This has turned into a rather large blog/rant so feel free to jump around this Three-Parter.
- History - Some Historical Context
- Taika's Writing's on Makiwara
- The Egg - The original reason I wrote the blog...
Part I: Some History
I wanted to take some time and discuss a different aspect of Taika's punch. I am specifically discussing the time of impact and how he didn't squeeze through the punching motion, impact or what immediately followed. I have talked at length and blogged at length over the last few years about how he had a relaxed hand and would constantly tell us 'Didax, didax' as we did our punches among many other things. I can even remember this exact phrase at the very first seminar I ever went to where I was paired with a hard style, Japanese style practitioner and Taika got frustrated with how tight my partner was. He took the guys glasses off, handed them to me and then made a tight fist. He said "Tight fist no good." He hit my partner in the side of the head with a tight fist a couple of times and the guy butched up and took it. He then said "Didax, didax" and did a light strike on the side of his head and my partner hit the deck... completely out. Taika walked away to help the next pair of practitioners as my training partner's friend came over and righted him. This was in the late, late 80's. But I am going to retreat a tad bit into a history lesson first.
I am going to reference Taika Seiyu Oyata in several 'period ways' and please do not think I am disrespecting him here when I say "Post War Oyata' and other terms instead of using his full name and honorific. I am trying to simplify it and I am going to refer to things he directly told me along with others, as well as reference some of his writings.
Post War Oyata was primarily interested in one thing, putting food on the table. He had a salesman approach to teaching, 'give them what they'll pay for.' He would tell us in his latter years that chasing power was something even he did in the early days. Hitting makiwara and building up those calluses on the knuckles was a bit more about bragging rights and pride according to him. Later, as he started to get students he said that he himself grew out of that as he started applying Uhugushiku and Wakinaguri principles more freely, more publicly, and began to understand his body more and more. He realized that a properly aligned and relaxed punch was much better. As he started to get servicemen paying him money he quit using the training tools like the Makiwara for his vanity, and began using it as a tool to use on his students....particularly the hard headed ones. Taika himself, to me and many others at class, and on numerous occasions stated that the makiwara did two things, among others.
- Gave him time to take a smoke break.
- Vented the hard headed students ego
In 1998 Taika came out with his book, RyuTe® no Michi.
Below is an example of striking a Body Opponent Bag (B.O.B.) at the neck. Again, we have proper alignment and are focusing on relaxing our hand and not squeezing.
Hopefully some of you made it this far and got past my initial rant (Part I) as well as quoted bits of Taika's rant (Part II). Taika went to great lengths to steer his students in a particular direction but for years hit his head against the egotistical power hungry brick wall of those that refused to listen. Not sure why I even try to carry on his brick bashing but if even one person can move on to Part III and come ahead with a new understand maybe he would be happy. Who knows.