Add KarateForums.com
Username:    Password:
Remember Me?    
   I Lost My Password!
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Karate
 See a User Guidelines violation? Press on the post.
Author Message

MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:02 pm    Post subject: Ikken Hissatsu Reply with quote

Ikken Hissatsu - One fist, certain death.

I have seen and heard this phase used through out my time in the arts and have seen this used quite a lot in posts and threads even today.

In a nut shell this phase denotes that the Karateka uses only one strike to kill ones enemy. Although this is conceivable as it has through out history been proven to be true in certain cases, it is not practical.

First off this is not a phrase that comes from the founders but rather was adopted from the mindset of Japan's most popular art, Kenjutsu. Makes sense when talking about a razor sharp sword. This is not to say that the founders did not have this mindset, albeit not this exact phrase.

I have heard many a Sensei use this phrase as if this is the pinnacle of training and once you reach this level every strike is a killing blow. Nonsense!

When exactly does this magical transformation happen? How many years do you have to train and what methods make every blow a killing blow?

The concept does translate but not in the same terms or definition as in Kenjutsu where every slash, stab or cut could kill the enemy. It just isn't practical or even plausible to think that every strike will kill. I am not arguing that you can, if at full power and at just the right spot and at just the right angle, kill someone with a single strike. It has been proven throughout history. We have seen it in boxing matches, etc. However in the real world an opponent will not stand in front of you, keep their guard down and allow you to strike them in a precise area at a precise angle and even then it's not guaranteed. In the real world opponents are constantly moving and, although possible, it is not likely that you can get a clean strike that will effect the desired results of this phrase.

So why does this phrase persist? Did the founders have this mindset or is it just a Japanese adaptation?

The founders did have a similar mindset in that their goal was to end the fight as quickly and efficiently as possible, as is the teachings of the Kata and its applications. If you think in terms of Okinawa when the founders were alive, it was dangerous to walk the streets at night as you might be attacked by multiple people. The concept of dispatching an opponent quickly was definitely a desirable concept. Did this mean that every strike killed the opponent? No. The concept was to make the opponent unable to continue their attack so that you could deal with the next attacker. In combat the same is true. You would not want to fight an opponent for an extended amount of time because his friends might join in to defeat you. The idea was to dispatch the enemy as quickly as possible so that you could engage the next. If you were to prolong the engagement this would leave you vulnerable to attack from other opponents.

I think "certain death" in this phrase in the context of Karate as apposed to Kenjutsu is taken too literally and creates an impractical expectation of skills. Again this does not mean that a single blow can't lead to death. It simply means that to claim that, at some point in their training, a practitioner can with each strike affect death is not practical nor logical when understanding the true nature of a real fight and the fact that it does not mimic the controlled, clean, sterile atmosphere of the Dojo where all techniques land because of compliance.

What are your thoughts?
_________________
The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6139
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I can weigh in as s TKD practitioner. We have a similar concept in Ilkyok Pilsung - One Attack, Certain Victory. It's why we wrap or belts around only once rather than the double wrap that most other martial arts have.

For us it's more about trying to be as effective with each movement as possible. In that you might get only one chance to hit your opponent and it needs to be effective enough to stop them and end the fight. You haven't got the space or the time to half try and you should make sure every strike counts so you can end the fight quickly.
_________________
"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it." ~ Confucius
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14336
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As simplistic as I can put it is...

Applying 100% in everything every time to achieve a finality as though your life depended on it. Not some, but everything!!!!



_________________
**Proof is on the floor!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Age-Uke
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 11 Feb 2019
Posts: 18

Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:40 am    Post subject: Ikken Hissatsu - One fist, certain death. Reply with quote

Ikken Hissatsu - One fist, certain death.

To the Chinese, the word "fist" or "Quan" means many things. It can mean fist but also applies to the whole body as a weapon or attack in general

I'd wager that Kenjustu phrase is older than we think.

I agree 100% with the original post.

So I've always interpreted Ikken Hissatsu to mean "One attack, Certain Death, or Certain Victory"

The attack = plural or multiple if needed
_________________
There is no block in Karate
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1717

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 has the best explanation so far. Many, if not most of the interpretations of this Japanese saying are much too litteral and make it more complicated than it really is.

The saying is meant to convey the intent and focus a karate practitioner should train for techniques to have maximum results.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Karate All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


< Advertising - Contact - Disclosure Policy - Staff - User Guidelines >