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Pinan Yondan - Part 7

So with your left arm/hand, you execute a chudan shuto uke (middle knife hand block) or chudan shuto uchi (middle knife hand strike) to the left, and with your right arm/hand you execute a jodan shuto uke (upper or high knife hand block) or jodan shuto uchi (upper or high knife hand strike) to the front. This is a very nice combination. I cannot think of another kata in which it appears.

My point here is that your two hands work together. There is a saying that your hands should work together like man and wife. Obviously, two hands working together are stronger that two hands working separately.

The movements are executed simultaneously... but they are not simultaneous. This sounds contradictory. The movements start together but the focus of each movement is not at the same time. The way I do it, the chudan shuto is slightly ahead of the jodan shuto. This is by design.

If the movements "hit" at the same time, they will cancel out and my body movement will split or stall. If the movements are slightly off timed, the strikes and recoils will allow me to move freely.

We say that simultaneous movements are never simultaneous. To the untrained eye, they would appear to be simultaneous. But if you "know," you will see that they are off timed. In this case, my left hand is slightly ahead of my right. My left hand hits and recoils. At about the time of the recoil, my right hits and recoils... which is about when I will ride the recoils to initiate the next movement to the right. In slow motion, you would see waves of motion.

The first movement of Pinan Yondan is not stiff, rigid or fixed. It is dynamic, fluid, and explosive. Do you think that Anko Itosu would have designed it any other way? You have to remember that Itosu Sensei learned from Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura. Can you imagine Matsumura Sensei being stiff, rigid and fixed?

Come to think about it, the first movement of Pinan Yondan looks like a crane spreading its wings... very light and maneuverable -- like our Tomari Passai.

And any way, why should any movement be stiff, rigid and fixed?


Charles C. Goodin