Uechi-Ryu Circle Block

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Drobison491, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. Drobison491

    Drobison491 Yellow Belt

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    I've been studying Uechi-Ryu for a month now and for some reason I'm still having problems with the circle block. The concept is an easy one, its just not translating well. I watch other people do it and it seems sharp and focused, but when I do it it feels like i'm just throwing my arm in a random circle.

    I know techniques can be hard to address on a forum, but any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Try to use your body to push/pull your arm. The goal is "only see the body movement, don't see the arm movement." To develop "body method" is important.

    I like this guy's form very much. It's not Uechi-Ryu form, but you get the idea of how to use body to push/pull your arm.

     
  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    A month is nothing. Just keep working on it. ;)
     
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  4. Drobison491

    Drobison491 Yellow Belt

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    facts.

    I know a month is nothing, just wasn't expecting to still feel like i have to left feet...err...hands in this case. It's slowly coming, Just hasn't clicked just yet.

    On the upside Sanchin and Kumite 1 have vastly improved
     
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  5. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Brown Belt

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    Not sure at all what you are calling a "circle block" There are several different techniques that can fit that description. If you have an Okinawan or Japanese term for it, or post some visual, we can all be on the same page.

    Master Uechi Kanbun spent many years in China studying Pangainoon kung fu, and his Okinawan version of it is perhaps more Chinese and circular than other Okinawan styles. I think circular moves are inherently more difficult to learn than linear techniques since the tangent/arc is changing (not good at advanced math terms) and usually multiple things are happening offensively and defensively during that single technique.

    After just one month, be happy if you can take a proper step and lock your hips. Relax during the move you are posting about, work on coordinating the rest of the body with it, be slow and smooth, and soon you will have it down.
     
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  6. Drobison491

    Drobison491 Yellow Belt

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    I'm pretty sure it's called a wauke.

    The concept is simple one. It shouldn't be hard to duplicate.

    Lol yeah stepping took a minute, I still step to wide at times.
     
  7. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    One of the training methods to get the motion down is to put your arm against a wall and "trace" the motion with your arm/hand. Your other hand (depending on lineage) either is by the elbow and "follows" that or is positioned in front of the solar plexus until you are ready to chamber it.
     
  8. O'Malley

    O'Malley Blue Belt

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    Have you tried waxing on and off?
     
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  9. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Ahhh ok sort of similar to the blocks at the end of kata Gekisai Ichi before the double punch. Sort of like kake uke...

    All I'll say is really slow down the movement to silly slow levels, and the vid you posted is probably a good way to break it down, one hand at a time. Then slowly together, really feeling the flow of it and synchronisation, and only when you're comfortable then speed it up.

    Doing it in front of a mirror will help too, but I reckon it'll be a matter of ironing out any tendencies to make it mechanical or to want to make it a linear/straight-line block. Circular stuff takes a certain flow and relaxation, relaxing your shoulders will help (not hiking them up).

    I find Uechi ryu fascinating as heck! Keep posting more about it! You know, if you want to :)

    But yeah one month is very early stages still for what seems an intermediate block like that but keep practicing brother :)
     
  10. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    My concern about this video is - he only moves his arm. His body is not moving.
     
  11. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Hi Drobison, welcome to the forum. a month, ah well, give another 10 years and youll be fine.
    who are you training under, what organisation, everyone does the wauke a little different? what i find most students get wrong is trying to do what @punisher73 suggested. he is correct that the wall tracing thing is a method teachers use to get the action down, however once you have done that about 100 times you would need to get away from that one dimensional plane. what Chip is showing in the video is a bit misleading due the camera and angle. depending on your teacher, you may not want to do your "circle" in a plane that is completely vertical as if it is painted on a wall. try this..... if you imagine a hula hoop and your hand is following the circle i would recommend the hula hoop be on a 45 degree plane starting at your waist and raising up to your shoulders and well as going out away from your body. i see a lot of beginners doing the action from the elbow , so that the hand is moving from the elbow. in this case my correction would be to lock your elbow more or less stiff and move more from the shoulder and hips.
    all this being said it is really up to your teacher. some organisations are pretty open to interpretation while others that are more close to Okinawan ties are very strict and taking my or anyone's advise from here would get you some head tilting looks followed by a "what the heck is that" comment.
    be patient keep working i. it takes time for the brain to make those neural pathways.
     
  12. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Good call on the further advice. I was only commenting on the very beginning idea of the motion. But, you are correct that there are multiples planes of action that can be used. In some lineages the circle is also larger or very abbreviated on the initial movement, as always "it depends". This was the method I learned from George Mattson as a new student.
     
  13. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    my overall critique on the Wauke is that a lot of people end up looking very robotic. they flap their arms around looking like a windshield wiper. i think the underlying cause is that they get a picture of the cookie cutter version of the action in their minds (often through kata) and often the instructor holds this same image. the student then goes about perfecting the action based on the concept of a "perfect movement". i prefer to have the student learn the basic action then let the application and all of its variations train their bodies to move naturally. the blocking action should be developed through the application not an abstract picture perfect copy of a copy of a copy. i find when you approach it this way your actions take on a character that stand out and are not easily replicated but end up being much more functional.
     
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  14. Drobison491

    Drobison491 Yellow Belt

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    My instructor is Steve Vosa. He trained under Bob Campbell and George Mattson. He's said that at the height of the circle to slightly reach out towards the eyes and then bring it back in to the ready guard. So it's not supposed to be a flat plane. Though I can see the benefit of using the wall to start. I think that's what Ihor Rymaruk put in his book.

    I'll keep posting about my journey. I've definitely fallen in love with it.


    Thanks for all the advice I'll continue to take it slow and get my reps in.
     
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  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Well it sounds like you got it ,at least conceptually. While the name Vosa doesn't ring a bell im sure we crossed paths at one of the Mattson summer camps if he attended regularly. But being a Campbell student I can say your in good hands.
     
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  16. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    You go, bro, keep that love strong.

    George Mattson's dojo was the first dojo I ever set foot in. And it was years before I ever actually trained.
    It made me crazy over Martial Arts, I watched Bob Campbell pretty much the whole time that day.

    I know George and Bob fairly well since then, Jay Salhanick - President of Bob Campbell's Uechi organization - is an old, good friend, we trained a lot together over the years.

    And they all started just like we did. One day at a time. Keep at it, bro. :)
     
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  17. Drobison491

    Drobison491 Yellow Belt

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    Conceptually it makes sense, but being used to more linear/sharp blocks, it feels like i'm just throwing my arm around lol.

    Small world. I haven't heard much about Mr. Campbell and only a few (interesting) stories about Mr. Mattson.
     
  18. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Bob Campbell is one of the most experienced and well traveled Karate men I've ever known. He's trained all over the world in a lot of arts to a very high level. In Kung fu as well. He is a true Martial gentleman and a scary good fighter.

    He's been living in Hong Kong for decades now. If I remember correctly he's an attorney, but he trains pretty much every cop, military and security force there. At least he used to.

    It was always fun when came back to the east coast for seminars and such.
     
  19. Drobison491

    Drobison491 Yellow Belt

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    That would be awesome to attend one of their seminars
     
  20. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Mr. Campbell is just scary to me all around. Back in the day he had calves the size of my waist. Somewhere around 1995 at a summer camp Bob took a group of us out to a Chinese restaurant. He told all of us to put the menus away, he would order, and he talked to the Chef in Chinese and ordered all kinds of stuff that wasn't even on the menu. Times like that were the best. I swear I would laugh all night at those camps.123
     
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