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#290819 - 10/04/06 04:34 PM Re: tai sabaki [Re: shoshinkan]
kensai1 Offline

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 52
Loc: Ohio
first off i want to apologize to butterfly for not getting my point across the first time, i guess i am not all that good at posting what i really want to say. your all probably somewhat irritated i am sure at times.

second with your help i believe some things have clicked. one of the exercises we did in the dojo was like up line 30 guys and gals and attack the person in front of us. we would start by doing jodan oizuko back to the line, chudan then gedan. then switch to maegiri, yokogeri then ushirogeri. the idea was not to telegragh your movements or you got pounded. we were told to show no mercy. it hurt when you moved to soon or to late and got smacked. i bring this up cause we worked on the same principle when doing tai sabaki but this was one on one. attack, you move in angles then countersrike, attacking person moves then counter strike. these were the drills but i do remember it starting out slower then building up as the class went on. i remembered this based on getting punch a lot while trying not to telegraph my movements.

you guys have been great

#290820 - 10/04/06 05:47 PM Re: tai sabaki [Re: kensai1]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
sounds like an interesting drill and one that illistrates the importance of timing (to make things work),

everything else can be bang on but if you mis time - ouch!

A nice tip is to use 'mis time' to your advantage when you are on the offensive, training partners hate it!
Jim Neeter

#290821 - 10/04/06 06:16 PM Re: tai sabaki [Re: kensai1]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

First not to worry! I didn’t take any personal animosity from your post. And as far as writing goes, you write specifically and without confusion. For non-face-to-face communication, it does generally leave a lot to perception without verbal clues and body lingo cues to go by, but I understand what you are writing and didn’t perceive anything untoward there.

As far as this drill goes, I will be a slight bit critical, but take what I say with a grain of salt…I am pretty much a no body.

First, this is how I have seen many a school go about introducing tai-sabaki and in my early MA training would echo what I have done. The good part is that you actually have the students hit and are hopefully not standing there after the punch with one’s hand hanging in air so someone can manipulate the arm after the fact. Actually dishing out the punch or kick is a very good learning tool. I also would consider using less the traditional punches and see if they can affect good angled movements if faster strikes coming from a face guard were used instead of punches coming out of their hip pockets. And yes, this would need to be slow at first and then brought up to speed depending on the skill of the student.

However, I think this has a potential flaw in one important aspect and this goes to the heart of understanding tai-sabaki as a formative strategy in attack and defense. Is there an explanation as to why one would move to a particular position for the defender's benefit and to the detriment of the opponent?

Specifically I would ask, do the students just try to get out of the way of the attack or are they shown specific angles and footwork to control the stance of the attacker and to be able reason why this movement allows a more dominant position from which to control the attaker?

If the answer is yes, then no problems and this offers a good basic drill.

Warmest regards,

#290822 - 10/04/06 07:28 PM Re: tai sabaki [Re: butterfly]
dtf Offline

Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 3
In our school we will practice a two person practice/offense-defense. As we defend, we always want to angle our step to the outside of their attack in order to put ourselves in a better position to counter. Stepping to the outside of their attack also puts the other person in a more difficult position to strike again.

Is this what you were thinking about?

David F.

#290823 - 10/04/06 07:58 PM Re: tai sabaki [Re: dtf]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Getting to the outside is often a tactically sensible approach, however my expeirience has shown me it is the more skillful or difficult option and therefore not to be relied on, sometimes we just don't move as quick as we would like, soemtimes we can't move as we would want.

One of the 1st principles shown/drilled at my dojo is to strike simultaneous whenever caught on the inside, eg first move of Pinan Shodan (Heinan Nidan).

Another thing to think about re tai sabaki and it's importance is when dealing wiht a weapon attack.
Jim Neeter

#290824 - 10/04/06 09:02 PM Re: tai sabaki [Re: dtf]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Eeee gad! I both love and hate technical explanations. The love part comes in where understanding a concept is involved so technical explanations can help cement the idea when "doing the deed." On the other hand, techno-babble and the pseudo-intellectual pursuit of ideas can make one out to be a closet philosopher and not much else.

In any case, I'll throw a few things to consider in the tai-sabaki pot. These are coming from my vantage point, stylistically speaking, so qualify this as some nonsense from another goof on the internet that you can think about or disregard at your leisure.

But, yes, generally stepping outside, and sometimes inside can offer you a better position from where to hit. But it can be a little bit more involved, so the question is why is it better to move a certain way than another and what advantage will this offer you? In other words, what strategy can I look for to invest in my movements so that I can be in the superior position?

I'll relay some thoughts that I had let a few people take a look at, but this might give you an idea of where I am coming from. Be forewarned, it's a bit long and you might just want to skip it.

Here goes:

In this consideration, tai-sabaki is, foremost and fundamentally, a selfish construct to place you in a better position to attack from. Ideally, your opponent is concerned with momentum recovery while you place yourself in a superior position, and this is why parries are more generally used in our style than hard blocks. This is so you don’t stop the opponent for his quicker recovery, but allow him to continue onward in a direction that compromises him and not you. Also, one of the key points is that you don’t duke it out with the opponent, despite being able to handle it ala Kyokushin. You are always trying to reduce taking damage. This is fundamental so that you can better extract yourself from a situation in case things go badly-to-worse. Taking damage, despite initially being able to handle it, can weaken defenses and allow later entry into your guard. So defense first, offense second. Therefore body positioning is more important that being able to strike well. Poorer strikes from superior positions offer better advantage than really hard strikes from compromised positions.

Basically, if you look at kazushi in Judo, or some unbalancing that is done in Aikido, the relevant principal holds true. You are unbalancing along lines generally 45 and 90 degrees to the plane of your opponent’s attack.

If you consider what I have stated above, you must have a fundamental knowledge of how one attacks…that in order for the punch or kick to be effective you have to translate your body weight into the limb…this means lunging or torquing. Doesn’t matter how it’s accomplished, but your mass must swing through like a batter fluidly swinging a bat to hit a ball. That also means that in order to strike you, the opponent is shifting his weight onto one side or the other of his body to deliver this strike. Where the weight is distributed will allow you to focus your attention on where to destabilize the opponent.

Once you identify the person’s strike, he has to recover that same body momentum before striking again, recover hip alignment, recover his balance, etc. Now if you can parry the strike or slip it, what you have done is allowed him to continue on an altered path from his intended one, but have not stopped his momentum while you have time to position yourself for a better counter before he can recover to continue his assault. So TIMING is critical!

For unbalancing, an easy way to see this is to have a person throw a straight right or a reverse punch. Just go to the side of the individual, as if slipping the punch so you are just outside the arm that is punching, and pull on the punching shoulder along a 45 degree line from the direction of the punch, you will throw your partner off balance because the inherent weakness in the stance. You can also push along that same line, which honestly, our style would probably more often do, and since the weakness in the stance is there as well, the opponent will stumble a bit to recover and you have an opening for an attack from a superior position.

Again, when striking or kicking, your stance is functioning as a platform to throw an efficient technique. It is meant to bolster the body--and in the case of a straight technique, is fore and aft of the performer, but not to the side. So inherent weaknesses are always in the offing when someone strikes, but one has to capitalize on them. For circular strikes, similar things can be done, but is a little less easy to describe, so I’ll skip that.

If you accept the definition I am using of a stance as either a snap shot of a movement placing you into a particular position of your choosing or as a platform from which to strike from, then the reverse is true: that if the attacker’s weapons are aimed in a particular direction, then the platform’s orientation from which to launch those weapons is not as valid for support of those strikes to other directions. This is a cursory explanation, but might offer you an idea of where to go and why when moving around an attacker's strike.


#290825 - 10/05/06 07:44 AM Re: tai sabaki [Re: butterfly]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 921
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
I must second Butterfly, with his excellent explaination of Tai sabaki - I can not add to it at all

for visualisation although some of us my chuckle at my reference, but Karate Kid 2, with Miyagi and the Fish Basket hook and the 'Drum' are excellent visual representations of Tai Sabaki


A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.


#290826 - 10/05/06 07:52 AM Re: tai sabaki [Re: butterfly]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
good work Butterfly !
Jim Neeter

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