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scohen0300
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2022 1:10 pm    Post subject: Motobu Drills Reply with quote

Has anyone checked out the Motobu Drills? I believe there are 12, or at least that’s how many are on Iain Abernethys app.

What do you think of them?

Does anyone know why Motobu selected those 12 drills to stand out?

I’m just looking for information on them, and I’d love to gets some personal opinions on them as well. I haven’t been able to find much online, maybe I'm not looking in the right places.
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Wastelander
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Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2022 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm familiar with them--Motobu Choki published them in his book, Watashi no Tode-Jutsu, and there are videos of his son and grandson demonstrating some on YouTube, IIRC. Of course, Iain has also taken to using them, with some slight variations.

I think they are good basic drills that feature components of several kata, as well as important karate concepts, such as meotode and muchimidi. Personally, I tend to believe that he had his students do a lot more drills than just those 12, but he had to pick ones to highlight in his book, and these were a good mix of material. We get leg kicks, knees to the body, strikes to the body, and strikes to the head. We also get limb control, trapping, deflecting, and locking. I don't have any evidence that he simply picked them from a larger pool of material because they were relatively diverse while still simple enough to teach in a book, but it makes the most sense, to me. I suppose I could ask his grandson and see what he says, but he may not know, either.

Did you have any questions on particular drills in that set?
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scohen0300
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2022 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that awesome response!

I guess I’m looking at drills like this as a whole, particularly the Motobu drills, the 7 Yakusoku kumite of Matsubayashi, and all the various one steps/ three steps/whatever steps sparring, across styles like Shotokan and Tang Soo Do (as well as many others).

I know different schools have different goals in this part of training, like distance/timing, self defense, etc. But I also find myself wondering why they wouldn’t just use sequences from the kata to have as their one steps, kumite, etc.

Could they not achieve the same goal just through using smaller sequences from kata and giving the smaller portions their own section of “one steps” or “Yakusoku kumite”? Or perhaps they just wanted something more basic for students to practice? Just to add variety?

To be clear, I absolutely love practicing things like this and I'm not trying to judge them or their purpose. Just simply thinking about it and trying to understand it all better.
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Wastelander
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2022 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scohen0300 wrote:
Thanks for that awesome response!

I guess I’m looking at drills like this as a whole, particularly the Motobu drills, the 7 Yakusoku kumite of Matsubayashi, and all the various one steps/ three steps/whatever steps sparring, across styles like Shotokan and Tang Soo Do (as well as many others).

I know different schools have different goals in this part of training, like distance/timing, self defense, etc. But I also find myself wondering why they wouldn’t just use sequences from the kata to have as their one steps, kumite, etc.

Could they not achieve the same goal just through using smaller sequences from kata and giving the smaller portions their own section of “one steps” or “Yakusoku kumite”? Or perhaps they just wanted something more basic for students to practice? Just to add variety?

To be clear, I absolutely love practicing things like this and I'm not trying to judge them or their purpose. Just simply thinking about it and trying to understand it all better.


I have found that sometimes drills based on kata are mistaken for unrelated drills, simply because the instructor didn't explicitly state that they were related to kata. Motobu's drills are based on kata, if not verbatim. A friend of mine trains in a style that ended up having a ton of "Self Defense #..." on their curriculum because the head of the style never pointed out that he was teaching them kata applications, and most of the high ranking people in the org didn't notice the connection. The newest head of the Shorinkan started making a bunch of yakusoku kumite drills, after he took over, which were VERY obviously kata applications after 2-4 "childrens' karate" basics, and yet it seemed like very few people in the org were aware of that fact. Heck, I even see it when I post drills that are based on kata online and don't point out what kata they come from .

Of course, there are definitely 1-2-3-4-5-etc. step sparring drills all over the place that aren't connected to kata, at all, and personally I think the majority (although not all) are a waste of training time. Some drills are meant to develop skills and attributes, but which are not actually directly applicable in combat, for example, and those are valuable. There are also drills that are meant to prepare you for a specific type of combat that kata isn't designed for (ie. combat sports), which are valuable. The combinations of sterile kihon techniques with "childrens' karate" applications from formal stances and Kendo distance that were largely made by people who didn't understand or care how to apply kata movements, however, do not provide anything that aren't found in drills with practical kihon/kata applications against realistic attacks from a realistic distance, and are, in fact, much worse than such practical drills in every capacity that I have been able to think of, besides forcing you to remember long combinations of movements that don't have a real purpose. I know that some of those drills were made for children, because they were safe and made students practice their basics more, but when you practice those techniques with bad applications, what's the value, really? That isn't the easiest thing for people who are now 2-6 generations into a tradition of practicing such things to hear, though, and there is a definite Sunk Cost Fallacy involved, so they tend to defend the drills pretty strongly, and continue to teach them. That's a hard cycle to break.

Obviously, this is all my own observations and opinions on the matter, and I'm biased as someone who was taught and teaches practical kata application. All of my drills are either directly or indirectly tied to kata, and the development of combative skills and attributes.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander, I tend to agree with you on the step-sparring. In my experience, it's just been curriculum designed to be tested on, and nothing better than that. I've grown very frustrated with the one and three-step sparring that has been developed by the organization I'm in.
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Wastelander
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Wastelander, I tend to agree with you on the step-sparring. In my experience, it's just been curriculum designed to be tested on, and nothing better than that. I've grown very frustrated with the one and three-step sparring that has been developed by the organization I'm in.


My old org had them; just 7 when I started, plus 8 that my sensei's instructor based around the Naihanchi and Pinan kata, but then the founder died and his son took over and cranked out 21 more. Since leaving the org, I've dropped them all. My sensei and I thought the kata-based ones were alright--very basic, but not too bad, all things considered. The rest of them had decent techniques at the very end, but you had to wade through a bunch of childrens' karate basics to get to them. We played with different ways to get some benefit out of them--working just the endings against realistic attacks, having students break the drills and attack with realistic attacks that had to be defended against, having students break the drills to try to immediately put the attacker on the ground, etc-- but dropping them was ideal.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it sounds to me that if you've got to do that much work to get anything useful out of them, then there is probably an easier and more efficient way to do it.
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, ...

I believe that the Motobu Drills are a decent introduction to close-up fighting. Within Shindokan, we've never officially trained them because our close-up fighting goals are to bet behind our opponents. I've trained in the Motobu Drills outside of the Shindokan circle whenever I cross trained.

Getting close to an opponent willingly takes nerves of steel, but at the very same time, preventing your opponent from jamming your intent(s) at the same time, or near same time, takes some added umph.

That's where what Motobu called "Husband and Wife Hands" comes critically in play. Can't just get up close and personal without employing your hands in a mature way. What I call, in chess, hidden/discovered/capture/check/checkmate moves. That's why we train our students with the Wing Chun Dummy from nearly day one.

It takes tons of maturity to live close and personal with an opponent that's heck bent on ripping your head off your shoulders.

If the Motobu Drills help one to improve their effectiveness, then go for it but not in a passing fashion.



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