Nakadaka ippon-ken

In Sensei Bruce Lee’s class things get practical.

He teaches no illusions about only needing one technique to win a fight or competition. Our training involves protecting ourselves while delivering an attack, and having two or three more ready to launch. He stresses that they don’t have to be pretty – just effective.  He teaches strategy (he is an avid reader of the Book of Five Rings, for example) for movement and distance, and he puts us in practical situations where we do “continuous sparring.”

Continuous sparring is in close, relentless and it gets tiring, but it forces us to work on stamina, and also to learn to close up our openings and to take advantage of openings or weaknesses in the opponents defenses.

forme-ippon-ken-nakadakaAlong with this, Sensei Lee gets us to think outside the box with our techniques. We use knees, elbows, sweeps, take downs and unorthodox strikes. Strikes like Nakadaka ippon-ken.

While in close, tied up arm-in-arm with an opponent, this technique can deliver a ton of damage. Take for instance a roundhouse to the temple with it, a jab to the throat with it, or a focused strike to the ribs under the arm. As Sensei says “if your opponent is busy absorbing pain, he’s not the threat he was before.”

In real karate, oftentimes practical replaces pretty.