The First Walking-Stick Kata

 
 

Dedicated to the memory of

Shihan Jack Matthews

 


A note on the walking-stick:

The form is designed for a hardwood stick the length of the practitioner's leg, from the ball-and-socket joint to the sole of the foot. The handle is hooked 90 degrees from the shaft and is of a length to accommodate the closed hand and no more. If the handle is made of smooth metal (e.g.: a brass duck's head) so much the better, but care should be taken that the handle is well adhered to the haft. 

This walking-stick has features in common with several existing martial arts weapons:

 But unlike the above weapons, the walking-stick can be carried anywhere in a non-aggressive manner and is thus a suitable self-defence weapon, especially for walkers. 

In the hands of a competent karateka, the walking-stick is a good defensive weapon, suitable for defence against knife, stick, or a larger unarmed aggressor. It gives the user distance and confers the capacity to deliver hard, even lethal strikes and blocks.

 A note on the kata

 The stick kata and a large set of basics were developed in response to an expressed need for walkers and hikers to feel safer while walking outdoors.

 It is designed to be part of a karate training and would probably be unintelligible to anyone unfamiliar with karate.

Click Here for some hints if you do decide to practice it.


 Notation:

 The positions on the stick:


Handle

                                                  ↑                                          

Tip                                           Centre                                   Haft

Breaths:

       In-breath
         Short in-breath
       Out-breath
       Long in-breath
       Long out-breath
!       Kiai

Directions:

The directions are given as compass points, assuming that the kata begins facing 'north'.


  Action Hands Stance/breath    
  Rei Stick handle under R hand Heels together       
  Kamae Step out L, move stick to both hands L palm up, R palm down  R one hand from haft, L middle  ▲▼    Hajiji dachi natural stance facing N            
1a Threat from N. Step back Move stick to cover L side, raising tip to vertical ▲           Zenkutsu dachi  forward stance facing N. R forward     
1b Expose R side to draw attack. Slide R leg back , blocking L L middle, R near haft, R forearm parallel to floor. Stick vertical, tip up. ...▲        Nekoashi dachi  cat stance facing N. R forward
2 Attack to mid-body from N. Step forward, blocking to R L middle, R near haft, pivot vertical stick to deflect blow  ▼        Shiko dachi straddle stance facing NNE. L forward                
3 Counter to N. Turn hips, reverse strike L middle, R haft. Turn L wrist on top to focus ↑▼       Zenkutsu dachi facing N. L forward            
4 Threat from N. Slide L leg back , blocking R, drawing attack to L side. Change hands, L to near haft, R to middle, stick vertical, tip up ▲          Nekoashi dachi   facing N. L forward  
5 Attack to L side middle (ribs) Step forward, blocking to L L near haft, R middle, stick vertical in line with hara, firm. Pivot to deflect blow to middle. ▼          Shiko dachi facing NNW. R forward
6 Turn hips, counter reverse strike N to mid-region. Full chamber to L, R hand forward, turn hips  to focus ↑▼       Zenkutsu dachi  facing N. R forward.        
7 Threat from SW. Strike down with L to attacker's knee  L at haft, R open hand at hara, palm down, fingers up ↑▼       Zenkutsu dachi R forward
8 Turn to face SW. Attacker has evaded knee strike attacks to middle  L haft. R catches middle as you turn. Circular block to L  ▲▼       Zenkutsu dachi facing SW, L forward
9 Step forward to repel attacker  L haft, R Middle. Reverse strike with point to chest, shoving attacker away  ▲▼       Zenkutsu dachi facing SW, R forward  
10 Threat from E. Strike down with L to attacker's knee  L at haft, R open hand at hara, palm down, fingers up ↑▼       Zenkutsu dachi R forward
11 Turn to face E. Attacker has evaded knee strike attacks to middle  L haft. R catches middle as you turn. Circular block to L  ▲▼       Zenkutsu dachi facing E, L forward
12 Step forward to E to repel attacker  L haft, R Middle. Reverse strike with point to chest, shoving attacker away  ▲▼       Zenkutsu dachi facing E, R forward
13 Attack from NW to L leg.  Shift L hand down to middle, block behind. R at hara open-hand ↑▼          Zenkutsu dachi facing E, R forward
14 Attack to middle Turn to face NW and block R to handle, middle block towards L ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing NW, L forward
15 Step forward NW, lunge strike with point to middle. L middle, R haft, R remains bent at focus ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing NW, R forward
16 Attack to L leg from S.  Shift L hand down to centre of stick, block down to cover L leg with stick firmly against L forearm. ↑▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing NW, R forward
17 Attack to middle from SSW. Turn to face S R haft, L middle, middle block towards L ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing S, L forward
18 Counter. Step forward, lunge strike with point R haft, L middle, Chamber to R,  R remains bent at focus ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing S, R forward
(Picture from back)
19 Attack to back leg L from NW. Evade by turning 90░ to heron stance, tucking L foot behind bent R Knee, hips facing E Block with circular movement  using L haft.  R in open-handed age uke ↑▼         Sagiashi dachi Heron stance on R Leg, Blocking Age Uke R, facing E, looking over shoulder NW
20 Counter, step out with L, strike to top of head. Bring stick up in a big curve with L,  grasping stick with R as it reaches the zenith. L at haft, R touching L ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi L forwards
21 Strike to side of head Strike in a circle inwards then out ↑▼           Zenkutsu dachi L forwards
22 Attack to back leg R from E. Evade by turning 90░ to heron stance, tucking L foot behind bent R Knee, hips facing E Block with circular movement  using R haft.  L in open-handed age uke ↑▼         Sagiashi dachi Heron stance on L leg, Blocking Age Uke R, facing N, looking over shoulder NE
23 Counter, step out with R, strike to top of head. Bring stick up in a big curve with R,  grasping stick with L as it reaches the zenith. R at haft, L touching R ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing NE, R forwards
24 Strike to side of head Strike in a circle inwards then out ↑▼          Zenkutsu dachi facing NE, R forwards
25 Knife attack to head/ upper body Shift R up stick, L haft, block to above the head with stick parallel to ground ▲▼        Kiba dachi facing N 
26 Counter, kick to solar plexus Maintain block, flick upwards ↑▼           Mae giri    with L foot
27 Counter, Strike with side of shaft to throat L at handle, full focus to push knife arm up and strike ↑▼           Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward  
28 Block blow  from N to L  L haft, R above, moving R up in a circle ↑▼           Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward
29 Block blow from N to R  L at handle, R below moving R down in a circle ↑▼           Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward
30 Counter, strike up to groin Shift L onto handle and bring it towards hara. Use R to swing stick down & up, pivoting in L ↑▼           Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward
31 Attack to groin, step back and block. Shift L haft, block down with stick parallel to floor ▲▼        Heiko dachi facing N
32a Step back, block blow to head Haft L, block up with shaft supported between thumb & fist of R, fist facing out           Zenkutsu dachi facing N, R forward
32b Slide back, blocking blow to head Handle L, block up with shaft supported between thumb & fist of R, back of fist facing out. Stick 45deg from vertical to deflect downward blow ...      Neko ashi dachi R forward
32c Counter, shift forward, strike side of head from L. Kiai! Move stick in a big circle behind back. Shift R to grasp stick, touching L. Strike in circle, reaching forward ▼!   Slide forward into Zenkutsu dachi with R  while striking  
33a Step back, block blow to head Haft R, block up with shaft supported between thumb & fist of L, fist facing out ▲...         Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward
33b Slide back, blocking blow to head Handle R, block up with shaft supported between thumb & fist of L, back of fist facing out. Stick 45deg from vertical to deflect downward blow ...      Neko ashi dachi facing N, R forward
33c Counter: Shift forward, strike side of head from R Move stick in a big circle behind back. Shift R to grasp stick, touching L. Strike in circle, reaching forward ▼      Slide forward into Zenkutsu dachi with R  while striking  
34a Evade leg strike Chamber stick to R, shifting L to middle, R to haft. L foot drawn up to knee height next to R leg
34b Counter, step-slide forward to strike with point. Kiai! Use force of body and arm strength to focus the blow. L shifts to middle of stick, R on haft. ▼!           Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward.  
35 Counter, strike down with handle point Invert L to knuckles on top. Turn handle to face up with R. Slide R down past middle to move stick in a circle forward. ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward.    
36 Prepare for low attack Move R to centre and move stick, handle down, to hide behind body on R. L at hara, open hand. ▲        Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward.
37a Attack to hara. Step in, bringing stick around to blocků R middle, L at hara, open hand. ...        Zenkutsu dachi R forward.
37b continue to block, turning hips to turn the stick, and catching enemy's weapon in the crook of the stick R middle, L at hara, open hand. ...        Zenkutsu dachi R forward, Facing W,  turned 90░
37c Turn the hips and throw attacker's weapon / arm to the R Grasp stick on tip side of R, assisting with the throw ▲       Zenkutsu dachi Facing N, R forward  
38 Counter, step forward and strike downwards with the tip of the handle. Kiai! Pull back over right shoulder, to arc high and downwards. ▼!   Zenkutsu dachi facing N, L forward.  
39 Step back, covering opponent with point. Rotate the stick with handle uppermost, to point tip at attacker. R haft, L middle. ▲▼        Zenkutsu dachi facing N R forward
  Centre   ▲▼       Heiko dachi facing N
  Bow L open to side, R on handle, tip on ground at right ▲▼  Rei  

Photographs: Julia Martin


The Stick Kata Video (3.88MB)
Click on the picture to see a gritty video of the kata (better one coming.)
Right-click and Save Target to save video.
Flash animation file st.swf  3.88MB (best viewed small).
 


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