Friday, January 23, 2015

Kajukenbo, the uncomitting art?

This is going to sound weird, if it doesn't already. But... I've said before (the link's about to get offed, so I won't re-link it here) that my understanding of the division between internal and external martial arts is a tad... particular. That said...

Current karate inherited, from Itto ryu, the "one punch, one kill" mindset. As a mindset, I don't have anything against it. As a belief... it should be shot dead and thrown to the sharks. Thing is...

Thing is, I was thinking, which is usually dangerous somewhere along the line. And I realized that our punches, the way we punch (and counterattack, and...) doesn't leave much room for "one-shot kills". We do have a couple of syllabus techniques that do allow for that "2 moves, three of them lethal" mindset of the really old schools [*].

What I see in those techniques, and styles, is that there are not "holes". Sure, the very best artists will always find a hole in your guard, no matter how good you are. Beyond that, my problem with committing attacks, as they're usually seen, is that they over-reach, they leave you wide open. If it gets the perp, great. If it doesn't...

So, (our) Kajukenbo [+] doesn't come striking from the back beyond, one sure punch to down them all. It doesn't even do that, not really, from nearby. While it does use some hard "here I come" punches, they're more like "finishing moves", not structurally different from the rest. Just, maybe, different in intent, but nothing you cannot change to a more flowing motion you could build on.

Which means it has more in common with softer styles, or with certain modern interpretations of karate not glued to the pre-post wartime Japanese instruction. Which might mean why I can train comfortably with it.

Thought food. Take care.

[*] There's a technique, in Tatsumi ryu's "jujutsu" syllabus, from seiza, with two moves and three hits, all of which can potentially shut the brain down (or over). Then, you control him. There's a technique in the KJKB syllabus with two moves. While only two are potentially lethal, three of them break something. Both techniques start from relatively soft attacks (as always, context is everything). I sense a pattern.

[+] No reason why the old techniques shouldn't have that. However, those practitioners I've seen seem congealed in a Jo-Shu level or a Ri-Kyu mess (Shu-ha-ri and Jo-ha-kyu; set practice-experimentation-transcendence and Soft slow-compact flow-emergency discard, respectively, but you have to be wary of jumping levels)

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