Are You 2wd or 4wd?


During my last class I discovered that one of the most difficult thing to teach is to be so relaxed when fighting that you can move any one of your arms or legs independently.

We were doing some “battlefield” situation applying Okyô.   Both opponents where attacking in Yoroi with a Tachi in Katate. Blocking and absorbing the attack, with the left arm protected by the Yoroi, each opponent was trying to hit the other with his sword. Rapidly the situation got stuck as the two bodies were forced against one another.

In this type of realistic situation there are no uke but two Tori.

Because of the close distance, applying a nage waza is the only logical possibility. We decided to train Okyô a nage Kaeshi.

What surprised me the most is that the one trying to do Okyô was so stiff in his reactions that he couldn’t do it and was often sent down to the ground by the supposed uke.

In this type of encounter there is a solution and it is to relax the right arm and to let go. This sudden relaxation creates a counter tension that sends the “thrower” to the ground.

What I understood is that because many practitioners do not have the ability to relax one part of the body (here the right arm), they cannot do the technique. They are like a 2 wheel drive vehicle.

On the contrary when you relax and become able to do it, you can do different things with any one of your limbs. You become a 4 wheel drive vehicle having each one of its wheels dealing with the ground in a various manner.

If the Yoroi is the car then your limbs are the wheels. The Yoroi is strong and united. And this unity of action is reinforced by the multiplicity of the moves of the limbs. You have to teach this ability to yourself and develop this partial relaxed attitude while caught in the middle of a heavy encounter.

You have to turn your body into a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Try it and see if your level of skills makes you a 2 wheel drive it a 4 wheel drive vehicle.

Once again Ninpô Taijutsu is 一体数多い (ittai kazûoi), “unity in multiplicity”.

Okyô can be found here:

Author: kumablog

I share here on a regular basis my thoughts about the Bujinkan martial arts, training in Japan and all over the world, and

One thought on “Are You 2wd or 4wd?”

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