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#187022 - 09/18/05 09:41 PM weapon defense in kata
kenposan Offline

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 633
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
So I got to thinking (dangerous, I know).

Many ppl rip on the classic knife defenses often found in martial arts. The arguement is that the knife attacks are not realistic (overhead ice pick attack, leading with the knife).

My question is, do any of you believe that there are knife/weapon defenses built in to kata or are the kata geared to unarmed SD? Or, does the kata contain general principles that could be used against both armed and unarmed attackers. If so, why are the classic defenses so bad (as in, not against realistic attacks)?

Hope I am getting my thoughts across, it doesn't sound like its coming out well.
The angry man will defeat himself in battle, as well as in life. -Samurai maxim

#187023 - 09/19/05 06:37 PM Re: weapon defense in kata [Re: kenposan]
znra251 Offline

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 39
i think that in many katas there are weapon defense interpretations. the first movement of the shotokan kata kanku-sho, pushing away from the attack and blocking would be a good defence against a weapon, (ie get away!), also, the first movement of the more basic kata heian nidan (pinan shodan) which is possibly a nasty arm break would be an extremely effective move if thretened with a knife. imagine in being held at your throat, then breaking the arm an the knife having little threat anymore.

with other katas there are also weapons defences, especialy against stick type weapons. Subtle adaptations are necessary to transform a defence against a bo (traditional martial arts stick) to defend against a baseball bat but the principle is still the same. consider the movement in meikyo where one closes towards the attack(reducing power of the strike), grabs the weapon and thrusts it into the oponent. realistic interpretation, grab the baseball bat very quickly and slam it into the face of the person threatening with it.

many more of these applications exist, karate kata are afterall reflections of a form of unarmed combat, but not only for use against unarmed opponents.

gary - kata videos, competition footage and more

#187024 - 09/20/05 04:45 AM Re: weapon defense in kata [Re: kenposan]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Looking at things from a simple self defense perspective, against untrained weapons users I believe that the empty hands principles learned from kata are applicable to weapons defense. Of course you would have different applications technically, and must work those applications hard against actual weapons to even begin to grasp weapons defense.

However the moment you face someone who knows what they are doing with a weapon, I believe that dedicated weapons training is the only way to begin to build any realistic chance of survival.
Jim Neeter

#187025 - 09/20/05 05:16 AM Re: weapon defense in kata [Re: kenposan]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
I feel that the general principles of unarmed defense, apply equally well to armed defense (obviously guns and ballistic weapons are a different story). You will always take your body out of the way attack, you will always check, parry or block the attack, and then return fire with an attack of your own. Any weapon is only an extention of the body afterall.

Obviously there are going to be some applications that are better suited to unarmed defense, rather than say against a bo, but the core principles are still the same. And at the end of the day, transmitting principles is what the kata's are all about.

With regards to the bashing of the traditional defenses, I think this boils down to the fact that most TMA's don't practice with "aliveness" which seems to be the en vouge term at the mo. Like the kata's, many of the traditional drills I have seen have promote and educate on the principles. You then need to take these drills and have a free play, where you can apply the principles.
Gavin King
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

#187026 - 09/21/05 11:32 AM Re: weapon defense in kata [Re: kenposan]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA
In a VERY general and VERY generic answer--because when the applications were "put in" in the kata--so to speak.
The folks using them usually trained in weapons as well as empty hand skills.

When karate moved more and more to a completly "weapon-less" art the applications fell to the wayside.

(not everyone stopped training them of course)

Then folks that did not practice with weapons tried to "re-invent" the applications.

Problem was that since they didn't actually train with the weapons they did not really have a good grasp of the way they worked and why the kata did certain things.

So you got some pretty strange applications--many of which did indeed provide "counters" to attacks that folks trained in weapon use might not use.

You also have to understand where certain techniques come from.
The "ice-pick" grip you mention, and its defense are found in many of the older schools of japanese jujutsu.
Reason being is that in the time period the art was developed, people wore armor--and the quick "flashing" cuts used in some knifework would have been next to useless.
The powerful "ice-pick" stab would have been one of the only reliable ways to punch thu the armor.

The other initial assumption is that your oppt is ALSO armed and is probably not alone.
Failing to kill him or seriously injure him in the first pass means that he has a chance to kill you!
So it leaves little room for the jocking for position, cut and counter cut of the knifework you see in the movies.

(not that they did/could not do it--just that the combative assumption was broader back in the day)

"Realistic" or not depends almost entirely on the context of the situation.

Just some thoughts, don't know if it helps or not.

Edited by cxt (09/21/05 11:34 AM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.


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