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This Month

Here’s what the Hombu is teaching this month.

It’s important to remember that the lessons linked to below are only a starting point, and that there is so much more great learning content to explore from all of our instructors.

April and October

Level 1 – Earth

“Te-hodoki 1” Double wrist grab escapes
Principle: His overpowering technique becomes your advantage over his new vulnerability
1. Bang attacker’s thumbs together when your hands are pulled close together. OR 2. Throw a forward head-butt or kick when your hands are pulled wide apart. Follow with push away and escape with the order, “Back off!”

“Dan-shu” Same-side grab defense
Principle: Use the weight of gravity instead of muscle power to generate strength
1. Recognize aggressor’s jerking left hand grab at your right wrist or upper arm. 2. Reach straight upward with both hands inside his arm to free your arm from his grip. 3. Bend your knees deeply to strike down with both elbows or hammer fists to his arm, collarbone, or bridge of the nose. 4. Swing knee kicks in to his thigh or groin, shouting the order, “Stop it!” Push away and escape with defense-ready positioning – “Back off!”

Level 2 – Fire

“Fire” response to haymaker punch
Principle: Structure can overcome power. Use bone alignment – not joint and muscle tension

  1. Advance into left-forward jumonji no kamae attacking fighting posture
  2. Charge into attacker’s haymaker punch with a left palm to his face
  3. Catch the back of his head with your left and lift a right elbow to his face
  4. Send a right shuto into the right side of his neck or a right kick to his midsection
  5. Finish as appropriate and resume preemptive fighting posture to defend against his next move.

Defense from the ground against standing attacker
Principle: Intercepting – hit his movements hard as they begin – more easily stops movement

  1. Aggressor moves into position to kick or punch you on the ground
  2. From position on your back, scoot forward and kick your heel into his shin
  3. Kick his leg with your other foot to drive him back or take him to the ground
  4. Quickly leap back to your feet to continue your defense

“Fire” intercept front kick attack
Principle: Intercepting – “gobble up” his movements as they begin – more easily stops movement

  1. Advance into kosei no kamae attacking fighting posture
  2. Slip inside (or outside) attacker’s front kick
  3. Hit his face with leading hand as you move forward tapping past his leg
  4. Drive in with an elbow to his solar plexus and a backhand strike to his face

Level 3 – Wind

Wind Escape From a Rear Choke (Ketsu mi-yaku)

  1. Aggressor rushes in with grab around your neck.
  2. Catch his elbow and create space for blood and air passage
  3. Drop forward to kneeling position, pulling him forward with you
  4. Shove your trapped shoulder forward to throw him onto his head
  5. Pull back to stretch the attacker on the ground

Around-waist tackle defense

  1. As he grabs around your waist with head beside you, flex your knees to stabilize his force.
  2. Chop down on the back of his neck several times with your hand edge, or smack his ear several times.
  3. Wrap your forearm under his neck and hold his head in place with the inside of your arm.
  4. Pull up to force his chin towards his chest with a “guillotine” action.
  5. Lean back to intensify the fold, or bring your knee up to his face sharply several times.

“Wind” wrist fold from mirror-side back-of-hand grab (Ta-ke ori)

  1. Attacker shoves forward with two hands
  2. Backing up with his forward movement, grab the backs of his hands, your right on his left, left on his right
  3. Crouch for leverage and tighten your grip around the tops of his wrists
  4. Straighten your legs to push up, your hands on the backs of his hands

Level 4 – Black Belt

Yoku-To (“Attack throw-back”) Koto Ryu Koppojutsu Shoden Kata
Practice making decisions under pressure. There may not be enough time to recognize his technique, so you need a quick response to handle many possibilities. You will know what he is throwing at you only as the attack unfolds. With minimal information as to what is coming, you have to generate maximum results. Use one standard move to handle all the many possibilities.

  1. Aggressor reaches straight in with his right for a grab-pull, push-shove, or straight punch. Practice these various attacks authentically and well, so that a good defense must become your natural response.
  2. Smack over from outside with your left palm (or inside with your left hand edge) to stop and lock his right
  3. Swing a right boshiken thumb tip to the left corner of his jaw, or at minimum, a palm heel to his face.
  4. Swing your right shin up to his crotch, knee to his right hip, or right boot-toe to his ankle or lower leg
  5. Knock him back with a left shakoken palm to his chin, pulling your right leg all the way back and extending your left arm fully.

Yoku-to Ura-kata 1

  1. Throw defensive action and counter strike to his face as the same movement
  2. He lifts his arms to brush you off and ducks in for a wrestler’s tackle
  3. Crouch and shift your right foot inside his right leg and lever him to the ground by straightening his right knee with your bent-knee pressure, and then fall into him with your knee to his chest.

Yoku-to Ura-kata 2

  1. Throw defensive action and counter strike to his face as the same movement
  2. He cross palm-jams your strike with his left and tries to punch low with is right fist
  3. You catch his left jamming arm wrist with your original left block-stop hand
  4. Pull his left arm out and hit with a right shuto hand-edge to the face or head
  5. Back away, pull his left wrist with your left and lever down on his left triceps your right forearm
  6. Sweep your right leg back into the front of his left leg to trip him to the ground.