Learning is Endless

The Basics are the Advanced Techniques

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By Richard Conceicao


A movement pattern can encompass many uses—“a middle block is not only a middle block”.

Once you get away from limiting term “block” and just concern yourself with the movement interesting stuff begins to show up.  

There is an Aiki-jitsu throw where when your same side wrist is grabbed you step behind your opponent, bend your elbow, bringing the hand towards your centerline and then back out. The opponent is off balanced and falls to his rear.  If you were to pantomime this action without the opponent physically there, the entire karate/tkd world would say you were simply demonstrating a forward stepping inside-to-out middle block.

A few other examples:

  1. a.     Hair pull: very often grabbing your opponents hair, pulling his head down and back, is a very effective way of opening him up to your attack. One can imagine that the Samurai of old, with everyone’s hair in a topknot, loved this technique! 
  1. b.     Reverse Supinating Wristlock (Kotegaeshi) Once again perform this on your partner, and then do it again solo, the movement mirrors that of a middle block. 
  1. c.     Uppercut: if you were to intercept an incoming straight punch by throwing an uppercut at opponents head you would not only appear to but would in effect be doing an out-to-in middle block. Of course, this is a more advanced motion as it demands timing and a bit of courage on your part, but is easier to pull off than you think. 
  2. d.     White crane nods its head: as the name implies this is a finger chin-na from White Crane kung fu. It is done by grabbing and then hyperextending your opponents finger in a downward motion, forcing him to the floor. 

Now, one may argue that the human body can only move in certain ways, therefore it is unfair to imply that all of these techniques can be found within the karate/tkd syllabus, or that the founders were even aware of them. Perhaps, but honestly, I don’t care. As long as I can look at anything that widens the perspective I have on these arts, I am a happier man.