(robbing the technique of its power) and Allows the
attacker's hand/arm to be trapped by the defender's
left (blocking) hand.
Part 2: What appears to be a spearhand thrust can
be a number of movements. However, in the present
application, the open hand (which is best kept opened
wide, rather than relaxed and curled) can then press
upon the elbow of the attacking arm, forming an arm
Part 2, Variation 2: Another, and more likely application
(considering the next 270 degree turn into catstance/backstance
with a lower or middle knife hand defense) is that
the spearhand thrust is meant for the hand then to
go around the attacker's waist. Then, when the 270
degree turn is made into catstance/backstance, what
you have actually done is executed a hip throw (O
Goshi) or a body drop (Tai Otoshi).
Most of the moves in the Pinan/Heian forms preceding
the 270 degree turns can translate into throws.
It's well known that Itosu adapted certain moves
in Karate to make it "safe" for school children
to practice, around the turn of the last century.
In doing so, certain moves and techniques were supposed
to have been adapted to make it more difficult to
seriously injure. Typically, this particular appliction
from the Pinan could be interpreted somewhat differently
than taking the posture literally.
In the past, nukite waza were performed slightly
differently to how most people now associate with
them with the advent of Karate turning from a practical
combative method to a modern Do form. Specifically,
rather than having the hand flat and the fingers aligned
alongside one another and the thumb on top of the
hand, the fingers were squeezed more into a point
with the tip of the thumb reaching across to the base
of the little finger. Similarly, if both the pressing
hand and the thrusting hand are turned through 90
degrees each, so that the pressing hand then performs
more of a knife hand strike and the nukite is thrust
slightly upwards with the palm uppermost, we can then
see an application straight from the Bubishi. Large
Intestine 10 is struck which then opens the throat
ready for the upwards straight finger thrust to the
Most Kata, and especially the Pinan series should
not always be taken literally. The moves contain a
code which needs to be interpreted in context rather
than taken literally. Similarly, as the Pinan/Heian
have undergone so much "development" over
the last 100 years or so, moves which have become
dynamic are unlikely to bear direct resemblance to
the real meaning. Let's not forget that as far as
the Heian versions of the Kata are concerned, even
the senior practitioners from the golden age of shotokan's
development did not practice bunkai, so how is it
likely to have been transmitted accurately? Dynamism
had taken over and form was more important than actual
effectiveness. We need to search manuals such as the
Bubishi to unearth the real meanings behind some of
the more dynamic moves in our kata.
My favorite application of this movement is:
Attacker can be punching or reaching to grab you.
Step in as you parry/suppress the attack with your
left hand, crescent step behind the attackers leg
as your spearhand attacks the throat. Lower the spearhand
to middle level as you finish the step. Your right
hip displaces attacker's hip as you finish the step,
throwing him as you strike. Timing is critical. You
move in as he moves in. It is essential to catch him
mid-step to unbalance him with minimal effort.
Potentially, this position is arrived at through
the grabbing or deflecting of the attacker's right
hand, and finishing him off with a spear hand strike.
At this point, the attacker is easy thrown, which
is consistent with the next knife hand block movements.
Just a thought,
I'm a fifth dan in a style that mixes Naha-Te and
Shuri-Te prcatising both has often given me insights
into the shuri bunkai. There is a lot out there out
the moment but I only practise that which I know works.
From the Shuto uchi previous to the move you are
showing someone has grabbed you by the left wrist.
In Kei Shin Kan sepecially before moving the left
wrist is circled clockwise, this would reverse th
grip. From there step through stay hold of the arm
and the nukite is not really a nukite. You stab to
the eye with the thumb heap the open palm against
the head and step through take down.
I know this move works. The nukite can also be symbol
of a grab to the throat take down. The arm that you
stay hols of can also be used to block the opponents
left hand if he attacks again
The Kata application for Pinan 2. Being a "simplist",
the application I would like to submit is the left
hand to trap and suppress an adversary's hand (left
or right) and then , quickly, seize their throat.
Following this the next move, turning , can see you
throw the adversary.
A different emphasis, at a slightly longer range.
Receiving a push, grabbing the pushing hand with the
left hand, step back and overextending the wrist (little
finger outward as far as possible) using body torque
(the reason for keeping the left close to the body.
Now, instread of a spear hand, execute a palm heel
thrust to the point above the joint of the straightened
elbow. (At this point the technique will look the
same as most kata demonstrate it.) Consider for yourself
what the next move would do to an already dislocated/
broken elbow. (If you want to practice it, and maintain
a friendly relationship, get someone to thrust forward
with a dowel/ 2" x 2"/ or light bamboo staff.
NB: it must have some bend, to approximate the alighnment
of the arm after the wrist grab.)
Chris de Wet
The spearhandd technique could be used in numeous
ways. The obvious Kite to several hseuh points surrounding
the Pectoralis Major and minor Muscle groups, being
the manifest. Grabbing of flech or fabric immediatly
under the arm-pit (towards the back of the opponent)
and using a pivoting motion around the spinal access,
with both hip and shoulders, would unbalance an opponent
sufficiently to deliver a back hand or elbow to several
targets with the left, most noteably the chin. Not
entirely dissimilar, the previous mentioned pulling
technique could be, if less vigerously executed, or
resisted by opponent, used in conjunction with a knee
strike to the left Oblique muscles of the opponent.
Instead of the knee, a low roundhouse could be delivered
to opponents lower legs with right leg to sweep. It
is perhaps a little too rigid, but if the left hand
can successfully be positioned to guard the upper
and lower gates, it could be a somewhat useful technique.
Cameroni "The Other Pasta" Perry
Imagine this.....The illustration of the spearhand
shows the left arm bent and underneath the right elbow,
and the right arm outstretched with all fingers straight
except for the thumb. Let's take the thumb and straighten
that out as well and point it towards the middle finger,
but not touching the hand. (leave space) There are
many different strikes for this particular move. One
that I have found to be most effective is this;....You
are attacked by a person either shoving or attempting
to stick you. If they attack with their left arm you
can parry the arm down with your left arm. Make sure
you strike and either push the arm into the body of
your opponent or grab his arm,sleeve. If you grab,
pull in towards your body, and shoot your right hand
over like a spear, keeping your thumb straight to
get into the soft tissue next to the larynx (throat)
or you can attack a pressure point (ST 9) on the neck
Application is everything, try the move a few times
by parrying and hitting the arm across and down, and
see where the opponents body is in relation to what
you just did. It may give a better idea of where to
hit next once you see where the body has moved.
Just a thought
This spearhand technique as shown can have two applications.
The first is a spearhand to a pain point located just
under pectoral muscle, or at the nipple (extremely
painful for a female opponent). The other hand (arm)
protecting your own chest muscles. The second less
obvious is (using the picture)you are left hand shuto
blocking a punch downward, and with your right you
spearhand between the opponents arm and body so the
spearhand goes behind the opponent. Then (as in the
Pinan Shodan kata) you step behind left foot behind
right and turn 180 degrees. If you raise your right
arm up as you spin, this technique becomes an effective
throw, or control technique. The left hand can assist
the throw by grabbing (or pushing down)the back of
teh head as you spin.
Ron van de Sandt
Imagine for a moment that someone is behind you and
grabs your right elbow/arm with their right hand.
1) step back hitting them in the gut with your hip/butt.
2) grab their hand as you move and to release their
hold pull your right hand forward. The next move would
involve a 180 degree turn to finish the attacker...maybe
a warrior rambling
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Do you have a good application for this move common
to several Pinans (Heians)?
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and describe the application to us.
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