What are all of the reasons you bring your fist back to your hip in Karate/Taekwondo/etc forms?

Alan0354

Master of Arts
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
1,673
Reaction score
513
Everything is good out our way, thanks!

I teach (well, taught - haven't had a class to teach since the last dojo I was teaching at closed) a blend of traditional method and boxing-derived methods. I find it works well for students, and the traditional method allows them to bring in some of the body principles from aiki training. When we spar, we shift back and forth between boxing-style positions and positions you'd expect from karateka.

But the first punch they learn is a basic jab (on a heavy bag if the place I'm teaching has one). The only students who get the traditional punching drills that early are the ones who really struggle to punch.
Your school closed during the pandemic? My old school was closed during that time. I was going to suggest my grand daughter to train there for like a year or so. My grand daughter was into ballet for a few years. She's a natural in kicking. Only took her one day to learn and because quite good in round and even a little spin kick!!! She actually can kick the bag decent after 2 days!!! Too bad the school was closed, it was close to where she live in Daly City close to SF.

Stay safe, the storm is not over yet.

Alan
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,540
Reaction score
9,507
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Your school closed during the pandemic? My old school was closed during that time. I was going to suggest my grand daughter to train there for like a year or so. My grand daughter was into ballet for a few years. She's a natural in kicking. Only took her one day to learn and because quite good in round and even a little spin kick!!! She actually can kick the bag decent after 2 days!!! Too bad the school was closed, it was close to where she live in Daly City close to SF.

Stay safe, the storm is not over yet.

Alan
The place I taught at (a Jinbukan dojo) wasnt a money-maker normally. With the pandemic, she just couldnt keep it open.

Its amazing what some folks being from other pursuits. I was an above-average kicker when I was a student, mostly because I used to play soccer and had good balance and timing for kicking. I imagine a ballerinas balance would be really helpful.

We are expecting some high winds the next couple of days - seems relatively low risk at this point, but we are keeping an eye on it. Thanks for thinking of us!!
 

Damien

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
245
Reaction score
203
Location
Sydney
So the whole hand to the hip, and indeed many other aspects of traditional martial arts can be post rationalised; you can find a reason or an application for the movement. But this very likely not how these movements were originally formed. Although styles have of course undergone evolution and refinement, the earliest development was not from someone sitting down and thinking "what is the best way to do X" and then experimenting and creating something off of that.

Instead, early martial arts were likely created by observing fighting and then codifying what was seen. Of course there were some tweaks, but you see what happens in a fight, which with not highly trained individuals tends to be relatively natural reactions and then you train that to be more effective at it. If you can combine natural reactions with training of the those movement patterns, you are more in sync with what your body and brain want to do, so you can learn faster.

So why is the hand chambered? Because this is what happens in fights. People drop their hand down from their guard when punching all the time. Sometimes just a bit, but often all the way down to the waist. Yes, even pro MMA fighters do it; watch some fights in slow mo and you'll see. It's a natural reaction to help with balance and weight distribution, and due to the mental focus on the punching hand making it harder to keep the other hand up in your guard where you want it to be.

All the applications for the chambered hand came later as post hoc rationalisations, and these rationalisations spread as arts spread and grew into others.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
6,364
Reaction score
1,878
So the whole hand to the hip, and indeed many other aspects of traditional martial arts can be post rationalised; you can find a reason or an application for the movement. But this very likely not how these movements were originally formed. Although styles have of course undergone evolution and refinement, the earliest development was not from someone sitting down and thinking "what is the best way to do X" and then experimenting and creating something off of that.

Instead, early martial arts were likely created by observing fighting and then codifying what was seen. Of course there were some tweaks, but you see what happens in a fight, which with not highly trained individuals tends to be relatively natural reactions and then you train that to be more effective at it. If you can combine natural reactions with training of the those movement patterns, you are more in sync with what your body and brain want to do, so you can learn faster.

So why is the hand chambered? Because this is what happens in fights. People drop their hand down from their guard when punching all the time. Sometimes just a bit, but often all the way down to the waist. Yes, even pro MMA fighters do it; watch some fights in slow mo and you'll see. It's a natural reaction to help with balance and weight distribution, and due to the mental focus on the punching hand making it harder to keep the other hand up in your guard where you want it to be.

All the applications for the chambered hand came later as post hoc rationalisations, and these rationalisations spread as arts spread and grew into others.
Except when people drop their hands, it's due to lack of control. Bringing your hand back to your hip in the way that's done in kata and poomsae is precision control, often more precise than bringing the hands back up into guard.
 

isshinryuronin

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
1,429
Reaction score
1,425
Location
Las Vegas
So the whole hand to the hip, and indeed many other aspects of traditional martial arts can be post rationalised; you can find a reason or an application for the movement. But this very likely not how these movements were originally formed. Although styles have of course undergone evolution and refinement, the earliest development was not from someone sitting down and thinking "what is the best way to do X" and then experimenting and creating something off of that.

Instead, early martial arts were likely created by observing fighting and then codifying what was seen. Of course there were some tweaks, but you see what happens in a fight, which with not highly trained individuals tends to be relatively natural reactions and then you train that to be more effective at it. If you can combine natural reactions with training of the those movement patterns, you are more in sync with what your body and brain want to do, so you can learn faster.

So why is the hand chambered? Because this is what happens in fights. People drop their hand down from their guard when punching all the time. Sometimes just a bit, but often all the way down to the waist. Yes, even pro MMA fighters do it; watch some fights in slow mo and you'll see. It's a natural reaction to help with balance and weight distribution, and due to the mental focus on the punching hand making it harder to keep the other hand up in your guard where you want it to be.

All the applications for the chambered hand came later as post hoc rationalisations, and these rationalisations spread as arts spread and grew into others.
I agree with much of what you say. But I don't believe your post hoc rationalization theory is the whole story. IMO, the "chambering" is more than a tweaked natural reaction, but rather a deliberate movement (akin to Skrib's "precision control") whose actual purpose has devolved into a chambering movement.

In the early years of karate, stand-up grappling and grabbing (tuite) played a big part in the art (even some throws, too). When karate was introduced and popularized in Japan, judo and jiu-jitsu were already established, well organized sports (which were government sponsored). To prevent karate from overlapping these other arts, many of these grabbing techniques were removed from the karate curriculum. This is a matter of record. Remember, there was a lot of centralized control in Japan, including over sport organizations.

One of the grabbing techniques (hikite) entailed grabbing the arm to pull the opponent into a strike or extending the elbow for a break or lock. This motion was basic to early karate doctrine. (Had some other benefits as well.) This kind of fighting technique also posed another layer of risk to the large children's classes in the public schools, which additionally encouraged its popular disuse.

So, the curriculum lost the grab, but retained the motion that resulted in an empty fist returning to the hip. The original application was lost even though the technique remained. Japan was not as successful in its MA control over those rascals in Okinawa, whose styles retained more of the grabbing applications, though many schools, especially in the West, experienced some level of loss as well. This is a main reason why those not familiar with Okinawan karate see the "chambering" move as ineffective.
 
Last edited:

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
12,321
Reaction score
3,668
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
grabbing applications,
Agree! the hand pulling back to the waist can be a control on your opponent's leading arm when you throw him.

my-slant-cut.gif
 

Damien

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
245
Reaction score
203
Location
Sydney
I completely agree that these are now deliberate motions which require control and that they have very valid applications. I just think it unlikely that they started this way.

Even if we look at the earliest Karate, we are still looking quite late into martial arts development in the east. People have been fighting for thousands of years using at least semi organised systems or armed and unarmed combat.

The rationalisation or the desire to create something rational was well entrenched by that point.

The question of "why" rather than "what is the application " implies some desire to know the origin. None of the above makes the later developments less valid. There is lots in CMA hand combat which comes from weapons. It has since been modified to have unarmed applications, but some of the details still derive from its origins as weapons based.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,540
Reaction score
9,507
Location
Hendersonville, NC
I completely agree that these are now deliberate motions which require control and that they have very valid applications. I just think it unlikely that they started this way.

Even if we look at the earliest Karate, we are still looking quite late into martial arts development in the east. People have been fighting for thousands of years using at least semi organised systems or armed and unarmed combat.

The rationalisation or the desire to create something rational was well entrenched by that point.

The question of "why" rather than "what is the application " implies some desire to know the origin. None of the above makes the later developments less valid. There is lots in CMA hand combat which comes from weapons. It has since been modified to have unarmed applications, but some of the details still derive from its origins as weapons based.
What is your evidence that this was not a deliberate movement with a purpose like grabbing?
 

tkdroamer

Purple Belt
Joined
Sep 24, 2022
Messages
341
Reaction score
161
I completely agree that these are now deliberate motions which require control and that they have very valid applications. I just think it unlikely that they started this way.

Even if we look at the earliest Karate, we are still looking quite late into martial arts development in the east. People have been fighting for thousands of years using at least semi organised systems or armed and unarmed combat.

The rationalisation or the desire to create something rational was well entrenched by that point.

The question of "why" rather than "what is the application " implies some desire to know the origin. None of the above makes the later developments less valid. There is lots in CMA hand combat which comes from weapons. It has since been modified to have unarmed applications, but some of the details still derive from its origins as weapons based.
I see your point. I cannot think of a modern style that does not have roots or at least some connection to a military system in some way. Bear in mind military may be as basic as the local men coming together do defend their camp. Many, many movements derive from defense against an armed combatant (hand-to-hand fighting). There was specific, carnal self-defense intent.
The conversation when teaching 50 fresh recruits how to defend themselves against a rifle with a bayonet attached would be very different from teaching 50 students today.
Everything around some of our movements has changed even if the movement itself has not.
 

Jimmythebull

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
798
Reaction score
261
The conversation when teaching 50 fresh recruits how to defend themselves against a rifle with a bayonet attached would be very different from teaching 50 students today.
it would also depend on the army. The British Army still teach & use bayonet. However i believe the japanese called it Junken jutsu
 

wab25

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
1,006
That was how many years ago? Fighting has gone through revolution since. Even Royce Gracie that shocked the world in UFC 1 and 2 got slaughtered within like 10 years in mid 2000s. It's a different world today. How long you think Chuck Norris can last inside the Octagon of today even if he were in his best condition like in the older days? One minute?
You do know that Chuck Norris studied Judo before Tang So Do, right? He has a black belt in Judo. He also has one in BJJ. I think he would do better than you think in MMA, if he were in his prime. He has the stand up kicking and punching, black belt level Judo take downs and defenses and a black belt BJJ level ground game. That's a pretty solid and well rounded set of skills to take into the ring.
 

wab25

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
1,006
Definitely without hook. I know it's FANCIER to have a hook so you can do more technique and all. BUT remember one very important thing. If you hook on someone, they might be injured, but the natural instinct for him is pull back. It can easily pull the spear out of your hand.

Don't tell me you have technique or your hand is strong enough. The guy back off with the whole body with legs. Your hands likely are not strong enough to hold onto the stick, AND more importantly, the hook is caught onto the person and you cannot even shake it off.
The hook on many pole arms was there to pull riders off their horses. It as very good at doing that...

It was also good at pulling down a shield, so the guy behind you, could stab him with his straight spear.

Whether you want the hook or not, depends on what your job was in the fight. If you had to pull the guy off the horse, you want the hook. If your job is to pull down the shield, you want the hook. If your job is to stab the guy on the ground, or with his shield pulled down... then you don't want the hook. If your job is to throw the spear, you don't want the hook.

Don't tell us that the historical use of these weapons is wrong, because you are unable to do it.
 

wab25

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
1,006
I do not recall Machida do karate stance, pulling punches below shoulders. He fight like what MMA fighters at the time(late 90s). BTW, Lyoto Machida fights are SOOOOOO OLD!!! that's long time ago and MMA advanced so much since.
Guess maybe you should read the article I posted. It had video examples of Lyoto... Thats okay though, moving those goal posts can be tiring. First there are no examples of traditional Karate in MMA, then the examples are too old, and the fighter not "good enough..."
 

Alan0354

Master of Arts
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
1,673
Reaction score
513
Guess maybe you should read the article I posted. It had video examples of Lyoto... Thats okay though, moving those goal posts can be tiring. First there are no examples of traditional Karate in MMA, then the examples are too old, and the fighter not "good enough..."
I only watch him fighting in the Octagon, too many BS reading stuffs.
 

Alan0354

Master of Arts
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
1,673
Reaction score
513
The hook on many pole arms was there to pull riders off their horses. It as very good at doing that...

It was also good at pulling down a shield, so the guy behind you, could stab him with his straight spear.

Whether you want the hook or not, depends on what your job was in the fight. If you had to pull the guy off the horse, you want the hook. If your job is to pull down the shield, you want the hook. If your job is to stab the guy on the ground, or with his shield pulled down... then you don't want the hook. If your job is to throw the spear, you don't want the hook.

Don't tell us that the historical use of these weapons is wrong, because you are unable to do it.
What if your hands are not strong enough? that they pull the spear off your hands? The guy might be injured, but the next guy is not and you don't have a weapon.

Just COMMON SENSE!!! You serious think your grip is strong enough to pull the guy on a horse? Don't trust too much on hear say, I am so sick and tired of all the LIES and exaggerations of those Chinese hear says of kung fu and fighting.

I am a Chinese, when I think back all the BS I heard in Hong Kong, I started laughing.

Simple, try hook onto some bar, do pull ups grabbing only the spear, If you can do at least 10, then we talk. Now, just grabbing the pole with two hands and FREE hanging, no friction pads to help the grip.
 
Last edited:

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
22,245
Reaction score
7,007
The hook on many pole arms was there to pull riders off their horses. It as very good at doing that...

It was also good at pulling down a shield, so the guy behind you, could stab him with his straight spear.

Whether you want the hook or not, depends on what your job was in the fight. If you had to pull the guy off the horse, you want the hook. If your job is to pull down the shield, you want the hook. If your job is to stab the guy on the ground, or with his shield pulled down... then you don't want the hook. If your job is to throw the spear, you don't want the hook.

Don't tell us that the historical use of these weapons is wrong, because you are unable to do it.

Are we all kind of making that up though?
 
Top