Hamahiga no Tonfa

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Hamahiga no Tonfa (“The Tonfa of Hamahiga”) is one of the most popular kobudō kata; It is important to familiarize yourself with this form, since it comprises the entire tonfajutsu curriculum at most martial arts schools, and even in some dedicated kobudō dōjō,

Hamahiga is an island in Okinawa where many of the surviving kobudō kata were created. The form consists of a wide variety of simple block-counter combinations, and hallmarked by repeating a simple yet impressive-looking 8-count combination.

Since this a long and technically complex kata, it is reserved for advanced students. This is a difficult kata to memorize, since it has many movements which are slight variations each other.

Directions

Points of Harmony.png
  1. Execute a right nami-ashi with a double ude uke, creating a satisfying clap.
  2. Step your right foot out to #8, entering a right front stance facing #1 with a double punch to the opponent's Kyūsho#Groingroin.
  3. Step your right foot to #7, entering a right full-side-facing to #1, with a right rising block and a left downward block to #7. Perform ibuki breathing throughout this move.
  4. Shift into a left full-side-facing to #1, with a left rising block and a right downward block to #3. Perform ibuki breathing throughout this move.
  5. Step your right foot to #8, entering a right front stance facing #1 with front-foot, reverse, and front-foot punches. Extend the right tonfa with a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal downward strike. Retract the right tonfa into a right cross-body block to #7. Extend the right tonfa with a horizontal swing at waist-level, and retracting the tonfa on the return swing. Execute a right punch.
  6. Step your left foot to #2, entering a left front stance facing #1 with a front-foot punch. Extend the left tonfa with a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal downward strike. Retract the left tonfa into a left cross-body block to #3. Extend the left tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist, and retracting the tonfa on the return swing. Execute a left punch.
  7. Step your right foot to #8, entering a right front stance facing #1 with a downward X-block.
  8. Extend the tonfa by whipping your arms out to the side, diagonally downward.
  9. Retract both tonfa into cross-body blocks to #3 and #7, then execute a double downward strike. Retract both tonfa with vertical flips.
  10. Quickly look to #2. Step your left foot to #3, entering a left front stance facing #2 with a left rising block. Without rechambering, execute a right punch.
  11. Quickly look to #8, step your right foot to #7, entering a right front stance facing #8 with a right rising block. Without rechambering, execute a left punch.
  12. Quickly look to #1. Step your left foot to #2, entering a left front stance facing #1 with a left rising block. Execute a reverse, front-foot, and reverse punches, then extend right tonfa with a downward diagonal strike.
  13. Step your right foot to #4, entering a right front stance facing #1, with a right downward block. a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal downward strike. Retract the right tonfa into a right cross-body block to #7. Extend the right tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist, and retracting the tonfa on the return swing. Execute front-foot, reverse, and front-foot punches.
  14. Step your left foot to #6, entering a left front stance facing #1 with a front-foot punch. Extend the left tonfa with a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal downward strike. Retract the left tonfa into a left cross-body block to #7. Extend the left tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist, and retracting the tonfa on the return swing. Execute a left punch.
  15. Quickly look to #6. Step your right foot to #5, entering a right front stance facing #6 with a left downward block. Without rechambering, execute a right punch to #6.
  16. Quickly look to #4. Step your right foot to #3, entering a right front stance facing #4 with a right downward block. Without rechambering, execute a right punch to #4.
  17. Step your left foot to #6, entering a left front stance facing #5 with a left rising block. Execute reverse, front-foot, and reverse punches.
  18. Quickly look over your left shoulder to #1. Step your right foot to #6, twisting into a left front stance facing #1 with a double punch to the groin.
  19. Pull back into a transitional right cat stance to #1, then slide your left foot to #3. Enter a left full-side-facing with a left rising block and a right downward block to #7. Use ibuki breathing on this move.
  20. Extend the right tonfa with a figure-eight swing. Shift into a left sleeping crane stance facing #1, as you whip the right tonfa down to knee-level in a vertical strike. The tonfa’s tip points to the ground.
  21. Step your right foot to #7, entering a horseback stance facing #1, retracting the right tonfa with a right cross-body block to #7.
  22. Shift into a left full-side-facing to #1 as you extend the right tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist. Shift into a right full-side-facing to #1 as you retract the tonfa with a return swing.
  23. Shift into a left full-side-facing to #1 with a right punch.
  24. Shift into a right full-side-facing to #1 with a right rising block and a left downward bōck to #3, Use ibuki breathing on this move.
  25. Extend the right tonfa with a figure-eight swing. Shift into a right sleeping crane stance facing #1, as you whip the left tonfa down to knee-level in a vertical strike. The tonfa’s tip points to the ground.
  26. Step your left foot to #3, entering a horseback stance facing #1, retracting the left tonfa with a left cross-body block to #3.
  27. Shift into a right full-side-facing to #1 as you extend the left tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist. Shift into a left full-side-facing to #1 as you retract the tonfa with a return swing.
  28. Shift into a right full-side-facing to #1 with a left punch.
  29. Step your right foot to #8, entering a right front stance facing #1 with front-foot, reverse, and front-foot punches. Extend the right tonfa with a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal downward strike. Retract the right tonfa into a right cross-body block to #7. Extend the right tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist, and retracting the tonfa on the return swing. Execute a right punch.
  30. Step your left foot to #2, entering a left front stance facing #1 with a front-foot punch. Extend the left tonfa with a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal downward strike. Retract the left tonfa into a left cross-body block to #3. Extend the left tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist, and retracting the tonfa on the return swing. Execute a left punch.
  31. Step your right foot to #8, entering a right front stance facing #1 with a double punch to the groin.
  32. Extend the tonfa by whipping your arms out to the side, diagonally downward.
  33. Rotate your shoulders inward, slamming the flats of the tonfa together at neck level. The tonfa should be horizontal at neck level, and with a satisfying clap.
  34. Retract the tonfa with vertical flips, into cross-body blocks to #3 and #7.
  35. Execute a double downward strike to the opponent’s collarbones, and then retract the tonfa with vertical flips.
  36. Quickly look over your right shoulder to #5. Step your left foot to #8, entering a left back stance facing #5, with a left rising block and a right downward block.
  37. Step your left foot to #6, entering a right back stance facing #5, with a right rising block and a left downward block.
  38. Step your right foot to #4, entering a right front stance facing #5 with front-foot, reverse, and front-foot punches. Extend the right tonfa with a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal downward strike. Retract the right tonfa into a right cross-body block to #3. Extend the right tonfa with a horizontal swing across your waist, and retracting the tonfa on the return swing. Execute a right punch.
  39. Quickly look over your right shoulder to #1. Step your left foot to #4, entering a left back stance facing #1, with a left rising block and a right downward block.
  40. Step your left foot to #2, entering a left front stance facing #1, with a double punch to the groin.
  41. Step your left foot to #3, enter a left full-side-facing with a left rising block and a right downward block to #3. Use ibuki breathing on this move.
  42. Extend your right tonfa with a figure-eight swing, followed by a diagonal overhead strike.
  43. Shift into a right full-side-facing to#1, as you retract the tonfa with a right cross-body block to #7.
  44. Shift into a left full-side-facing as you extend the right tonfa with a horizontal swing across the waist. Shift into a right full-side-facing #1 as you retract the tonfa with a return swing.
  45. Shift into a left full-side-facing to #1, with a right punch.
  46. Execute a right foot block with a double ude-uke, creating a satisfying clap.
  47. Step your right foot out to #8, entering a right front stance facing #1 with a double punch to the groin.
  48. Step your left foot to #3, and enter a ready stance. Attention stance, bow.

Notes

Do not manipulate the tonfa with your wrists; there is no power behind such a technique. Instead, loosen your grip so that the tonfa freely rotates in your hand, then make large shoulder motions.

Bend your wrist into the tonfa. This presses the shaft snug against your forearm, for maximum protection.

When performing rising blocks, it is important that you keep your head nested in the crook of your elbow, or else the impact of the opponent’s attack will force you to hit yourself in the head with the tonfa handle. Also, keep your wrist higher than your elbow, to help wedge incoming blows to the side.

The begin the first movement of a series with three punches.

Movements 19-23; 24-28; and 41-45 are meant to performed as one, continuous series, like Movements 5; 6 etc. They were only broken up into multiple steps to make learning easier.

Bunkai

The bunkai of this kata is fairly straightforward, consisting of simple block-counter combinations to use against attackers armed with swords or . The ibuki breathing movements are dynamic tension exercises, like in Sanchin.