Practical Kata Bunkai: Padwork Drills on Hip Movement
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Published on Mar 4, 2013
This video shows three quick drills we did in the dojo in March 2013. Each drill was done for two minutes with the emphasis being on using the hips to ensure good impact and fast transitions. The combinations involve hitting with alternate hands, hitting with the same hand twice, rising, dropping, etc.
While there are many different ways to generate power, I personally prefer "double hipping". This simply means that hips move fractionally before the arms (as they do on a golf swing, javelin throw, tennis serve, in fact just about any pursuit that involves power generation) and the pivot point is not the spine but the side of the hip (as far as the context permits). People sometimes mistakenly think that the hip motion will telegraph the technique and that the double hip cannot be used in rapid combinations. This is normally because the have only seen the double hip used in a big "A,B,C version" single shot when the basics of the method are imparted to beginners. The reality though is that the double hip can increase speed due to the torque generated in the body and the strikes are so rapid (because they overlap) that the idea of telegraphing and the enemy reacting becomes moot. The double hip is also much more subtle (in terms of visible motion) when correctly applied than those not fully familiar with the method tend to appreciate. Its effect on the level of impact is great however, which is why I personally prefer it over all other power generation methods I have experienced.
The maintaining of a tight "guard" is not of great concern in these drills because we are thinking primarily of self-defence based application. In that context the hands will be active in controlling the limbs, locating the target, opening the enemy up, etc as opposed to being held in a passive guard. We also aim to overwhelm the enemy so they are worrying about our strikes as opposed to the other way around. Finally, the best way to stop the enemy landing their strikes (aside from avoidance and escape) is to ensure they are quickly made unconscious! The rapid delivery of powerful strikes is therefore far more important than excessive caution which could result in inactive hands (i.e. being held in a tight guard). We are not thinking of a drawn out back and forth "fight" here -- where a tight guard would have an important role to play -- but explosively incapacitating. Maximum impact should therefore be the top priority so it is appropriate to "open things up" a little.
All the best,
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