16 ISSHIN-RYU BASICS
Each of the original basic exercises begins in the Seisan stance, with left foot forward, the toe of the right foot lined up with the heel of the forward left foot and with feet placed at the students outside shoulder width. Body is held straight up, in a fully relaxed posture. Head is up with the eyes upon your opponent. Fists are placed on each side, upon the top of your hips, with your elbows pulled back at your sides. It is most important that, in Sei-San position, you learn to hold this stance while totally relaxed. Standing, stepping into a forward Sei-San stance or stepping back into Sei-San, your knees must be slightly bent. Properly flexed, your knees should block the line of vision of your feet just to the tip of the toes. In that stance, your knees flexed, your knee joints are not stressed nor are they as vulnerable to damage from a kick. Bent knees in Sei-San also lends strength to your stance for focus, while your body is still relaxed. In the basic exercises, advanced exercises and basic kick drills, as you throw punches, blocks and kicks, you do not allow your shoulders or hips to move forward, until the black belts feel that you are prepared to begin body shifting, to enhance technique. This is significant, since, only through this control, can you begin to obtain focus (kime/chi), which is the essence of your Isshin-ryu power. This is the foundation, upon which you will learn, become adept at and finally master the three basic elements of Isshin-ryu:
- Balance - Speed!”
three principles will be drilled into all students, by the instructors, since
these are the elements that create the difference between the success of
Isshin-ryu karate and all other styles.
You will be shown that in order to gain the advantage of Focus, when a
strike or kick is made, it is helpful and necessary to throw the technique
approximately one-half inch past the outer limit of the target or point of
impact and then immediately withdraw the blow, back to the original position. In
the case of a kick, the lower portion of your leg will be withdrawn, until the
back of the lower leg is set against the back of the thigh. This is called Rechambering and is required to obtain the power of Focus.
Theoretically, the strike or
kick, is thrown at great speed and Rechambered
faster than it is thrown.
Speed only comes
with constant practice and repetition. Speed becomes the very essence of Chi or
Ki which is enhanced with control. When throwing a punch with great speed with
the intent of focusing approximately an inch beyond the outer layer of skin, an
instant prior to a quick rechamber, control is an absolute necessity. The
ability to obtain this type of speed requires that you are always in a totally
relaxed attitude, until the very moment that your blow strikes your opponent. At
this instance of impact, you must envision every fiber in your body
instantaneously tighten. All power in your body comes up from your toes
Step forward with the right foot and throw a right hand vertical punch to the
solar plexus, snapping the punch
back to the position of initiation.
Step forward with the right foot and throw a right hand uppercut to the
opponents chin. Snap punch back to position of initiation.
Step forward with the right foot and throw a left snap vertical punch to the
Step forward with the right foot, throw a right hand closed fist middle block
(the block must be snapped with the palm toward you, at the outside line of your
shoulder, with the fist at shoulder height, elbow one fist width from rib cage),
throw a left vertical punch at the solar plexus, while simultaneously replacing
the blocking fist at the hip.
Step forward with the right foot, while snapping a right hand outside shuto block
(knife edge block, or side of hand). As block is snapped back to hip, throw a
left hand upper cut, to the chin, with snap.
Step back with the left foot, snap a right hand low block with the right hand to
the outer limit of the right leg. As the block snaps back to the hip, throw a
left hand vertical punch to the solar plexus.
Step forward with the right foot and throw a quick backfist punch,
with the right
Step forward with the right foot, snapping a right hand rising block one inch
above the crown of your head with the wrist bent and back of fist facing
directly up, snap a left vertical punch to the solar plexus, simultaneously
snapping the blocking hand to the original hip position.
Step back with the left leg, simultaneously throwing a right hand shuto grasping
block, which draws the opponent toward you. As the block returns to the hip,
drive a spear hand (Nukite) to the solar plexus.
Step forward with the right foot, fire a shuto blow to the solar plexus with the
Step forward with the right leg, block down with a low block with right hand,
stopping at the outer edge of the forward leg. Throw a snap vertical punch with
the left hand, right hand - slight pause - left hand, right hand - slight pause
- left vertical punch. Return to ready position.
12- Step forward with the right foot while throwing a snap mid-block with the right arm, elbow a fist width from the rib cage, throw a left, right vertical fist punch, pause, throw a left, right vertical fist punch, pause, throw a left vertical fist punch.
Step forward with your right foot, right fist coming to the left of your
chest, while simultaneously throwing the left arm out to the side and back, the
block will trap your opponent, who is holding your collar on both sides, from
bringing his arms down momentarily. Then snap your left arm in a circular motion
with the fist striking your opponent in the lower rib cage. That fist then
returns to it’s hip position, simultaneously your right arm moves in an arc
with the right fist striking
Step forward with your right foot, while throwing a right hand “shuto” or
knife edge of the hand, block and grab. Then instantly throw a left hand
“shuto” strike to the right side of the attackers neck.
15- Step back with the left foot into a “T” stance (Nikko Dachi), right foot forward and on ball of foot, left foot in a position perpendicular to the forward stance. Lock wrists, with the right arm horizontal to the deck and left arm with elbow toward the deck. Release wrist lock and drive left elbow into opponent standing behind you, while swiveling left hip to the right.
Step back with the left foot,
throwing simultaneous right hand low block to the outer limit of the right leg,
throw left fist block to groin area with knuckles to block second groin kick and
then snap a right vertical punch to the solar plexus.
Note - Each of the Basic Exercises will be done, in turn, from both the left and right Seisan Stance.
In all of the basic exercises,
indeed, in Ippon Kumite (self defense techniques) and Ju-Kumite (free style
sparring), the hands and feet must work in a synchronous pattern. Since Isshin-ryu karate depends on quick reaction, with speed, balance and