Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (February 14th, 2010)

From Kyoshi David Baker,
Chief Operating Officer
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
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Yakusoku kumite must be done with full awareness. Never by rote.

Two ways to encourage mushin is to practice using either hand, and to practice different Yakusoku kumite at the same time.

Practicing with either hand
We first learn each Yakusoku kumite right-handed, then left-handed. We also should learn Yakusoku kumite using either hand – not knowing which hand will initiate the attack, either right hand or left hand.

Practicing either Yakusoku kumite
In addition, because the ma-ai of Yakusoku kumite shodan (“Pre 1”) and Yakusoku kumite nidan (“Pre 2”) are the same, they can both be performed together. First Pre 1 or 2 using right hand only, then left hand only. And once comfortable practicing both Pre 1 and Pre 2 using a single hand, then practicing both Pre 1 and Pre 2 using either hand.

Similarly, because Pre 3 and Pre 4 have virtually the same ma-ai, they too can both be practiced together as a training exercise. First Pre 3 or 4 right hand only, and then left hand only. And then both Pre 3 and 4 using either hand.

Practicing with any Yakusoku kumite
Finally, despite the different ma-ai, all four Yakusoku kumite can conceivably be done together using either hand, as a training exercise – if you build up to it slowly, you and your partner show extreme caution, and you are willing to experience occasional chaos during it.

It’s still pre-arranged fighting, but it starts to approach the dynamic spontaneity of jyu kumite. Joy and vigor. Mushin required.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Kyoshi David Baker,
Chief Operating Officer
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
founded by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione

New York, NY • USA
kyoshibaker@aol.com