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Sequences of Movements

Sometimes I demonstrate sequences of movements. The beginning of Naihanchi Shodan, for example can be demonstrated as:

  • The attacker grabs my left hand with his left hand.
  • I twist his hand counterclockwise and apply an arm bar/break.
  • I then step into him (pinning his leg with my right foot) and strike the side of his head with my right hand.
  • I reach around his head and execute the left elbow strike while pulling his head into the strike.
  • I then push (grind) my left forearm across his face while pulling his neck (raking his face) with my right hand.
  • I then strike him on the kidney with a left gedan barai and punch or push him with the right kaku zuki.
Of course, this is an interpretation of just one basic sequence. There are many interpretations and many sequences.

However, some people might say: "yeah right, the attacker would never stand still while you do all of that."

I agree. The attacker will be moving in response to pain, locks, breaks, and strikes. But the point of learning such sequences is not neccessarily to be able to execute that particular sequence in response to an attack -- but rather to be able to execute any part of the sequence as appropriate. Certain movements flow naturally into each other. The gedan barai, for example, is naturally followed by a kaku zuki (done either as a side punch or a forearm smash). There is a geometry to movements -- doing one creates an opening for the next.

When I was a Kenpo student, we would execute similar patterns or combinations. Sometimes people would describe the patterns as overkill (we did tend to hit the attacker many times, even when he was taken down to the ground). Again, the idea is to learn the patterns so that your can execute all or parts of them as necessary.

Through repetitive practice, the patterns become reflex.


Charles C. Goodin