The following video clip is taken from the Practical Shotokan: Beginner to Black Belt Course taught by Sensei Paul Mitchell, Chief Instructor of the Wells Traditional Shotokan Karate Club earlier on today. Sensei Mitchell is talking about stand alone karate kata bunkai which could be fight finishers by themselves. As Shotokan Karate puts a lot of emphasis on multiple assailants, there are many techniques which can incapacitate an opponent very quickly, although they are not always obvious and have been dumbed down a lot over the years for many social and political reasons.
Kaki Waki Uke (Reverse Wedge Block) is usually seen as breaking somebody’s grip when they try to strangle you. However, if they have both of their hands on you, why not just punch/strike them? It is much quicker, they have nothing to defend themselves with (as they’ve committed both of their hands to your neck) and it could finish the fight then and there. If you use Kaki Waki Uke to separate their arms and release their grip, then you can both continue the fight on an even basis.
So what is Kaki Waki Uke more useful for? Well one of the most common street attacks of all is a swinging haymaker, which as Sensei Mitchell demonstrates here can be easily stopped with one side of the Kaki Waki Uke. Note that when he does this, that his opponent head is jerked slightly downwards and onto the other arm with is attacking to the neck.
In this instance Sensei Mitchell quite lightly attacks a specific point on the opponent neck causing him to almost pass out straight away. Had the blow been delivered with any real force, the opponent would have out cold.
Now if you’re thinking multiple opponents, you want techniques which give instant results and doesn’t waste a lot of your own energy (which you’ll need for fighting the others). Sensei Mitchell demonstrates how this can be done very simply using a common technique which most people happily overlook on a regular basis.
As always this course is open to all other martial artists from other styles, whether they be from other internal styles looking to improve their knowledge, or from external styles looking to introduce more internal practices into their own martial art.
Paul is an excellent choice of instructor for this wide mix of needs, having had many years of experience in Shotokan Karate (4th Dan), Yang Tai Chi (A grade instructor with the Tai Chi Union) and Qi Gong (Qi Gong therapist). A number of his senior Karate students (and other martial artist including Wing Chun and Tae Kwon Do black belts) regularly train Tai Chi with Paul as well, so he is very adapt and understanding the needs and abilities of people from different martial arts backgrounds.
Within the Traditional Shotokan Karate Association, Paul is respected as a leading authority on Bunkai (applications). This approach is reflected in his Tai Chi which is taught both for health and well-being as well as for the martial applications of the art.
You can find out a bit more about Paul at this recently shot short film about him:
The course will cover (depending on background and experience) Qi Gong, empty handed forms to weapons forms, pushing hands and applications. It will be taught over two days in the Somerset village of Henton (two miles from Wells).
The Course starts at 9.30 am on Saturday morning and finishes at 4.30 pm on Sunday. The cost of the course is: £90 with a deposit of £30 required to secure a place. Cost includes the two days training and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
I am very pleased to be able to include 2 short video clips of my own Sensei, Paul Mitchell 4th Dan.
Sensei Mitchell is a recognised authority on Bunkai within the Traditional Shotokan Karate Association and usually teaches bunkai on TSKA residential courses. Having originally started my Karate training in Kent, then continued it when I moved up to Scotland and again when I moved to the South West of England; I can say I’ve been about a bit and seen a few different clubs. I consider myself very lucky to have found Sensei Mitchell’s club as firstly I like the emphasis on good technique and secondly I like the practically of his teachings and bunkai.
Thirdly, I like his quirkly sense of humour, but that’s another story . . . . sorry Sensei 😉
The clips below were taken on a recent Kata course hosted by Sensei Mitchell focusing on kata Jitte. The course started of with structure and form, followed by Bunkai. After a light lunch (thanks Chris) it was back to work and being Jitte, we did it with Bo’s. Jitte is unique in that it can be performed empty handed or with Bo, with very little adjustment at all.
Sensei Mitchell hosts these courses every couple of months and they are open to Karateka of any style (including TaeKwonDo) from 4th Kyu/Kup and above. These are taught in an open and friendly environment and if you would like to attend, then check out the “Calender Of Events” tab on his website every now and then. If you enjoy Bunkai and practical Karate, then I would highly recommend these courses.