Traditional One Steps and Their Intent

dancingalone

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How many of you believe one steps should engrain practical self-defense movement within your muscle memory or is it more of a means of 'form' training? My thought is that either can be the goal or outcome depending on how the one step is conceived and designed. The bulk of one steps I've seen trend more towards the form side because they don't account for a reaction from the attacker, leaving him in the initial punching position for the defender to throw a series of strikes at him, often culminating with a kick of some type.
 

Cyriacus

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It Works if Done Correctly.

I believe 1-Step Sparring is mostly for the Initial Reflex, and that the Defender should Retaliate before the Opponent could possibly Retaliate. Even if that means Untechnical, Wild Strikes.

Of Course, theres more too it than that. But Generally.

For Example; When I Partake or Spectate 1-Step Sparring, usually you have to hit your Opponent, or Grab them in some way, within 1/2 a second of Blocking/Dodging/Whatever you do.
Otherwise, you have to Restart.

Ill Note im being Objective to 1-Step Sparring in General.
 

Master Dan

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Ive had to listen to people stating that one steps are crap for years and yes if its only being taught a certain way of course. The same one step that a beginer learns can have value and meaning at master level and actually never stop. What I mean is the prgression of learning timing distance balance never stops and progressing to more varied agression on the part of the attacker and a progression to higher level of strikes presure points grapling and adaptation for all body types and conditions.

To many times all the emphasis is put on the first move of the defender when it is reall meant to be a set up or access however some one steps that will show three different strikes can actually be used as sing one point defensive moves by them selves.

Bottom line people will do what they practice and if they practice bad reactive technique that is what they will do under duress. For advanced students I have tried to go back and modify traditional one steps to lower level or the term not being use gross motor skills to enhance the probability of defending themselves long enough for higher level brain functions to kick in.
 

Dirty Dog

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I see 1-steps as an in-between stage. They're a little more practical-defense oriented than forms, but less so than free sparring (which in turn is more or less defense oriented depending on the ruleset used). They're excellent for teaching timing and range, as well as the concepts of serial or simultaneous techniques.
 
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dancingalone

dancingalone

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To many times all the emphasis is put on the first move of the defender when it is reall meant to be a set up or access however some one steps that will show three different strikes can actually be used as sing one point defensive moves by them selves.

It is not the ubiquitous step through punch attack that makes me comment that most traditional one steps are more for practicing form. It's the design of the counter that ignores any inevitable reaction from the attacker when he takes the hit. For example, many TSD schools teach as their first one step, an inside out block, punch to the gut, punch to the face, round house kick to the head. The attacker should be bending over from the midsection shot (assuming a good to great punch) or moving back in some fashion (assuming a less effective punch) and this changes what happens with the head punch and kick.

Training one steps for self-defense should make an assumption like this right away, even with white belt students, and so the one step should be modified accordingly. If the one step is practiced as is with long stances and big body rotation as we typically see in demonstrations, then it is really a training vehicle for form - which is entirely an entirely valid goal by itself.
 

SahBumNimRush

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I think I know where you are going with this Dancing, I see many students in my own association practicing one step defenses that leave them wide open for the follow up punch that will inevitably happen if the opponent has the opportunity. Countering inside the attacker's punch is a dangerous place to be, since their opposite hand is now within striking distance.

I've also seen people turn their back to their opponent (either for an elbow strike or some sort of elbow lock), which is a position I'd never like to find myself in, since the opponent now can choke you or strike you in the back of the head.

Thinking about how the opponent can counter is just one aspect to keep in mind when performing one step for self-defense training. Efficiency of movement (i.e. how many times do you have to step or move) and having an idea of how your opponent is going to react to your attack (i.e. hunch over from a shot to the solar plexus) are also really important IMO.

As Master Dan pointed out, progressions of one-steps as you progress in rank are important too. In my dojang, as you reach the higher gup ranks, your opponent is instructed to throw a secondary attack if they are able to. This shows the student the weaknesses in their one steps, so they can alter them and begin to make them more practical.

However, we also have one steps that are purely for demonstrating technique and form (i.e. jumping and spinning kicks that would never be a practical defense to a close quartered punch). These are not emphasized in our training (unless preparing for a demonstration), and the students are told that these aren't practical defenses.

I believe that there is a place for both form and practical when performing one step sparring, but is vitally important that the students understand and know how to recognize the difference.
 

Cyriacus

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I think I know where you are going with this Dancing, I see many students in my own association practicing one step defenses that leave them wide open for the follow up punch that will inevitably happen if the opponent has the opportunity. Countering inside the attacker's punch is a dangerous place to be, since their opposite hand is now within striking distance.

I've also seen people turn their back to their opponent (either for an elbow strike or some sort of elbow lock), which is a position I'd never like to find myself in, since the opponent now can choke you or strike you in the back of the head.

This is why I prefer Half-Facing Elbows. Ill only turn my Back for Spinning Backfists (Or Knife Hand). Which are already quite a rarity.

Thinking about how the opponent can counter is just one aspect to keep in mind when performing one step for self-defense training. Efficiency of movement (i.e. how many times do you have to step or move) and having an idea of how your opponent is going to react to your attack (i.e. hunch over from a shot to the solar plexus) are also really important IMO.
As Master Dan pointed out, progressions of one-steps as you progress in rank are important too. In my dojang, as you reach the higher gup ranks, your opponent is instructed to throw a secondary attack if they are able to. This shows the student the weaknesses in their one steps, so they can alter them and begin to make them more practical.

However, we also have one steps that are purely for demonstrating technique and form (i.e. jumping and spinning kicks that would never be a practical defense to a close quartered punch). These are not emphasized in our training (unless preparing for a demonstration), and the students are told that these aren't practical defenses.

I believe that there is a place for both form and practical when performing one step sparring, but is vitally important that the students understand and know how to recognize the difference.

And im mostly replying to Support this Statement.
 

OldKarateGuy

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That's really difficult to answer (the question in the OP), because it's dependent upon what level student you might be referring to. Our association has a series of one-steps which are required in testing, even into advanced dan ranks. Personally, considering them as practical defense exercises, I think they pretty much are useless. However, especially for colored belt students, one-steps teach range, speed, fluidity, etc. AS you noted, the ubiquitous stepping through is probably designed to allow the defender time to react, but is fairly unrealistic. One-steps do create a very good foundation for defense, I think. We try to adjust the attack and defense as students advance, to make them more real. But we still have those mandated one-steps which are a prerequisite for testing at every rank. We always make a point when teaching the mandatory techniques "Never, ever, do this is real life." or "This one will work and is pretty good." etc.

Having said all that, I like teaching one-steps and the students usually enjoy learning them. We do mix things up a little, to keep it interesting. So, for instance, we might form 5 or 6 students in a circle, with one in the middle. Less experienced students must make the stepping through attack starting on a designated foot, and the outside circle attacks, in order, only on a command from the instructor. As they advance, we change up the attacks, then allow random attacks, etc. Circle drill, everyone loves it. But it's really just one-steps.
 

punisher73

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While reading "one steps" on this thread it seems that many of them are semi-sparring oriented and you are throwing more than one technique. Originally, in Okinawa it was "ippon kumite" meaning "one point" or one moment in time. The purpose of them was to stop an attacker's continous motion or ability to continue on with a continous atack. The japanese took this idea and turned it into their "one strike, one kill" mentality from kendo and applied it to karate. That was not what they were designed for and to apply the concept to sport fighting doesn't really work too well since most people are moving in and out jockeying for position. You don't have that made rush committed attack to have to address and stop that momentum.
 

Manny

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I alweays tell my students and my partners that one steps are only a tool, to develop speed,timing,acuracy and certainly power but one steps are not self defense, trying to adress in the streets or in real life encounters things happens so diferently. I really dislike in one stpes to wait till the partner do a deep stance prepare the blow and yell to then I yeel and wait till the partner launches the blow to react, I like star from the ready position (on guard) and see what is coming. Some one steps are so silly that amusses me and some one are too elaborated that are not practical at all.

So keep in mind one steps are only an exercise or drill and nothing else, yes they are good to develepo cordination,etc,etc,etc but are not the real thing.

Manny
 

Tez3

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We don't have set one step defences, you have to 'make it up' on the spot. The 'attacker' is directed to throw the punch directly to the face, if the 'defender' gets punched that's it their fault for not blocking and defending. The 'defender' is instructed to follow through with techniques that will incapacitate, not just show 'good form'.
 

Makalakumu

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I think that one steps, as a modern training tool for realistic kata based bunkai, have the possibility to be very successful. Most of the one steps that I have practiced weren't practical and didn't have anything to do with the kata. They were completely a separate utilization of "basic" techniques that were misunderstood sections of the kata in the first place. Those have very little possibility if being effective because of the misunderstanding building on misunderstanding.

Here are some one-steps that we practiced in 2005 when I was still working this out for myself.


It's all a work in progress, but I think you can see that these one steps have potential.
 
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kbarrett

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I have never been a fan of one step sparring drills, I understand their purpose, I just feel with strong line drills, and strong hyungs practice with the applications,one-step sparring wasn't really need, I actually prepalced the one-steps with jujutsu, with the mentioned above it make a much better combination. (these are my own feeling only)

Sincerely
Ken Barrett
 
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