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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16250
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2022 12:39 pm    Post subject: Receiving; the maturity of techniques Reply with quote

Techniques have a maturing to them. Like a fine wine. You learn them, you train them, and then you mature in them. Then, that process begins all over again, hence the Shu Ha Ri concept. Doubt hinders the maturing efforts, and that doubt can be quite difficult to shake. That doubt can be an awfully long plateau to deal with, and at that point, doubt sets its teeth deeper into your confidence.

For example, I’ve Senior Dan students that haven’t matured in many of their techniques for one reason or another because they doubt themselves. Why? They’re afraid. So, they can’t Receive any given technique into them.

Uke, roughly translated, means to Receive. Emphasizing Uke, Receiving, is a defining feature of Okinawa Karate. Receiving skills are really valued and that such force is put into receiving speaks for the Okinawa Karate in itself. Never initiate the attack. Receive first, and then go on the offense. Attacking always comes last.

Uke means to block, literally, meaning to block or prevent an opponent’s attack. Receiving means to catch or to accept. Kill the force and take him by surprise. He cannot advance so quickly. In Shindokan, we never block an attack, we receive it, or we deflect it.

Receiving skills aren’t just meant to prevent one’s opponent’s attack. That Received attacking force can be redirected into a counterattack that follows. Receiving is the starting point for the counterattack. Receiving still lies in reacting to the opponent’s weaknesses swiftly. For example, when the leg moves, you start too. Get his leg and it’s all over.

Attacking is much easier, however, Receiving is far more difficult.
The reason Okinawa Karate never initiates the attack rather than Receiving is rooted in Okinawa history. With that mindset of “we can’t lose” has always exited in its people. Perhaps that is what started the spirit of Receiving, and persevering. That became the weapon that is Receiving, and that strength was reflected in Karate too.

If you can properly Receive your opponent’s attack, you should never have to backdown. If your made to backdown, then your Receiving is still weak. As if you have no style and movements; just kind of like, carelessly swinging at the wind. Nothing’s left once your opponent takes control over you. For example, if you’re still getting tagged and bagged by your opponent, then that’s evidence that your Receiving is still weak.

If the struggle with receiving has become paramount, perhaps you’re not listening. You respond to the CI, but there’s no change. If one’s thinking about winning, well. That’s why the practitioner has no style and movements that are of their own. That’s extremely dangerous.

You must Receive.

Even if it’s not perfect, if you’re doing Karate, Receiving is a skill that must be used. At least, attempt to Receive. You must maintain calmness while Receiving the opponent’s attack. Sure, it’s difficult at first, but you must do it. It takes time!! That is traditional Karate.

In the end, one’s not thinking deep enough about Receiving. One’s mindset must be changed. No matter what, keep training even though one keeps running into a brick wall. That AHA moment will surface whenever that time is right.

Perhaps, the lack of motivation can be a setback. Character often must be built up to train where the will is starting to learn how to persevere . It’s not about having no trust in Receiving, as it is in not trusting oneself. Again, if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it, which would be so boring.

I can’t emphasize this enough when Receiving is concerned. When my opponent moves, so do I. What if my opponent does this or does that, what do I do? That uncertainty comes from the fact that you’re afraid. The heart that doesn’t fear, Receives actively and has the strength to take it on.

With Receiving, don’t just back down and take it, but rather, go forward and Receive it actively. The very style and mindset of the MA is to advance forward whilst Receiving. To improve Receiving skills, that attacks need to be improved as well. Receiving is the strength to attack, and therefore they’re inseparable.
However, training to win, and training to not lose upon Receiving, are completely different. Facing the opponent without running away while also ending the battle without hurting your opponent…that is the true spirit of Okinawa Karate.

Not all styles of the MA train in Receiving, therefore, they’re not acceptable of its effectiveness. That’s alright because the MA is not about just one way, but many ways that are effective. Receiving can be like the floor, unyielding and unforgiving in many ways.

If one's technique is still immature, then Receiving remains weak, unchanged, and undecided. Mizu No Kokoro (Mind like the Moon) and Tsuki No Kokoro (Mind like the Water) concepts speak towards focus. Albeit, not in always a general term, but in a specific term. One’s weak in their immature techniques because one’s still afraid. FEAR, can stand for, Future Events Appearing Real. Focusing on the wrong thing births that fear; Receiving can’t exist where one’s afraid and uncertain.

Perhaps this following quote speaks directly to being afraid…

“The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it.”~ Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Charles Speirs.

Cast away the fear and Receiving becomes much more attainable through that proper focus as the techniques start to mature, just as they’re designed to do within every MA practitioner.


**Proof is on the floor!!!
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30005
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2022 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this talk about Receiving. Instead of thinking of blocking or countering, I should start to thing of it as "Receiving" like this. Being flexible and responsive, not reactive. Making adjustments with the body. As Bruce Lee would say, "when he expands, I contract; when he contracts, I expand..." Contract and receive, expand and receive.

What do I do when I find my opponent receiving my techniques? Receive the reception??? That doesn't sound right as I type it out, so there must be another answer. Adapt and try again.
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