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Fun with Hicho

September 29, 2010

Two weeks ago Karl and James let me take the class through some variations on Hicho no Kata (from Kihon Happo). It is one of the less popular ones to do in class, because most people don’t like to go around standing on one leg for some reason or other.

(OK, I know I sound stupid when I say that…)

One thing about Hicho, though, it is a good way to get a student used to the correct weight transfer needed for kicking. Also, even though it is faster to kick up straight without bending the knee first, it’s still better to bend the knee (i.e. use Hicho no Kamae). Why? Because if you don’t bring the knee up first your opponent can check your kick with his foot very easily. And if you bring your knee up, your opponent knows you are going to kick, but he doesn’t know where, so his defence is messed up.

Kamae is always a good idea! πŸ˜€

Anyway, last week, Karl and James asked me to take over the entire lesson, and of all things only ONE other person turned up (I guess not everyone appreciates my budo genius). I originally thought of continuing with my lesson plans from Sanshin no Kata, but since there was only a newbie there we spent the time drilling even more Hicho instead.

This time we looked at it from a receiving point of view. Here is what we looked at.

1) When you go in with the low punch, the Hicho-er can either kick up with his blocking side or do a quick punch to your face. His block on your punching arm will tell you what he is going to do. If you feel that arm moving back expect a face punch. If you feel a down-up movement, a kick is coming!

2) If a kick is coming, you can shift your body away from it, but he can still get you with the ura shuto. So what I recommend is hitting the kicking leg away (with a palm strike) to disrupt the Hicho-er’s balance and delay his next attack.

3) If you manage to disrupt his balance by hitting the leg away he will fall with his weight unto that leg. And that means he can kick you with the other leg. So launch a shukkiken (knee strike) first. If he is kicking you’d block that kick with your knee (and hurt him a lot if you get the centre of his quads) and if he isn’t then your strike will keep him from recovering and will keep him off-balance, giving you more time to recover.

4) If you didn’t manage to disrupt his balance enough, he’ll probaby still ura shuto you. Move in, but at a slight angle, and use your other hand to block his arm at the elbow. You may not be able to keep yourself from being hit at all, but you should be able to neutralize most of the force.

But what you want to do with this move is bring your body into the Hicho-er’s space and disrupt his balance. Hit him with your body, that helps. Once you feel that he’s off-balance, you can step in with an O-soto Gake type of throw that is almost impossible to escape or neutralize at this point.

Important Note:

A Hicho No Kata properly done is VERY difficult to reverse or counter. All of my above suggestions and ideas are based on this idea: You’re going to get hit, so you might as well try to reduce the damage you take while giving out some damage also. If there is some way to handle a Hicho No Kata in a safer way, with less risk of injury, I don’t know it. So if YOU do, please share! πŸ™‚



From → bujinkan

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