Futatsu Mae Undō no Karatedō

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In Futatsu Mae Undō no Karatedō (“Second Exercise of the Empty-Hand Way”), all of the concepts of Hajimete Undō no Karatedō are revisited and refined. Additional skills will also be introduced, such as rising blocks and foot sweeps. The primary benefit though, will be an improved understanding about how the hips generate power, through a unique “slithering” transition from a front stance to a same-side back stance.

Directions

[video of Futatsu Mae, performed fast and slow, viewed from cameras at #1, 3, 7, 5. Be sure that you take up the whole frame. A lot of our old kata videos are from too far away, and it hides some detail. ]

Points of Harmony.png
  1. Goshin-Jutsu bow, and snap into a ready stance facing #1.
  2. Quickly look towards #3. Step your right foot to #8, briefly entering a right front stance facing #1, crossing your arms in front of your chest. Immediately snap your hips, and twist into a right back stance, facing #3 with a left cross-body block.
  3. Shift forward into a left front stance with a reverse punch.
  4. Sharply snap your hips to the left, sucking your left foot into a right hook stance facing #5. Immediately step your left foot to #6, momentarily entering a left front stance facing #5, with crossed arms. Twist your hips into a left back stance, facing #3, with a right cross-body block.
  5. Shift forward into a right front stance with a reverse punch.
  6. Place both of your fists on your right hip, with the left atop the right. Execute a left foot sweep, then immediately pull your left knee up into a right fighting crane stance.
  7. Quickly look over your left shoulder at #7. Step your left foot to #2, and twist into a left back stance facing #7, with a right cross-body block.
  8. Shift into a right front stance with a reverse punch.
  9. Sharply snap your hips to the right, sucking your right foot into a left hook stance facing #5. Immediately step your right foot to #6, momentarily entering a right front stance facing #5, with crossed arms. Twist your hips into a right back stance facing #3, with a left cross-body block.
  10. Shift forward into a left front stance with a reverse punch.
  11. Pull your right leg up into a left cat stance, with both of your fists on your left hip, with the right atop of the left.
  12. Quickly look to #5. Step your right foot to #4, and twist into a right front stance facing #5, with a right rising block.
  13. Left pursuit punch.
  14. Pull your right leg up into a left cat stance, with both of your fists on your left hip, with the right atop of the left.
  15. Quickly look over your left shoulder to #1. Step your right foot to #8, and twist into a right front stance facing #1, with a right rising block.
  16. Left pursuit punch.
  17. Step your left foot back into an attention stance, and Goshin-Jutsu bow.

Notes

Movements 5-6 are mirror images of Movements 2-3. Likewise, Movements 7-8 are identical to Movements 9-10.

Unlike other kata, Futatsu Mae Undō no Karatedō ends by stepping back into an attention stance, instead of stepping forward.

Power is generated through efficient body motion; a combination of driving forward with the legs and the quick, sharp, turning of the hips. The first half of Futatsu Mae Undō no Karatedō was specifically designed to teach this skill. Students often struggle learning how to “whip the hip.” We recommend having a friend grab you by the hips to help swing you around, so you can feel what it’s like

[video of grabbing a student by the belt and pulling their hips around.]

The other major mistake that students make when learning this kata is over-committing to the leg sweep. Rather than sweeping and stepping, new students will allow their momentum to spin themselves around 180°, where they begin the next movement. In reality, it’s easy for opponents to counter this kind of leg sweep -- they only need to lift their foot for a second. This causes your attempted leg sweep will miss its target -- and since your momentum spins you completely around, the opponent has complete freedom to strike your kidneys, spine, and brain stem. In addition, all of the problems that we discussed with stepping and turning at once during the opening movement of Hajimete Undō no Karatedō apply to these over-committed leg sweeps as well. Don’t swing to sweep -- snap to sweep -- then raise your knee, and step properly. Practice makes permanent.

Bunkai

The simplest bunkai for Futatsu Mae Undō no Karatedō begins much like our first kata, Hajimete Undō no Karatedō. (Tying new material to earlier material makes learning easier.) An attacker, standing to your left, throws a right pursuit punch. You respond with the evade-block-counter combination that you refined earlier (Movements 1-3). However, the opponent is tougher than those from the previous kata, and counter-attacks with a left pursuit punch. Using your improved ability to generate power with hip motion, you are able to set up another evade-block-counter combination (Movements 4--5). After striking the opponent a second time, you take them down with a front leg sweep (Movements 6), before repeating the process with another attacker, who was trying to sneak up on you. This second, left-handed, attacker is defeated in the same manner as the first (Movements 7-10).

A third opponent, standing to your right, tries to punch you in the face. You evade and deflect this punch with a rising block (Movements 11-12), before counterattacking with a pursuit punch (Movement 13).

Finally, a fourth and final attacker tries to suckerpunch you from behind, but you’re on them -- and you take them out the same way, with a rising block (Movements 14-15), and a counterattacking with a pursuit punch (Movement 16), throwing in a fortified face slap for good measure (Movement 17).

Of course, there are other ways to interpret this kata -- but we’re assigning the task of finding those bunkai to you as homework. [bunkai compilation video]