Ashihara Karate and the Sabaki Technique

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by AshiharaFan, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    Okay @chirpsman and @Daniel Fox, here you go.

    This video is old (1984) but probably still the best reference on the techniques and strategies involved in this bare knuckle, full contact karate system.

    I would be the first to say that not all of it is practical. For instance, no one is going to punch and just leave their arm hanging out there. Also, I usually tell people to expect to eat some blows in a real fight. In a real fight you will get hit. But this reference video explores the potential, the possibilities and the desired game plan.

     
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  2. Jimmy Jazz Brown Belt

    Jimmy Jazz
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    sick 80s sound track. I heard sinster say that boxing pivoting counters alot of what they try to do with sabaki.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  3. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    Employing the sabaki technique gaining the blind spot position is easier said than done. But against someone who has years of practice at using it and has pressure tested his technique boxing pivoting counters are also easier said than done.
     
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  4. MadSquabbles500 Double Yellow Card

    MadSquabbles500
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    You also cant punch the head in sabaki challenge right?
     
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  5. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    That is correct. Also, the sabaki technique does not work very well in competitions because most, if not all, competitors are hip to it and know how to defend it. But I think the sabaki technique is excellent for a street fight (the original purpose the late Hideyuki Ashihara taught it).

    There are two types of people it will work against: those who are complete beginners and those who do not train at all. The one thing both types of people have in common would be an ignorance of the sabaki technique (which is why I think it's almost perfect for a street altercation). I remember watching some tournament footage from the early 80s where some of the Seidokaikan guys were using it quite successfully. That was because the people they were competing against at that time weren't ready for it (though they are nowadays).

    In case you don't know the founder of Seidokaikan Karate, Kazuyoshi Ishii, was a top student of Hideyuki Ashihara. Ishii broke away from Kyokushin along with his teacher Master Ashihara but then broke away from Ashihara shortly afterwards and went on to found Seidokaikan. Because of the Ashihara influence the Seidokaikan guys are quite proficient at using the sabaki technique but they do not place anywhere near as much emphasis on it as Ashihara and Enshin Karate. This difference in importance of the sabaki technique is said to be one of the reasons Ishii broke away to start his own Budo.

    The significance of Ishii, Kazuyoshi is not only Seidokaikan Karate but also K-1 (again, in case you didn't already know).
     
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  6. rmongler Brown Belt

    rmongler
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    Reminds me of Shifting.







     
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    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
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  7. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    Some similarities and some differences. If I could get good as hell at doing both and having them mesh in the right way I might start going to bars and picking fights with the biggest guys I could find.
     
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  8. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    Sabaki moves are very difficult to pull off against a trained opponent unless you can grab a sleeve as part of the move -which it usually is in most basic forms ive seen. This is not possible in most sport settings where you have big gloves and no sleeves to grab -or where grabbing/pulling is not allowed.
     
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  9. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    This is true. In fact, the less clothing that your opponent is wearing, the less options you have which makes it all the more difficult. This is why I have always said that sabaki is best used as a surprise tactic in a real altercation outside of the dojo. The only few people I've been able to successfully apply it on in the dojo have been noobs and white belts. That's because they were completely ignorant of it. And how many people out on the street would be expecting it and ready to defend it?
     
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  10. Azam Purple Belt

    Azam
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    You see sabaki techniques used quite regularly in Kudo as well - especially among the Japanese Kudo retinue. You see sabaki being taught in nearly every style of Karate - I've encountered it in Uechi ryu, goju & others - but like said in Ashihara it's really emphasized.

    Ogawa Hideki - one of my favourite Kudo fighters used a lot of sabaki in his kudo and was very successful at pulling off sabaki techniques against competent fighters in competition although he grabbed the gi to allow him to pull it off - check instructional below & highlight where he pulled it off - I've seen him pull it off many times - can't find vids on youtube might have been taken down :(:






    I think another reason it worked so well for him was because he focused very heavily on gi chokes and getting hold of the gi (front grip & some sort of grip on the back if he wanted to defend any offensive grappling attempt) or just the single grip if he wanted to strike instead of grapple like the above video - in either case he had a set plan in each case if his opponent tried to attack him. If an opponent tried to defend by striking or regaining posture - he'd simply use sabaki, strike or just break off - if his opponent tried to defend by grappling he'd have a variety of counter chokes ready to sink in - I think that latter reason is why he had a lot of success because he already had a superior angle & the advantage of having a grip in - people were wary of getting into a grappling exchange because he'd already stacked the advantage twice so in his favour.





    Like in the second video above (the highlight video) - after he pulled off the sabaki (a bit messy since he initiated the grappling off the sabaki) - he went straight for the grappling exchange and he immediately had part of the gi choke set in before they even hit the ground - his opponent was purely focused on defending that gi choke because Ogawa had it set in so deep.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  11. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    Enshin karate, a ashihara offshot (its founder was second in command in ashihara karate until the ashihara founders son took over that position and there was as falling out) that focus even more on sabaki.

    In these 2 (out of 3, I cant find the last one, part 2, in a complete version on yt) instructional you can se how he focus on the grab&pull movement, that is vital to effective use of sabaki.

    (please excuse the cheezy self defence example in the beginning of the first one)



    If you are not allowed to grab&pull, or unable to due to gloves or no clothing to grab, sabaki is largely inefective. Much like a traditional judoka is a fish out of water in a no gi fight.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  12. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    How is Hidenori Ashihara new(ish) 2 (basics & kata) dvd series released 2009? No good? How about the "ashihara karate sabaki-technique Nishiyama dojo" 4 dvd series (nishiyama dojo =one of the largest japanese NIKO ashihara dojos)?
    I have been thinking of getting the nishiyama dvds, but not managed to motivate myself enough yet.

    edit, I just found out that they have added a 5th dvd to the nishiyama dojo series after (2014) the first 4 was boxed in a set (2011).
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  13. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    Actually, not necessarily. While the sabaki technique is definitely much easier to pull of when you have an article of clothing of some sort to grab hold of, it can certainly be modified in a situation in which the person you are fighting does not have anything suitable to grab hold of. An example is the head and elbow control which you'll find in Hideyuki Ashihara's Fighting Karate and More Fighting Karate books. Michelle Waterson does just that in the video below. Notice how she has control of Lacey Shuckman and able to attack at will from the side while she has her tied up in the head and elbow control.




    My ultimate game plan when I finally get my black belt is start a club of my own (not for money, I would keep my job and freely share what I know with any and all who are interested). This way I can have more freedom to experiment and test practical ways to use sabaki specifically in a Pressure Tested environment (as close to animalistic and primal as I safely can get it).

    I love the the way the katas are broken down in his kata dvd. The basics dvd that he put out leaves a lot to be desired if you ask me. And there are some marked differences in execution of some techniques on his dvd as compared to the videos put out by his father (Basics and Practical Applications). It is also very basic and almost pedantic in comparison to his father's dvds. Perhaps I am biased because I had Hideyuki Ashihara's books and videos long before I ever got Hidenori's Basics dvd so it maybe just a case of me being used to seeing techniques executed one way and then seeing them performed in another way.

    I do not have Nishiyama's dvd set yet. I have been putting it off because I don't like the thought of having to get one dvd at a time. I'd much rather put the money aside to get the entire set all at once. I don't want to wet my appetite with one or two dvds and still be thirsty for more.

    I also have Makoto Hirohara's dvd set on my radar as well. There are some really, really big differences between his Shintaiikudo and Ashiharakaikan but I like what I have seen on youtube with some of his demonstrations and reading an interview of him in Classical Fighting Arts magazine has caught my interest in his version of sabaki.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  14. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    Yes Hideyukis books are good (too bad the third one never was translated to english, apparently they planned to name "even more fighting karate" but plans fell through), although I prefer the enshin karate sabaki book by joko ninomiya myself.

    And yes you can use hooks to shoulder and neck. Even on the arm. Even with gloves. Youk can use hooking hands or more robust arm movements.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    it is just very, VERY, much more difficult than grabbing a sleeve or piece of clothing. It reduces both effect and range (you need to be closer to make it harder to slip away when you cannot grab him), which kind of was my point when comparing it to a judoka thrown into a no-gi grappling fight. The judoka would not be helpless, but he would be VERY frustrated.
     
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  15. CFGroup Blue Belt

    CFGroup
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    Holy shit Ogawa Hideki's technique is sharp in that instructional clip.

    Man the Japanese Kudo lineage holders are great! They seem so well rounded in all aspects of offense with razor sharp execution.

    The most common weakness I've seen is not protecting the head as much as necessary for non headgear comp.

    Jeez I'd b honored to train it after surgery rehab, if I could find a lineage dojo close by!

    Damn!
     
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  16. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    May I ask, just out of curiosity, why it is you prefer Joko Ninomiya's book (which I do have myself of course) ?

    Hey man, that looks like the Bulgarian Prodigy in those pictures. What book is this from?

    I agree with you, though I am of the viewpoint that the closer you are to your opponent the better you can affect the sabaki technique with or without an article of clothing to grab. But yeah, having a lapel or sleeve to grab hold of definitely is preferable to me.

    By the way, if you are still curious about Hidenori Ashihara's Kata dvd here is a clip from it. All of the katas on the dvd are presented and broken down in this manner.

     
    #16
  17. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    I just think it is better. Honestly, I cannot say why.

    Yes it is valeri dimitrov, shinkyokushin close combat specialist who always looks ridiculously relaxed when he fights -until he sudenly KOs the opponent out of nowhere. I think he is a bit too old to be called a prodigy, though. He is close to retirement as a fighter.
    I have no idea what book it is from. It could be from the official shinkyokushin magazine published in japan.
     
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  18. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    Dude, you're killing me. :D

    I like it also...a whole lot to be honest. I just don't think I like it better than FK or MFK by H. Ashihara. If you look at the self defense techniques J. Ninomiya teaches towards the end of the book he shows some self defense sequences that I believe are outright ridiculous, such as the one that employs a flying armbar. o_O

    The one thing that I have always liked about Master Ashihara's materials and teachings is that I believe he tried his utmost to be rational and practical in his approach to self defense. And I respect that he went against the grain and didn't care how the competitive Kyokushin Karateka viewed him or what he taught. In Japan they used to refer to his style as "Street Fighting Karate" (maybe they still do). I've read where others said it is not "True Karate" since he employed sleeve and lapel grabs, pulling techniques and attacking the opponent from behind, like with the rising hiza geri to the back of your opponent's head as you forcefully yank it downward.


    Okay, thanks for the clarification. By the way, do you have the late Soshu Shigeru Oyama's book Perfect Karate? If not have you ever seen or read it before?
     
    #18
  19. shinkyoku Purple Belt

    shinkyoku
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    Shigeru died?. (quick google later) Damn, I missed that! My shihan will be sorry, they were close in the old days -before shigeru problems got out of hand and he was expelled from kyokushin.
    Yeah, I got his book. Its pretty good. I have not picked it up for a few years, but its one of the ones I used to flip through for inspiration and variation when planning classes (the other books mentioned above being some of the others). Nowdays I tend to put in a dvd while doing my planning.
     
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  20. AshiharaFan Purple Belt

    AshiharaFan
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    Man, who wasn't expelled from Kyokushin? It's sad to see politics, underhandedness, envy and greed effect something as strong as Kyokushin. Shame really. I don't know how true this is but I've heard through the grapevine that Soshu's joints and cartilage were completely deteriorated and that he was in so much pain that he turned to heavy drinking. I find that to be very sad if it's true.

    Now I know who to hit up for ideas when I'm ready to start teaching. :D

    The reason I asked is because I recalled reading in that book (in the introduction) that Soshu believed in two kinds of kumite; An aggressive, offensive kumite and a defensive, waiting kumite. He said that the waiting, defensive kumite was an extention of the offensive, foward driving kumite and that one cannot get good at the defensive kumite without first becoming a beast in foward driven offensive kumite. I agree with this notion.

    I look at Ashihara Karate as a defensive, counterattacking type of kumite and is best used by someone who has already forged himself in the fire of stinging offensive kumite. I'm against the idea of being a completely defensive fighter, especially in a real fight. Another thing he said in his book is that one should not seek to become strong effortlessly. This I also agree with.

    EDIT: I said all that just to say that I think the sabaki technique is excellent but I think one has to be willing to clash and really go in in order to put the technique into action. That's why I said earlier that I think the closer you are to your opponent spatial wise the better you can use the technique.

    Osu!
     
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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016

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