Okinawan Grappling Training
Tegumi (手組?) or Mutō (無刀?) is a traditional form of wrestling from Okinawa.
According to Shōshin Nagamine, in his "Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters", there are no accurate historical documents surrounding the origins of grappling in Okinawa. It seems that tegumi evolved from a primitive form of grappling self-defense, which was constantly being adapted and enhanced as it was exposed to outside influences.
It is believed by some, Nagamine included, that tegumi was probably the original form of fighting in Okinawa and, as it was enhanced by striking and kicking techniques imported from China, became the progenitor of Te, which is the foundation of modern karate.
Known as tegumi in Naha, and Mutō in Tomari and Shuri, Okinawan wrestling remained a popular cultural recreation until the Taishō period (1912 – 1925). There is little evidence of how tegumi evolved but the result was a rough and tumble bout where the winner was decided by submission, through joint locks, strangles or pinning. Today, tegumi has a strict set of rules and is still practiced widely.
Okinawan folklore is full of references to Tegumi and it is believed that the island's version of sumo can find its roots in the rural wrestling of the past.
Yes Karate has always had striking, grappling, joint locks, throws, takedowns, pins, submissions and escapes... and is practiced in many ways from one step bunkai to elaborate staged sequences to completely freestyle mock combatives. Many of these skills or traditions disappeared with the advent of tournaments and modern sport karate. However they are making a comeback with some instructors using good conventional methods. But we have a huge responsibility as modern Martial Artists to research, reaffirm and train (and learn) the true tradition of Kyusho included from the original sources, in the Tegumi / Moto practices as evidenced in written documents from past origins.
When the practitioner infuses their Tegumi and Moto with Kyusho, they first realize the considerable power and flexibility they have gained in combative use of Kata. They also learn that completing a full drill, bunkai or sequence when applying Kyusho, is very difficult... and this is only with non-combative practice. In fact a properly executed Kyusho Intercept or enter has already subdued the opponent so that Tegumi or Moto is no longer required. However we must always prepare for contingencies and therefore integrating Kyusho into Tegumi / Moto drills and methods do yield added skill and capability to handle the opponent and they are fun to work with. And it serves to polish your tools and target recognition for the beginner in Kyusho. This will add value to your Karate and if you are an instructor, it will add value for your students and organizations. In the more advanced Kyusho International curriculum, we concentrate on spontaneous and urgent need scenarios, however for public instruction we work more with your Karate, Kata and Drills to increase and advance your Karate.
Karateka can no longer hide from Kyusho as the student will find it on their own, better your student learn from you than another. you may find a Nai Han Chi Tegumi primer with two drills exclusively on the Platinum Subscription Service - Click Here