Kakie: Pushing Hands

In doing some reading recently about the origins of karate, a line stuck out to me in a poem written by our karate forefather, Gichin Funakoshi:

To search for the old is to understand the new.

The old, the new

This is a matter of time.

In all things man must have a clear mind.

The Way:

Who will pass it on straight and well?

To search for the old is to understand the new. So, I went searching for something old to apply it to some of my current training. Enter Kakie: Pushing Hands.

In my current training, we hear about intention: your intention, your opponent’s intention and then suitable responses to both. And according to Minoru Higa Sensei (Born in Naha, Okinawa on September 18, 1941. His first experience of martial arts was at the age of 11), learning Kakie examines three different concepts: recognizing the opponent’s intentions, responding to the opponent’s intentions, and always having the upper hand.

From the start position (see below)  one partner begins the exercise by pushing his right forearm towards his opponent and rotating his right palm so that it faces his partner. He thus pushes his partner’s arm back towards him. While doing this the opponent resists slightly the pushing motion of his partner. As he does so he turns his left hand flat palm open and facing up to catch his own right palm in. The opponent then continues the exercise by pushing back towards the attacking partner’s forearm in the same way with the attacker resisting the opponent.

Fights are at close range, and this ancient karate exercise aids strengthening and stamina, awareness regarding your opponents intentions. as well as the principle of maintaining the upper(inside) hand.

There is nothing new under the sun… but plenty to be discovered again.