Sunday, September 2, 2018

Shuto Uke, Not Just Another Block

Jargon is the specialized language of a given field. It is understandable to insiders, usually. In the case of Karate, the movements in kata are like a specialized language. Unlike jargon, there is little common understanding within the karate community! Case in point, the Shuto Uke that appear in the kata Kanku Dai (Shotokan) and the Shuto Mawashi Uke in the Kyokushin version of Kanku. My buddy Christian opined that the Kyokushin Mawashi Uke was just some uppity flourish. Ha!

Attached is a video I made with Domingo and Kaz of Sugawara Dojo in Ridgefield, NJ. Here I demonstrate some applications of the two"blocks." Actually, the shuto uke in the video is not so much a block, as a check of my opponent's arm so that I may take his back.

The application for shuto mawashi uke is control.  It is the gateway to many of the advanced applications found within karate self-defense technique (neck cranks, joint destruction, chokes, etc.)- no wonder that is appears so frequently in kata. Look closely, and you might see moves to break my opponent's floating ribs, hyperextend his elbow, gouge his eye while applying an elbow to his temple, knee his ribs, lock his neck, and unbalance him.  That is quite a list of tasks. Luckily, we now recognize all of it as shuto mawashi uke.

I have a few more videos to add. Hopefully they will improve our common understanding and make yours a better karate.

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