Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

January 31st , 2016

This week's TFTW is from Tamir Sensei Denshi-Shihan
Ueshiro Neve [Oasis] Karate Dojo
Neve Yamin, Israel

Hammer Fist Strike (Kentsui-Uchi)

Onegai-shimasu Ueshiro SRKUSA Worldwide,

This week’s TFTW came to mind during a recent workout with my advanced deshi, as we were practicing together kata[s] being polished for their upcoming February testing for Brown Belt.

As we got to Pinan-Nidan, we practiced its introduction of the hammer fist strike (Kentsui-Uchi), as shown on page 76 and other pages in Master Shoshin Nagamine’s “The Essence of Okinawa Karate-Do” and page 61 and other pages in Hanshi Scaglione’s “Shorin-Ryu Okinawa Karate Question and Answer Book" (a.k.a., the Red Book).

The stealthy, circular, striking movement of the arm, from under the opposite protecting arm, is a very unique technique first being introduced by Pinan-Nidan. It takes a lot of repetition to learn this movement and develop its circular speed and power; not to mention the ongoing practice required to maintain this technique and improve it. Try to build-up and apply its circumferential momentum on a makiwara, such as a punching bag. Keep working it. It is a great combination block-strike to stop an incoming opponent, positioning you to follow-through with a knockout attack, such as the Chuddan-Tsuki (chest punch) taught in Pinan-Nidan.

Note that when the striking Kentsui-Uchi movement is finished, after the slight bounce back of the striking arm (like the bounce back of a hammer), the striking arm is positioned in a protective-shielding manner, directly in front of your chest. Practice in front of a mirror and try to return your striking arm centering it in front of your angled chest (relative angle between arm and chest of approximately 135 degrees); with your elbow lined up to cover your solar plexus and your fist lined up too cover your chin, while standing in Neko-Ashi-Dachi (cat stance).

Applications of the hammer fist occur in different manners in additional kata[s]: including but not limited to a sideways chest-level hammer with kick in Pinan-Yondan and our highest kata Kusanku, circular downwards chest-level hammer in Nihanchi-Nidan, double sideways chest-level strikes in kata Wankan, …

Our first movement in our first kata (Fukyugata-Ichi) may also be an application of the hammer fist through the Gedan-Barai-Uke (lower sideward block), striking an incoming lower attack and/or the lower abdomen of the opponent.

Keep practicing, visualizing the applications, and enjoy with vigor!

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu

Tamir Sensei

Ueshiro Neve [Oasis] Karate Dojo
Neve Yamin, Israel