Tai Sabaki

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Em MacIntosh, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Em MacIntosh

    Em MacIntosh 3rd Black Belt

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    I was curious if the other ryu's on the board practice a set of forms for tai sabaki, possibly called the same. In Chito-Ryu we emphasize it as one of the most important qualities from which to consider any technique. As a result we practice it a lot.

    For those who don't know the japanese terms, tai sabaki essentially means to reposition the body. In the context of combat, it's intended meaning is to reposition the body to a more advantageous position. Two qualities are to move no more than necessary and to telegraph it as little as possible (I hesitate to say "wait 'till the last instant" before you move). I think a good example would be to slip a punch in boxing (while simultanaously delivering a cross to the solar plexus).

    Would your school consider these exercises as kihon, renzuko-waza or something else? Are the expansions on the forms treated as bunkai or just an extension of the form? I was just curious about the prevalence of tai sabaki being taught as a form of its own, whether the concept is just taught within other kata or is it even touched on at all.

    Please discuss.
     
  2. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    all the Okinawan styles of karate that I am aware of use it and practice it . there is a large emphasis on it in Shobayashi Shorin Ryu, and also in Matsumura Seito, both Okinawan Karate styles.

    They are part of the kata from the first kata in both systems. and yes I would say they are considered Kihon, though you do develop more understanding as you train over time.
     
  3. seasoned

    seasoned Grandmaster Staff Member

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    Agreed, this was not shown at first, until the kata were practiced and the movements were correct. Once there was a good understanding of the kata, it was easier to expose all that was right in front of us, the whole time. This also went for throws and take downs.
     
  4. Em MacIntosh

    Em MacIntosh 3rd Black Belt

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    We have a set of 12 movements (simply called tai sabaki) that we learn along with our kihon dosa ichi as the basis of our footwork. The first 8 movements are done in soto-hachi-dachi, the last 4 are done in seisan-dachi. The movements are expanded to include blocks and then blocks and/or counterstrikes. The same pattern is repeated twice,
    the first includes blocks and the second includes blocks and/or strikes. They are usually combined into a set of 36 movements (not counting the blocks and strikes) but the beginners usually concentrate just on the first 12 until they start doing the kihon katas, then they progress to the 36 movement form.

    I've noticed a pattern where the katas that make the most use of tai sabaki tend to make extensive use of kosa-dachi as well. I don't think much in katas is intended to be coincidence, despite the subtlety of many of the techniques within.
     
  5. Banjin Tsuki

    Banjin Tsuki White Belt

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    Fellow Chito-Ryu student here, just down here in the states. Sensei has been starting to really emphasize this in our classes lately, especially in sparing. The idea being the best block is to simply not be where the technique is headed. However, (and I know you specifically asked about ryus, so my apologies if this is misplaced) in my college days I did a lot of Aikido/jitsu and the emphasis on tai-sabaki was huge starting on day one. The purpose was 4 fold -

    First, avoid the technique.
    Second, movement adds to the momentum and power of the locks and throws common in the Aiki system (much like Chito-ryu's henshu-hos).
    Third, control the opponent's balance and center line.
    Fourth, control technique distance where even slight shifts create gaps where the opponent cannot execute a technique with power or effectiveness but you can cover the distance powerfully and easily.

    Certainly these seem to be beneficial to any ryu, but the study of Aiki back in the day has made this much easier for me to understand and apply to Chito-ryu today.

    There was also a neat article about Tai-Sabaki in this month's Black Belt magazine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  6. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    yes! I agree about the rest of it too, throws, take downs, brakes and locks too! It is all there.
     

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