An Experience

Early 2000's I had the opportunity to attend a course with Hanshi Chosei Motobu in North Carolina.  It was a Kempo school in the Motobu lineage.

The seminar was promoted as instructing the 12 main bunkai of his father, Choki Motubu's Nai Han Chi Kata.

Now that got me excited on two levels, first Nai Han Chi at the time was my favorite Kata and a chance to learn a purported Kyusho practitioners Kata breakdown.

In fact the seminar also promoted as "There are no secrets" and that you could ask any question and Motobu Sensei would answer it truthfully and completely.  Wow I thought this will be great a chance to learn and train and dig deeper into Kyusho, what could be better.

Well after a couple of flights, interesting hotel check in, out I went to to find the location for the next day...I hate being late, especially to a seminar.

The next morning a traveling companion (also a long time Kyusho-Ka) and I got to the seminar and it began... Oh My God they had us doing line drills with basic punches and kicks...WTF, I did not pay for white belt Karate!  Well after some hours of wasted time, we got on to the Bunkai.  There were about 40 - 50 people there and we formed two lines.   We were the second pair next to Sensei so we could see and here what ever was going to come.

Well he began the first Bunkai and we saw exactly where he was aiming and the directions for each target.  So we began the practice session targeting just as Sensei did... and hitting each other to feel the effects.  Well you know that many times you grunt or yelp, sometimes you loose control and fall when applying Kyusho, just the way it is.

Needless to say Sensei came over to say stop (with a translator) stating "no hit"... then he said (Translated) that we were attacking the wrong place.  The example we saw him perform for this first Bunkai he ended up jabbing an elbow into what people refer to as Liver-14, under the breast on either side.  But when he came over he said hit chest, not ribs... we replied that we saw exactly where you were attacking and we copied it exactly.  Well he wasn't to pleased with us and walked off.  Now we were not trying to be belligerent, just trying to be exacting.

So we began practicing the Bunkai's more discreetly and with less force, however sometimes force is not necessary to inflict pain or dysfunction with Kyusho.  But we were still copying his actions, not the translated methods or explanations given.

Now during the remaining sessions, we were gathered by Sensei's long time student to further detail, correct or refine the Bunkai we were working on.  Well one time he was refining or correcting a dropping back fist just under the eye (at the Infraorbital nerve).  And as he dropped the back fist, he pointed to the location and said "KYUSHO"... whoa!  Ha we both heard it and got excited, as well beginning to ask many Kyusho questions to the instructor.

He began really starting to show us different targets and methods of attack, pointing to the locations and showing the attack to them without contact.  His terms he also used were simple stating "person fall down", "hurt very much"... which lead us to ask more questions... he seemed very open and even like he was enjoying it.

After a while Sensei Motobu came over and stood for a few seconds before stopping the instruction.  After that we never had close access to the instructor again.

We settled back into our cautious practice until the end where there was a question and answer period, where again they said "There are no secrets" and that you could ask any question and Motobu Sensei would answer it truthfully and completely.

Well the story continues but I will just let you watch the video to find out how it progressed and more information.

But let me leave you with this... as I have been saying for decades... they know Kyusho,they do not train us in it, but it is the core of Karate.  Anyone that is an instructor and ignores it, even when they documented it in books, scrolls, films and practice is grossly negligent in the propagation of Karate.  They might not put an effort in to learn it, they may even negate it or laugh at it... but I assure you their students won't, they are the ones attending the seminars to learn just as we did all those many years (decades actually).

Kyusho will continue to grow and it is fast becoming more routine, those that ignore it are becoming relics of a time past.

We are glad you are smarter than that and eager to learn.... thank you, for the future of Karate.

For historical record, not mentioned on film:

Sensei Chosei Motobu and longtime Student Inabe Sensei, where hosted by Sensei Kimo Ferarrai on the tour in October 2004.  Sponsor of the seminar was Sensei Russ Ziegler.




#Kyusho   -ep

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