Gyo Enbu Course
Question: What makes a good Gyo-enbu?
Answer: Ensuring that all of the Wado ‘elements’ are demonstrated and included within. Wado Tai-sabaki (body management) must be present.
‘Elements Demonstration’. A term referring to the formulation of the prearranged fighting sequences introduced into the BWK Yūdan Wado Syllabus by Gary E Swift Hanshi in 1982. The British Wadokai Enbu plays an important role within the development of the many elements within the Wado fighting skills, Wado principles, and attitude within our Wadoryu Karate, etc. An official British Wadokai Enbu, for grading and competition, must last at least 60 seconds and encompass a ‘balance’ between the two (or more) ‘fighters’, demonstrating as many of the Wado principles as possible. Gyo-Enbu plays an important role with the development of the many
elements within the Wado fighting skills, including Goju-ittai and many of the other Wado principles and attitude within Wadoryu Karate, etc. This type of training allows an individual to work with a partner to make a rehearsed fighting sequence that, although containing the essential elements of Wado-ryu, allows a degree of freedom of expression. An official British Wadokai Gyo-Enbu, for grading and competition purposes, must last at least 60 seconds and encompass a balance of fighting sequences between the two (or more) ‘combatants’, demonstrating as many of the Wado principles as possible; plus a dynamic expression of their own individual ability.
“Within the philosophical principle of Gyo (in practice) it is the developing of character, mutual trust and cooperation between people; and in society to create a foundation for a better society for peace and harmony.”
Nijiri Ashi: Crawling/Creeping Foot/Feet. Refers to the footwork movement to adjust Ma-ai. As used in the preliminary footwork within Ohyo & Kihon Gumite, etc.
Suri Ashi: Gliding Foot/Feet. Foot movement to adjust Ma-ai.
Mai-suru: Distancing Gliding. Continuous distancing adjustments found in the classical and traditional combat routines.
Chidori-ashi (chidori step) / Chidori-ni-idoh (movement of chidori): Stepping movement, retaining centrally balance throughout the step, used in Naihanchi and Seishan Kata, etc.
Kime-no-taemanai: Contact continuity. Taking advantage and making use of ‘continuous contact’ with an opponent.
Tai-Sabaki: Body shifting in relation to various aspects and elements within Karate-do.
Ten-i: Modify/improve position.
Ten-tai: Modify/improve form.
Ten-gi: Modify/improve technique.
Iri-mi: The action of entering. Demonstrating the various ‘entering’ tactics.
Nagasu, Inasu, Noru: The arts of Nagasu, Inasu and Noru are some of the most important characteristics to be found in Wado Tai-Sabaki.
Nagasu: Flowing/avoidance tactics. Body evasion or flowing movement used against the attacker.
Nasu: Flow away, flow around, disperse, avoid.
Noru: Riding blocks/strikes, etc. Not to resist your opponents attack but to blend with it, using your own body weight movement to unbalance your opponent’s posture. Noru can be described as a supple bamboo in a storm. The Bamboo stalk will bend in the wind but spring back when the opening occurs.
I-nasu (Kawasu): Inasu is interpreted as to deflect any attack utilising an avoiding movement. One could say it is to force the attack or energy of the opponent to another direction than the intentional direction. Similar to nagasu, but using 2 types of use. Apart from body repositioning (dodge), one is to hit the opponent (or opponent’s strike) and adjust or use your attack in such a way that it will deflect the upcoming attack with the same arm, hence it is attack and defence at the same time. The other is to force the energy of the opponent somewhere advantageous, to immediately deliver a blow afterwards. In other words this is positioning the opponent and/or attacking strike. Of course these deflecting movements are done with the whole body and frequently changing the position of the body. When forcing the energy of the opponent to another direction, this is referred to as Inasu. This is frequently done in a twisting motion. One should start twisting the arm slightly before contact continuing twisting when contact is made. Think of the Kaisetsu of Pinan nidan nukite as an example. Also, the throw common to those who practise Ohyo kumite (3) can be done using this idea. Enter and start twisting the right arm into the chest of the opponent, this will cause kuzushi even before the throw. One can also do Inasu by make the attack “bounce” off. Twisting is not necessary to do. One should position one’s self and (force) position the opponent to one’s advantage, to strike immediately afterwards with any weapon. Immediately afterwards means there is a flow of movements that should be connected instead of separated. Movement should be continuous.
Sente: Types of Sen
1. Go-No-Sen – Block then counter after attack.
2. Sen-No-Sen – Block and counter at the same time after attack.
3. Sen-Sen-No-Sen – Counter before the opponent can initiate his attack.
Yonshin – ‘Four minds’. 四心
The British Wadokai’s principle of ‘Yonshin’, developed by Gary E Swift 9th Dan Hanshi, which relates to the combination of the required ‘four-minds’ of partner-work and combat-work. Usually, only three principles are considered, and these are Senshin, Tsushin and Zanshin. However, the principle of Mushin is very often neglected, and should form a very important part in this process of combat psychology, even with all the implications of Senshin, Tsushin and Zanshin.
So, in British Wadokai, we have the four principles of ‘Shin’, which include; Mushin, Senshin, Tsushin and Zanshin.
MU-SHIN – ‘No mind’ or ’empty mind’. A ‘placid & receptive’ state of mind that is attained throughout combat. A state of mind that has to be attained in combat as well as meditation. The training of the mind to help to attain the ability to react spontaneously without thought. Mushin (無心; Chinese Wu-hsin; English translation ‘no-mindedness’) is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists enter during combat. The term is shortened from mushin-no-shin (無心の心), a Zen expression meaning mind of no mind. This relates to a mind not fixed or preoccupied by thought or emotion and thus open to everything.
For the origin of the mushin concept, see Muga-mushin within the British Wadokai’s Wado Comprehensive Wado Terminology. Mushin is achieved when a fighter feels no anger, fear or ego during combat. There is an absence of discursive thought, and so the fighter is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is felt intuitively. A martial artist would likely have to train for many years to be capable of mushin. This allows time for combinations of movements and exchanges of techniques to be practised repetitively many thousands of times, until they can be performed spontaneously, without conscious thought.
Types of Shin
1. Mushin or munen-mushin. Literally, “no mind”, “an empty or clear mind” –
a mind not fixed on anything and open to everything, that allows freedom and flexibility to react and adapt to a given situation spontaneously and without conscious thought. Although spontaneity is a feature of Mushin, it is not straightforwardly identical with it. It might be said that when in a state of Mushin, you are free to use concepts and distinctions without being used by them. Senshin (“preparatory mind”), tsushin (“concentrating mind”) and zanshin (“remaining mind”). There are additional states which are described or alluded to in various Zen and Budo texts.
2. Senshin – “Preparatory mind” – Focusing and preparing on circumstances about to develop during the opening of combat. This refers also to the concept of shin-gi-tai (mind, technique, body), where the body is physically conditioned through exercise and diet, technical strength is gained in the art’s techniques by constant practice, and mental strength and confidence are developed.
3. Tsushin – “Concentrating mind” – the mind must be alert and aware throughout combat to the end, this refers also to the concept of ten-chi-jin (atmosphere or spiritual aspects, territory or environmental forces, human forces, technique or strategy), where awareness of the immediate surroundings and environment, including the interactions between people and their environment is developed.
4. Zanshin (kan-ken futatsu no koto or tsuki no kokoro). Literally “remaining mind/heart” or “reflecting heart or mind”, also, “mind like the moon.” A state of complete, balanced, continuous and relaxed readiness, awareness and alertness, where you are “present in the moment.” Even after a martial arts technique has been completed, you should remain in a balanced and aware state, maintaining correct posture and balance as well as maintaining surveillance over your surroundings at all times. This is often described as “perceiving with both the eyes and the intuitive mind.”
Zanshin thus connotes “following through” in a technique, as well as preservation of your awareness (remaining on guard) so that you are prepared to respond strategically to what is going on around you, whether to renewed attacks by the same opponent, or for an attack from another direction by a new attacker. The same mindset is preserved at all phases of technique application, whether beginning, continuing or completing a technique. Zanshin also relates to your awareness of your position within your environment, and to the world around you. You notice the people around you (their body language, expression, voices) because you need to be prepared to interact with them socially, politically, economically and spiritually.
Kumite-No-Gokensoku – (Five Principles of Kumite).
Kumite or free fighting along with Kata is another vital part of karate training and should only be attempted under supervision and once basic skills have been learnt. It is the highest level of all karate as it allows the student to practice what he or she has learnt in a free fight situation.
The below principles show the key point that need to be kept in mind in order for you to improve your kumite.
1. Kiwa Hayaku. Attack your opponent with a strong spirit; do not think about defence only your attack.
2. Kokorowa Shizuka. Always maintain a calm mind and spirit.
3. Miwa Karuku. Your movement and technique must be polished and smooth.
4. Mewa Akirakani. When you look at you opponent, see all of him. Do not fix your gaze only on one spot.
5. Wazawa Hageshiku. Your technique must be sharp.
Goju-ittai – ‘Hard soft unification’.
The two practices of Go-ho and Ju-ho that are harmonised together. Go refers to the striking and kicking elements, while Ju refers to the grappling methods taught, and Ittai is unification of these two elements. Although generally taught as separate methods they are in fact harmonised together in practise until the ‘separation’ of these elements become unnoticeable in combat. Practised within the British Wadokai Schools of Karate-do.
Ten-i, Ten-tai, Ten-gi, “Sanmi-Ittai” The three distinctive types of body movement found in Kihon Kumite. These are collectively called San-mi-Ittai and are a particular subgroup of Taisabaki. San-Mi-Ittai consists of:
1. Ten-i – Moving the body away from the attack (as in ‘I’-nasu). Ten-i (change of direction), which is to move the position or move away from the attack. Examples of this type of body movement are the responses to the initial attack in each Kihon Kumite exchange.
2. Ten-tai – Twisting the body to avoid a technique (as in ‘Tai’-sabaki). Ten-tai (change of body), which is the twisting or realignment of the body to change the relationship between the Torimi’s body and Ukemi’s attack. The aim is to reduce the exposed areas of attack. An example of this type of body movement is the Torimi’s second movement in Kihon Kumite Nihonme. The alignment of the Torimi’s body allows the Ukemi to see only the width between anterior and posterior. The torso vital points are somewhat protected by the positioning of the right hand.
3. Ten-gi – Allowing attack to flow through while contact is made with blocking and/or countering (as in ‘Ki’-me). Ten-gi (change of technique), which is executing an attack while letting the attack pass through.
These terms are a way of describing the initial elements of body movement when moving during an attack. All three can be seen in Kihon Kumite where the defender’s body moves to the side on the first technique, twists on the second technique and brushes the attack through whilst countering. Together, they are called ‘San-Mi-Ittai.’ It is very important that students of Wado use these three movements together. To neglect any one of these factors will make the practitioner’s movement ineffective. Practicing them as a whole movement (Sanmi-Ittai) enables the student to avoid the greater force, with the most economical use of their own, with no wasted time
Tekomi and Nukimi
Tekomi – ‘Hand body in’. Refers to the process of holding or extending the kime during the progress of a punch. The technique requires one to ‘hold/extend’ the body power.
Nuki(mi) – ‘Disconnect your (body) power’. To take the power off before the technique is completed. This is what gives Wado Kata ‘real’ power; it is not just a set of pre-arranged moves, which many Kata competitors demonstrate today. Nuki is difficult to practise as you must not have any tension at all; in Wado, you do not hold on to the Kime. This can also be seen in other Japanese Martial-Arts such Jujutsu and Aikido, which also has a sophisticated series of tai-sabaki techniques.
Because many western practitioners make Mudan-ugoki they continue to hold on to power too long after it is necessary. Nuki is what differentiates Wado from any other style of Karate. Power becomes internal not external, as it derives from the ‘initial power’ of the body. You should withdraw all power from your technique before completion. The technique must disconnect the power very quickly from execution. This can be witnessed by many ‘traditional’ Wado Karate master’s, as they make their Karate seem so simplistic to the eye. Unfortunately, many Wado teachers do not understand this principle and so go their own way and it becomes lost forever. It looks like Wado on the outside but inside it is not the correct Wado principle.
In correct Wado-ryu, there is never any unnecessary tension, there is only Nuki.
Mudan-ugoki – Mudan; ‘maximum use’, ‘output’. Ugoki; ‘movement’, ‘activity’. Refers to ‘extending or holding onto power’. Allowing the power and strength of the body to continue through the technique and extend up to, and in many cases past, the finality.
Nagasu-mi – ‘Flowing body’. A technique, developed by Gary Swift Hanshi, practised within British Wadokai where the body-only adapts a flowing body position (by twisting and transferring weight to the leading leg), allowing the stance to remain intact, to avoid a strike/kick. In this way the body can ‘recoil’ quicker to re-establish equilibrium to make use of body repositioning for more effective counter-attacks, etc.
Seichusen and Sen-no-Seichusen
Seichusen – ‘True centre line’. Refers to the centre-line of the human body. Also refers to the imaginary line that the attacker’s punch or kick will travel whilst travelling towards the centre of the target. Can also refer to the body’s centre of gravity etc.
Sen-no-Seichusen. The imaginary line between one’s own and opponent’s Seichusen.
Enbusen – ‘Demonstration line’. Refers to the line the technique would travel to hit a target. Also refers to the footwork or floor plan/patterns of Karate Kata, etc. An Enbu refers to a ‘demonstration’, ‘dance’, and ‘military exercise’. Sen means ‘line’, ‘lines’. Enbusen, therefore, refers to the line that is followed during a strike, an exercise of movements such as in Kata, etc. Also known as Embusen.
Gyo-Enbu Course Part 1: Unarmed elements course. Tai-sabaki of syllabus level.
Gyo-Enbu Course Part 2: Armed elements course. Tai-sabaki with Tanto and Bokken.
Gyo-Enbu Course Part 1: Unarmed elements course. Tai-sabaki of syllabus level.
NB: Gyo-Enbu Course Part 1 will also include the ‘practise’ of an unarmed Gyo-Enbu, whereby the student would be able to create a short Gyo-Enbu during the session with his partner.
Gyo-Enbu Course Part 2: Armed elements course. Tai-Sabaki with Tanto and Bokken.
NB: Gyo-Enbu Course Part 2 will also include the ‘practise’ of an armed Gyo-Enbu, whereby the student would be able to create a short Gyo-Enbu during the session with his partner. This allows the opportunity of the potential examiner/s to give some advice and guidance to the direction of where the Gyo-Enbu would be required to go for maximum affect and score potential, for competition and grading, etc.
The British Wadokai Gyo-Enbu – What is Gyo-Enbu?
GYO – A general term, which has many connotations depending on the written Kanji.
GYO – 禦 ‘Elements’, ‘defend’, ‘protect’, ‘resist’, ‘ward off’, ‘defences’, ‘sequences’, ‘stages’, ‘practise’, ‘discipline’, ‘physical discipline’, ‘breaking out’. Gyo has many connotations, depending on the written Kanji, and is a term that also refers to the formulation of prearranged fighting sequences. Utilising this Kanji, 技法, it is a term referring to the formulation of prearranged (rehearsed) defensive fighting sequences (known fully as Gyo-Enbu 技法演武) relating to our Wado technique.
Gyo was introduced into the BWK’s Black-Belt Wado Syllabus by Gary E Swift 9th Dan Hanshi, in 1982. In British Wadokai, Gyo-Enbu plays an important role with the development of the many elements within the Wado fighting skills, Wado principles and attitude within Wadoryu Karate, etc. This type of training allows an individual to work with partners/a partner to make a rehearsed fighting sequence that, although containing the essential elements of Wado-ryu, allows a degree of freedom of personal expression.
An official British Wadokai Gyo-Enbu, for grading and competition, must last at least 60 seconds and encompass a balance of fighting sequences between the two ‘combatants’, demonstrating as many of the Wado principles as possible plus a dynamic expression of their own individual ability. Within the philosophical principle Gyo (practice) it is the developing of character, mutual trust and cooperation between people; and in society to create a foundation for a better society for peace and harmony. Gyo is also translated as; ‘defend’, ‘protect’, ‘resist’, ‘ward off’, and this meaning is reflected in the Kanji 禦. Also known as Giho and Kyo.
GYO-ENBU – 技法演武 ‘Application demonstrations’. Refers to the pre-arranged fighting sequences, created in pairs (or more), to encourage the use of the practical principles of Goju-ittai plus other important techniques, elements and principles contained within our Wadoryu. The construction of Gyo-enbu is also important for the requirements of various black-belt gradings, competitions and demonstrations within British Wadokai. Gyo-enbu should be considered the ‘Reflection of all Wadoryu’. The unification of Gyo/Giho (技法) and Shinpo (心法). ‘Gyo’; methods relative to technique and ‘Shinpo’; methods related to the heart/mind.
A Gyo Enbu should be both fun and rewarding to work with, as it encompasses both traditional aspects of Wadoryu and your own personal elements developed over many years of training. Gyo-enbu should not be considered hard-work but treated in a relaxed approach conducive to all those involved with its creation.