The Building Blocks of Karate
All Karate waza (techniques) can all be categorised in the following ways: · Uke-waza - receiving · Atemi-waza - striking · Kansetsu-waza - joint locking · Shime-waza - choking · Nage-waza - throwing/takedowns
All of these are recorded in the kata. Or more correctly, they can be applied using mechanical principles recorded in the kata.
Practitioners of Karate-do usually find it quite challenging when they start studying Karate-jutsu. They can feel like a fish out of water. Quite typically skilled karateka become frustrated - they've gone from been skilled at Karate to suddenly realising how little they know - their words, not mine. Part of the issue is unfamiliarity with the different types of waza above. They've got a good handle on uke-waza (mostly evasion & blocking), and on atemi-waza (mostly kicking & punching) but usually little knowledge of joint-locking, choking & throwing. We can think of these categories as being the building blocks of Karate.
Its no surprise that you'll struggle if you don't have all the building blocks in place. But the issue goes deeper than this. Learning Karate-jutsu isn't just a matter of learning some throws & locks to complement your striking skills. In order to use the different waza properly they need to part of an integrated whole. They need to be bound together by a common set of principles & skills. We can think of these as the mortar that binds the building blocks together. I've discussed these principles before, so I'll just list what I think of as the top 3: · Muchimi - sticking to the enemy · Kuzushi - breaking the enemy's balance while keeping your own · Tai-sabaki - moving to a better position ·
So there you have it, Karate-jutsu is simple really. You just need the right building blocks, bound together with the right principles.