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Osae -- Hikite

It is starting to get interesting.

Osae is the pressing feeling of your front arm (or other body part) as you move from one position or technique to another. Hikite is the pulling or returning hand. Usually, the hand that does the osae will also perform the hikite.

Good osae -- good hikite. Weak osae -- weak hikite.

Let us take an example. You have just stepped forward with your left foot and thrown a left punch to the attacker's chest. You are now going to step forward with your right foot and throw a right punch.

As you lean, surge, step forward, you maintain a pressing feeling in your left arm and project forward with your left fist. Remember, you had punched with your left. Now you are performing osae with your left as part of the movement leading to the next right punch.

You lean and press forward and draw your right leg toward your left. You tuck your right arm as you tuck your koshi, squeeze your lats, and lower your shoulders. At the right moment, you throw the right punch (in connection with changing your body alignment). Until that split second, you are still pressing forward with your left. At that split second, your left converts to hikite and pulls. The punch and pull are coordinated. The opening created by the release of the osae is immediately filled with the punch. There is no gap -- or it is kept as small as possible.

Now let's try it a different way. You throw your left punch and instead of performing osae, you let your left go slack. Now there is an opening for the attacker. In addition, when you finally punch, your left will be loose. Your hikite will also be loose, especially at the beginning.

Good osae -- good hikite. Weak osae -- weak hikite.

So a punch becomes an osae which becomes a hikite, which becomes a punch...

It is important to relax but it is also important to be firm, without unnecessary slack in your movements.

Let us imagine that you have punched the attacker in the chest. Somehow he withstood the punch and immediately charges at you. If your left arm has gone slack, he will push right through it. But if you have performed osae, you can either press him back or even punch/strike again. Or you could grab him (hair, muscle, joint, etc.) and hikite as you counter with your right.

Remember too that one of the purposes of osae is to act as a block or blockage. If the attacker is going to advance toward you, your osae will present an obstruction which will disrupt his timing, flow, and/or angle of attack.

Everything works together. Osae is an important part of the connection between movements.


Charles C. Goodin