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#344846 - 06/01/07 10:31 AM Bad bo bunkai
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
Not a question - just getting something off my chest.
I've heard people describing the "uppercut" swing of a bo as being a strike to the chin. Unless your forward hand is chin high and/or your opponent is leaning forward precariously, this is next to impossible - the bow will strike the groin or abdomen first. This strike instead should be to the opponent's forward hand (the primary target in bo fighting, IMO). Therefore it doesn't need to swing up any higher than mid-chest.

On the other hand, it bothers me to see the ensuing (straight downward) head strike go all the way to waist high. Not a lot of focus there, eh? The bo should stop no lower than eye level.
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#344847 - 06/01/07 10:43 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Ironfoot]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Soooo...you really want to talk about good bo bunkai?

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#344848 - 06/01/07 01:32 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Ironfoot]
brocksampson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 112
Loc: Savannah, GA
I see your point, especially the upper strike to the chin. And as you said, the hands/arms are great targets. So what if the upper-strike is a defense against Uke's downward strike? You will probably want to meet it his arm at head level, before he hits you rather than after. The same can be said for a downward strike against possibly a side strike.
A block is a strike and a strike can be a block. Try working through bunkai using the traditional "blocks and parrys" as strikes and vice versa. It may open up a whole new range of techniques.
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#344849 - 06/01/07 03:11 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: brocksampson]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
I echo what Brocksampson said. For applications, I think strike ranges have to accomodate a good measure of what-if possibilities. The particular bunkai you are using might not be easily rewarding, but the adaptability of any strike to other bunkai might be fine.

VERTICAL UPPERCUT:
Could be you've caught him at a bad time, and part of surviving is creating bad times for him (or her, Harlan ). Maybe he IS exposed and leaning forward. Could be with a decending vertical strike, or just after you nailed him with a groin strike or a lunge to the solar plexus. Aside, we have notice that, in line drill kumite of blocking vertical downstrikes with vertical upstrikes, we have to be more than a little careful of each others faces as the arc of the "up" bo comes in very close. It only needs a tiny bit of "intent" to make the face the main target with the decendng bo as "alternate".

VERTICAL DOWN STRIKE
For the straight downward strike, maybe you target his head and he's on one knee. Maybe you target his hand, wrist or arm at waist level. Even deeper, maybe you target his achillies tendon or the upper calf at the back of his bent knee as he turns away in a rather deep stance. If he left it out there, you take it. There are just so many possibilities here, I wouldn't limit downward travel for line drills to anywhere above the waist. Even so, I'd probably mix in some knee high stuff now and then too.

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#344850 - 06/02/07 08:10 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Joss]
Chatan1979 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
You also need to look at some of the movements with the bo as not always being strikes. As someone mentioned earlier, a strike is a block and a block can be a strike, however many of the otoshi uchi (downward or overhead strikes and age uchi uke (uppercut strikes) can also be viewed as throws and locks. If you are looking at the application as bo vs bo, try placing the overhead strike bewteen Uke's wrist and bo and then hook the strike so you almost put them in what an aikidoka would call nikkyo or Kotegaesh. Very very rarely do I ever regard my bo stikes as being aimed toward the top of the head. It is is just too hard of a surface. If I do look at it as being a strike it is going to be on the clavical or possibly angled bit toward the neck.
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#344851 - 06/03/07 09:27 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Chatan1979]
harleyt26 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Summerfield,Florida U.S.A.
Do not forget that some movements are kamae,or ready positions.They can also be openings provided to entice your attacker to strike a very defendable target.When I do the upward,downward or any strike I actually hope for a near miss,I would rather gouge rip and tear my way as near to the intended target as possible.The hands are always good targets though, if I cannot close the gap enough.Never extend the forefinger of the lead hand on your bo it can be trapped to your own bo very painfully, as well as a very nice target.


Edited by harleyt26 (06/03/07 09:30 PM)

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#344852 - 06/06/07 11:01 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: brocksampson]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
IMO blocks are very difficult in bo fighting. They usually serve to speed up the other end. A good offense is the best defence. And I believe the hands and elbows are the number one target. They're the closest, and if one gets heavily damaged, the bo is almost useless.

You want to talk GOOD bo bunkai? OK - most people neglect the back end of the bo.
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#344853 - 06/06/07 11:18 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Ironfoot]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
'Back end of the bo.' I've been told that there are few styles that emphasize both ends equally. 'Dragon style'.

I'm still a beginner, but even in my style, I'm aware that there are discrepancies (sp?) in training....some include it right away...some don't.

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#344854 - 06/06/07 04:07 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: harlan]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
"IMO blocks are very difficult in bo fighting."

This shows just how hard it is to communicate what we mean simply with writing.

I don't at all mean to be other than just curious... but not using blocks seems heresy to me.

I really don't understand that in this context, just from what we've discussed so far. We spar a lot and we use all types of blocks. We use both ends to attack, and even the middle.

What Brocksampson alluded to above...

"So what if the upper-strike is a defense against Uke's downward strike? You will probably want to meet it his arm at head level, before he hits you rather than after."...

...was blocking up into what we call the "V", the angle created between the decending bo and Uke's extended arm. A block there will damage the hand or arm. But it could also be seen as a strike.

I do understand, in empty hand, that a huge level of efficiency is gained when the block and the counter strike occur at the same time. Or when the counter strike, alone, makes the block unnecessary. But, to me, this more approximates tactics with a weapon in each hand (sai, tonfa). The best we have been able to come up with using the bo, is learning to land our blocks (whenver possible) on part of Uke... rather than his tools. We pad up with hockey gloves and arm pads and do repetetive contact drills where I block his attack with my bo onto his hands. This subtly - but importantly - changes the maai to be closer.

Are we even close to talking about the same thing?

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#344855 - 06/06/07 04:10 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Joss]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
Or are you perhaps describing a situation where Uke raises his bo to down strike to my head. But at the same time he raises to strike, he opens himself to my lunge to his centerline? No block?

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