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Fundamentals

In many Karate styles, including in Isshin Ryu, karate-ka practice a number of techniques, or waza.  These are normally divided into upper body (te waza), blocks and strikes, and lower body (geri waza), kicks and sometimes stances.

These waza are generally drawn from the techniques within the Style's Kata that the Founder of the particular style thought were most important or simply just favoured.  It should be noted however that in some cases the Founder might have favoured a particular technique but not the Kata it was found in. In these instances the technique was retained and the Kata was not included in the Style.

These waza exercises are commonly referred to as kihon and they are one of the corners of the triangle of karate-do.

The word kihon can be translated as 'basics' or 'fundamentals'.  Thus in many Styles, including in the OIKA training manual the kihon waza are referred to as the "Basics Techniques".  However the Isshin Ryu DVD refers to them as the "Fundamental Techniques".

Why 'basics' is commonly used in the West is unclear, but it is possibly because it is easier to pronounce than 'fundamentals' and many of the first Karate teaches spoke little, if any, English.
 
However the word 'basics' can infer simple, beginner or not advanced.  Thus the karate-ka can subconsciously rush through them or even adopt a lackadaisical attitude towards them.  This will have a detrimental impact on their progress as a karate-ka, as only a good understanding and execution of these 'Fundamentals' will lead to improvement in the understanding and execution of the Style's Kata.

Therefore, on reflection, 'Fundamentals' seems to be a more apt or accurate translation for kihon.  Not only because the kihon are one of the corner stones of the karate triangle but also because a Style's 'Fundamentals' are the foundation of the Style and its Kata.

To make home training easier once you have an idea of what you are doing, here is a summary home training guide


Isshin Ryu Upper Body Fundamentals
Isshin-Ryu Lower Body Fundamentals


15 Basic Isshin Ryu Hand Techniques (Te Waza or Te no bu  'Hand part')
These can be seen in full detail on the Fundamentals DVD 00:00 - 19:49.
  1. Step right foot forward seisan-dachi
    Right hand lunge punch to solar plexus - chudan oi-tsuki.
    (punching hand pulls half back)
    Alternate

  2. Step right foot forward seisan-dachi
    Right hand lunge upper cut to chin - jodan oi-tsuki
    (punching hand pulls slightly down)
    Alternate

  3. Step left foot forward seisan-dachi
    Right hand reverse punch to solar plexus - chudan gyaku-tsuki
    (punching hand pulls half back)
    Alternate 

  4. Step left foot forward seisan-dachi
    Right hand reverse upper cut to chin - jodan gyaku-tsuki
    (punching hand pulls slightly down)
    Alternate

  5. Step right foot back seisan-dachi
    Left hand low block / right hand reverse punch to solar plexus - gedan-barai / chudan gyaku-tsuki
    Alternate (block with hand that just punched)

  6. Step right foot back seisan-dachi
    Left hand middle block / right hand reverse punch to solar plexus - chudan uchi-uke / chudan gyaku-tsuki
    Alternate (block with hand that just punched) 

  7. Step right foot back seisan-dachi
    Left hand open hand side block (palm forward) / right hand fingertip strike - chudan tegata-barai / chudan nukite-tsuki
    Alternate (block with hand that just struck)

  8. Step right foot back seisan-dachi
    Left hand open hand head block (palm forward) / right upper cut to chin - jodan tegata-barai / jodan gyaku-tsuki
    Alternate (block with hand that just punched) 

  9. Step right foot back seisan-dachi
    Left hand closed fist head block / right hand reverse punch to solar plexus - jodan age-uke / chudan gyaku-tsuki
    Alternate (block with hand that just punched) 

  10. Step right foot back seisan-dachi
    Left hand open [closed] fist head block
    Left hand snap back fist / right hand reverse punch to solar plexus - jodan age-uke / uraken-uchi / chudan gyaku-tsuki
    Alternate (block with hand that just punched) 

  11. Step left foot forward seisan-dachi
    Left hand low block / 5 alternating straight punches to solar plexus - gedan-barai / renzoku-tsuki go kiai
    Alternate (block with hand that just punched)

  12. Step left foot forward seisan-dachi
    Left hand middle block / 5 alternating straight punches to solar plexus - chudan uchi-uke / renzoku-tsuki go kiai
    Alternate (block with hand that just punched)

  13. Step left foot forward seisan-dachi
    Left hand open low block / right hand reverse knife strike - gedan tegata-barai / jodan gyaku shuto-uchi
    (blocking hand returns to hip when striking, hand closed)
    Alternate

  14. Step left foot forward seisan-dachi
    Left middle forearm deflection / right, left roundhouse punches - soto-uke / chudan o-uchi
    Alternate 

  15. Right foot back, left foot cat stance, push butt back
    Right reverse elbow strike (fist turns palm up) / left lifting round elbow strike - hiji-noato-tsuki
    Alternate 

Additional upper body techniques - these are done with a partner.
These can be seen in full detail on the Fundamentals DVD 19:10 - 22:00.

  1. Left foot forward
    Left hand soto-uke / right hand chudan gyaku-tsuki

  2. Left foot forward
    Left hand chudan osage-uke / left hand chudan tegata-barai (grabs and pulls)
    Right hand chudan gyaku-tsuki

  3. Left foot forward
    Left hand soto-uke (hand open)
    Right hand vertical head punch

  4. Right foot forward
    Right hand nagashi-uke / right hand jodan tegata-barai (grab)
    Left hand chudan gyaku-tsuki
    (block front kick, head punch)

  5. Right foot forward
    Right hand soto-uke / right hand yoko uraken-uchi
    Left hand chudan gyaku-tsuki
    (block round kick)
   
15 Basic Isshin Ryu Kicking Techniques (Geri Waza)
These can be seen in full detail on the Fundamentals DVD 22.01 - 34:51.

        Stretch
  1. A. Feet together, lift toes up. Touch toes (3 exhale), straighten up (1 inhale)
    B. Feet 1 1/2 shoulder widths apart, hands on hips. Stretch forward (3 inhale) and back (3 exhale)

  2. Right hand and grab left toes, standing leg extension. Push down on thigh with left hand, not the knee
    Swap
    On the last one stretch free hand diagonally back, bend / straighten standing leg

  3. Side squat leg stretch, fingers locked palm forward

    Kicks
    seisan-dachi, Kick off back leg.  Step forward first kick, step back 2nd kick, swap legs

  4. Front snap kick - mae-geri

  5. Knee kick - Low side kick with blade of foot, at a 45 angle to the front - soba-geri / sokuto-geri

  6. Cross Over Heel Stomp - soba-konate

  7. Side Snap kick to side - yoko-geri

  8. Front snap kick from cat stance to side with ball of foot - yoko-soto-geri
    From heiko-dachi, slide left foot forward 45 degrees, turn (120 degrees) to face to right, right foot slides into neko-ashi-dachi, kick.
    (Slide right foot forward 45 degrees, turn (120 degrees) to face to left, left foot slides into neko-ashi-dachi, kick)

  9. Squat to side, front kick to groin - otoshi-geri
    From seisan-dachi left foot forward, lean to left, swing hands from right to left, hands set on left hip, right foot kick.
    (Lean away from the attack)

  10. Heel Push Kick to hip - mae-konate 
    Hands come up, grab under opponents elbows, push kick

  11. Knee smash - hiza-geri
    Keep foot pointing down, and leg bent tight. Extend right hand flat, strike forward and up with knee

  12. Back kick - ushiro-geri
    From seisan-dachi kick off front foot

  13. Push ups

  14. Body twist.
    Stand shoulder width apart.
    Swing arms to the left, then right, then left and kick left foot across to right.
    Swing arms to the right, then left, then right and kick right foot across to left.

  15. Breathing exercise