9th , 2015
Kyoshi David Baker,Chief Administrator,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
Angles Get to the outside
describes the outward awareness of everything surrounding
us necessary to defend ourselves, then Angles is meant to
describe the inward angle at which we focus our offense
at our opponent, as taught by Master Kyan.
kata trains us to defend against an attack from the outside,
constantly turning to our side and to our rear, anticipating
an attack from our blind side. In fact, many of our kata
begin with a turn to the side, because that blind side is
our most vulnerable position from which an attacker may
that outside position is to where, ideally, we want to shift
after being attackedespecially by using his forward
motion to get there. To counterattack from his blind side.
Never step straight back
Chotoku Kyan is quoted in Shoshin Nagamines book The
Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do (page 40): (do) not
take backward steps to evade blows or kicks; instead take
forward steps or side steps so (you) can take the offensive
right after defending (yourself). Nagamine further
writes, To acquire this offense-right-after-defense
technique by stepping forward or sideways, Kyan used to
train himself on the banks of the Hija River, keeping his
back to the river or the railings of the bridge.
Hanshi Scaglione illustrates this principle in Building
Warrior Spirit, with the diagram showing the points of a
compass, on page 55, stressing thatideallywe
should move in any direction except straight back while
engaged with an opponent.
Get to the outside
In each of our Yakusoku kumite, we win as the
defender immediately after we get to his outside. This is
because in each sequence, we are attacked head-on but then
gain the positional advantage over our opponent by shifting
to his side.
Examples of this getting to the outside to win
as the defender in Yakusoku kumite are: step #2 in Pre-arranged
fighting 1; #3 in Pre 2; #1 in Pre 3; and #3 in Pre 4. The
very next technique after getting to the outside of the
attacker is a winning technique where we neutralize
Counterattack from the outside
Later in his book, Master Nagamine, writing of the influence
of another of his primary teachers, said on page 252: "Motobu,
my sensei, used to preach against dead kumite.
Therefore, I deliberately developed kumite, seriously considering
the following seven essential conditions (including):
4. To develop techniques to enable us to shift the body
to the attacking position reflexively and naturally in order
to always keep beside the opponent and avoid facing him.
develop techniques to enable us to defend and attack by
means of shifting the body and approaching the opponent
from the side or the front, with definite determination
to find some way of beating the opponent, in critical situations.
ancient karate strategy also defines a hallmark of Cus DAmatos
boxing philosophy that he taught his fighters, including
Mike Tyson. Sensei Steve Lott, who was Tysons assistant
manager, said: Cus's theory was, it's always
good to be in a position where you can hit him but he can't
hit you. In Mike's case that means getting completely
to the side of the opponent. Even more than is seen in pre-arranged
So to summarize, in defense, we avoid stepping backward
(which may be a natural reaction to being attacked), but
rather we shift to the side or forward. Then, in offense,
we counterattack from where we have shifted on his outside.
Now, this shifting to the outside describes where we stand
to fight. And, because we always face our opponent, this
ideal angle for our counterattack might be described as:
Face his midline without facing his face.
And, as with any principle, it should be assessed in terms
of its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of being on the outside
· We are partially hidden from his view, making it
difficult for him to see our incoming techniques
· We removed ourselves from his range while keeping
him within ours
a. He is blocked by his own body from striking us with either
of the two limbs on the opposite side of his bodyarm
b. His two close limbsarm and legare prevented
from striking us effectively because they are too close
to reach most targets or generate power from his hip
c. Meanwhile, his body targets are well within our range
· Attacking while unseen is psychologically unnerving
to our opponent
Possible Disadvantages of being on the outside
· Worth considering is how this get to the
outside positioning partially hides our opponents
primary, midline targets. However, this is mitigated because
Master Ueshiro always stressed that we keep our fist tight
and smash through our opponent like a sledgehammer or pile
driver regardless of where we strike. That, wherever we
strike, we smash. So we strike through the same primary
targets, but from the side, and on the same plane as if
we were in front of our opponent. In addition, by being
on his side, we have his secondary, side targets exposed
to us as well.
· Another consideration is, if Im on HIS outside,
doesnt that mean that he is simultaneously on MY outside?
Not necessarily. It depends on how we are rotated vis-à-vis
the otherwhere are we each facing? Because, ideally,
we want to be facing his midline while he faces straight
ahead. Always move so that we have the positional advantage.
Advantages of moving straight ahead
· As with any step to avert, this removes the target
that he is striking at on our body from almost any strike
(except a straight punch)
· Can jam his strike before he throws
· Potentially shocks and overwhelms our opponent
Possible Disadvantages of moving straight ahead
· To step forward as someone strikes, we must overcome,
not only the instinct to step backward when attacked, but
to actually step forward as he strikes. That takes courage.
· We potentially add force to his strike by stepping
So, get to your opponents outside wherever possible
and use that advantage to end the fight quickly.
Kyoshi David Baker,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
founded by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione
York, NY USA