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The original purpose of the martial arts was to enable the practitioner to protect themselves in either military or civil combat. Along with effective fighting skills it was common for martial artists to be instructed karatw philosophy and morality. It is for this reason that traditional martial arts would also insist upon the development of the individual.
Karate is a civil tradition that was designed to enable its practitioners to defend themselves against day to day violence.
Interpreting the Bubishi: One Thousand Pounds Falls to the Ground
However, any honest modern Karateka will admit that the lack of grappling during training leaves the art very vulnerable should striking fail to end kxrate confrontation. Why does a system specifically designed for civil self-defence appear to be lacking such an important element?
I believe that the system is NOT lacking, but the modern interpretation of that system certainly is. This failing of modern interpretations is by no means unique to karate, for example many grappling arts no longer practice striking anywhere near as much if at all as they did in the past.
So why have these aspects been lost? The sporting aspect of karate specifically forbids many aspects of grappling, chokes, strangles, joint locks, dangerous throws etc. On the flip side many grappling arts forbid striking after the clinch, when on the floor or all together and hence are often deficient in these areas. There is nothing wrong with these sporting evolutions in themselves.
Many people enjoy the competitive aspect of the martial arts either in the capacity of competitors or spectators, however, it must be acknowledged that many of karxte sporting modifications run in direct opposition kaarate what is needed in a self-defence situation. The arts as they were originally practised are undoubtedly more complete and hence more effective.
The original techniques of the karate system are recorded within the traditional katas. Arm locks, leg locks, throws, takedowns, chokes, strangles etc. The problem is that the katas are often undervalued and as a result are insufficiently studied. Few clubs place value on bunkai kata applications preferring to concentrate on technical competence, which although important, is of little use without any knowledge nubishi how to apply the techniques in a live situation.
In addition to the katas a look at the older texts reveal that karate does possess grappling methods. For buishi who wish to practice karate as it was intended to be, one text stands clearly apart from all others — The Bubishi. It is this important and profound text that is the subject of this article. The Bubishi Wu peh chi in Chinese was a closely guarded secret that has been handed down from master to student for generations.
Nobody is sure of its exact origin but it is believed that it was brought to Okinawa from China Fuzhou sometime during the late nineteenth century by persons unknown. The Bubishi deals with two kempo styles that formed the basis of modern karate. The Bubishi consists of 32 chapters articles and gives instruction on fighting techniques, herbal medicine, philosophy, strategy, pressure points, training principles, etiquette and the history of the kempo styles.
Many of the great karate masters owned a copy of the Bubishi and used it in their studies. Although the grappling methods contained within the Bubishi are not as sophisticated as those of a dedicated grappling art they are as effective as they are brutal and are ideal for the use in self-defence, which is after all what they were intended for.
Bubishu an attempt to conceal the techniques, poetic language is used rather that a direct description of the technique itself. The Bubishi also contains advice and instruction on the use of some of the more unpleasant although undeniably effective fighting methods.
Interpreting the Bubishi: One Thousand Pounds Falls to the Ground | FIGHTLAND
These methods include hair pulling, seizing the testicles, head butting, biting etc. A number of years ago I was lucky enough to train under Geoff Thompson on a number of the courses he ran in both Newcastle and Carlisle.
A little while later, I was reading the Bubishi when one particular line now made a lot more sense: When the circumstances dictate the meeting be prepared to kafate intoxication, weakness or cowardice and when he lets down his guard, strike immediately. Even at times like these, do not show any intention of attacking, but first let the attacker become careless. Along with grappling techniques it would seem that pre-emptive striking was also intended to be part of everyday Karate practice.
The Bubishi also contains a number of diagrams and information on the use of pressure points.
It is said kartae Feng I-Yuan used bhbishi methods many times but was never defeated. They are said to consist of nine death points, nine knock out points, nine paralysing points and nine pain points. The Bubishi gives advice on the use of these points but cautions against using them in any but the most extreme of circumstances.
One of the most controversial articles in the Bubishi is the one that refers to the death touch. Article twenty-one contains twelve diagrams that detail various acupuncture points and the time of day that they should be struck in order to cause death after varying time delays. Personally, I am very sceptical with regards to the delayed death and fail to bunishi of what use it is in combat.
The Bubishi also gives instruction on the use of herbs to heal the injuries of both oneself and others. This knowledge would undoubtedly be very important to a injured martial artist in ,arate age that did not have the benefits of modern health care, but is perhaps less important today.
There are a few English translations available. The two that I’d recommend are:. Karate was designed for use in civilian combat and it is only in relevantly recent times that some important elements Grappling, pre-emptive striking, kata application etc. However, those methods have always part of Karate and should be included in everyday practice if effective fighting skills are your aim. The Bubishi is the original Karate handbook that provides instruction on all aspects of the system.
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Book Review – Bubishi: The Classic Manual of Combat
You are here Home. On 13 Apr, By manager. The two that I’d recommend are: More Articles by Iain Abernethy. Lack of variety in shotokan kata Sip Su Application? Not for power generation Rolling with strikes. Movement drills we worked on today. There is currently 1 user online. Create new account Request new password.