Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ji-yu Roppon Kumite and "Arching" Kushin

Ji-yu Roppon Kumite and “Arching” Kushin
I’m gradually catching up from the long weekend here; because I run my own business I often have to work holidays and now we have the KWF SA over, things are even busier. Anyway, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning were Isaka Sensei (IS) training, which I won’t go into now- that deserves a blog of its own. In between dinner at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, sushi parties, and visiting Sugamo Kosoburo, I realized we need some time to explain one of the earlier sessions the KWF SA has been trying- Ji-yu Roppon Kumite.
Ji-yu Roppon Kumite.
Those of you who have seen prior videos will have caught glimpses of some excellent Ji-yu Roppon Kumite by Kawasaki Sensei. Basically Ji-yu Roppon Kumite by KWF is normally done with a partner, or, more usually, with the heavy sandbag. It consists of three parts- a full-blown Oi-zuki, followed by hard and fast punches, a huge leap back and down, and then the most powerful surge forward for the final coupe de grace Oi-zuki. BANG-ba-ba-ba-ba-WhoooahBANG!

Get the picture?

Of course, this is a great way to let off steam. But it is also an important part of KWF Black Belt training and an exercise that we have focused on for a month in 8-9 month cycles. It’s supposed to encompass everything KWF is about.

The Meaning of Ji-yu Roppon Kumite
First of all, the Oi-zuki is supposed to be maximum length and maximum power- to smash down the opponent. This is the critical philosophy of the KWF- one powerful technique to finish the issue. All the will and strength possible should be put into this.

So why bother with what’s next?

Well, that’s the issue, isn’t it? Say you don’t manage it…say your opponent is fast and switched on and manages to get back or deflect or block, or…you just weren’t successful for some reason. This is where the follow-up punches come in, to destabilize, stun, or put your aite off balance. Of course, we are not talking about hooks or uppercuts here, but close up in the street...Once you feel that the opponent is reeling or backpedaling, you can afford the risk for the next technique, the huge spring back and rebound into the final coup de grace Oi-zuki.


The rhythm against the bag is…"BANG!-ba-ba-ba-ba-uh-BANG!"


The first Oi-zuki against the bag is practiced maybe two meters from the bag; the follow-up punches are close range. The lunge back onto the rear leg means that you should be at even as much as three meters from the bag when you launch into the final Oi-zuki.

The role of Kushin/ Shinshuku
As you may well have realized, this drill’s most important and dramatic and most difficult part is the lung back onto the rear leg and then the launch forward and UP and down in and arc to smash your opponent. Normally, when you go back and down to block and Gyaku-zuki your weight should be forward- but when you launch backwards and down, you should be leaning back way over your leg in a position similar to the move in Empi, except you are going to lunge back into the attack with an Oi-zuki instead of snapping the hips and blocking Gedan-barai. Get the picture. The fuss is- to generate the power and the momentum to crumple and finish your enemy.


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