Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (February 22nd, 2009)

From Kyoshi David Baker

Chief Operating Officer
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA


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“Chop down the tree” training exercise

One way to categorize our Shorin-Ryu techniques is by their range, from close to distant. When my daughter was about 4-years old, I decided to focus some training on close-range techniques, for when she grew older.

We formulated a series of techniques that progressed up the body, from the feet to the head. We practiced them weekly, and named it “Chop down the tree” to make it seem more like a game and because at that age the only targets she could reach were on my legs – at the “base” of my “tree”.

While standing, facing each other, Lauren would do the techniques while keeping her eyes up as much as possible, rather than looking down at the target.. (This is more difficult than in yakusoku kumite because of the close ma-ai, but with practice it can be accomplished.)

We added techniques over the years to the original series because, as she grew taller, she could reach additional, higher targets. Many of these techniques can be executed in different directions (inward, outward, upward, and/or backward), and each technique is done both left and right. Finally, although I have written “to” the targets listed below, all our system’s techniques accelerate through the target, not just to the target itself.

Chop down the tree:

* Naihanchi stomp on the instep
* Kick (mae-geri or yoko-geri) to the knee
* Knee smash (hiza-ate) to the thigh
* Knee smash (hiza-ate) to the groin
* One-knuckle punch (shoken) to the ribs
* Elbow smash (hiji-ate) to the ribs
* Elbow smash (hiji-ate) to the face.
* Palm heel smash (shotei-ate) to the chin
* Palm heel smash (shotei-ate) to the nose
* Backfist (uraken-uchi) to the nose
* Fingers to the eyes (optional)

Then, we finished with what we named the “cherry on top”:

* Headbutt to the nose, while pulling my head downward with both hands


Voilà, tree felled.

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