View Full Version : The Two-Bar-Stool Punch!

4th June 2002, 07:04
Has anyone heard of this punch, otherwise known as the 1B, or the one-legged punch?

Do you feel this is an effective weapon? What are your thoughts on using it in the street?

The one-legged punch is a technique I am told was invented by the founder of Shukokai karate, Tani. It is a punch executed with blinding speed and force from far beyond punching range, and sometimes kicking range. My sensei tells me it was a popular street-fighting technique, often used in bars, where it could span the distance of two bar stools. It allows a karateka the element of suprise by launching an attack at a distance where the opponent feels he/she cannont be attacked without sufficient warning.


Jody Holeton
4th June 2002, 08:00
Is it like the Vale Tudo jumping hook?

You fake a right round house kick BUT using your knee's momentum you jump in with a right hook.

Like dat?

Shitoryu Dude
4th June 2002, 18:16
One of the things taught at my dojo is closing seemingly safe distances very quickly to deliver a punch. Some of the guys can eat up a 12 or 15 foot separation so fast it blows your mind. I've seen Shihan close in from 20 feet the blink of an eye when someone starts feeling safe and getting sloppy with their guard because they think they are too far back to be attacked.


4th June 2002, 19:31
Originally posted by mushinmaster
Has anyone heard of this punch, otherwise known as the 1B, or the one-legged punch?

My sensei tells me it was a popular street-fighting technique, often used in bars, where it could span the distance of two bar stools. It allows a karateka the element of suprise by launching an attack at a distance where the opponent feels he/she cannont be attacked without sufficient warning.


Just beat the hell out of your enemy with the barstool.

4th June 2002, 19:50
Jody - sounds kinda like the idea. It can be launched off a front kick or a fake front kick, but there is no jumping involved. A good punch is executed off one foot with the karateka at the same height as he would be normally, if not lower. It is almost like you fall into your opponent, throwing a punch on the way, but you stay under control and with balance.

Shitoryu Dude - my sensei says that Tani, the one who invented this punch, learned Shitoryu, before creating Shukokai. Do you know any of these ground closing techniques? Are you speaking about the cross-over step punch? The one-legged punch, distancing wise, is somewhere in between the cross-over step punch and the stationary reverse punch.

CEB - Just an example of where it got its nickname from dude. I almost laughed at my sensei when he said "one-legged punch," but I haven't been laughing since he threw one at me.

Anybody out there heard of this punch?

Harry Cook
4th June 2002, 23:05
When I was a little younger and still had all my own teeth I came up against the first generation of Shukokai tournament fighters in the UK in the early 1970s, primarily in the British University championships which was an all styles event, quite rare for Britain at the time. I think the punch you are referring to is what was known in the 1970s as "4B" (after the classification of the waza in Shukokai). The attacker throws (for example) a right a chudan mae-geri with a lot of forward pressure or momentum. As soon as the kick snaps back a right basic thrust punch is catapulted towards the opponent's face before the foot touches the ground; the reaction of the kick is used to generate the thrusting action of the punch, so the fist lands while the attacker is standing on one leg. Does it work? It certainly does. I was caught a number of times until I worked out what was going on, and I lost my left incisor in the process to a nice example of this technique delivered by a large, highly spirited Scotsman.
The Shukokai basic fighting combinations were recorded in what is now a rare little pamphlet Shukokai Karate Combinations G. T. Parker, Paul H. Crompton Ltd., London 1976. A more complete exposition of the style can be seen in Karate-Do Tani Karate Research Institute, Kobe, no date but prob. late 1970s.
Harry Cook

5th June 2002, 01:09
The punch your refer to is known as the Super Punch in Muay Thai - i have black and white footage from the 1920's showing it being used in the ring. Involves launching yourself from well outside punching range to a height over opponents head then angling straight right punch to the nose over their hand guard. Left hand is sometimes used to drag down any lead hand which is not guarding securely. Typically followed up with hard grapple and kness to cover any failed attempt. Typical counter is to raise elbows in order that the deliverer flinches from possibly impaling their jaw on a spear elbow.

Variation on the above is the vine technique where you launch yourself at opponent, place foot on lead leg thigh and "climb" up the opponent to deliver super punch or jumping knee. More risky but a good flashy ring technique if able to pull it off.

5th June 2002, 03:13
Harry - that's precisely the one I am talking about! It can also be exectued, with almost as much power, w/o the front kick. Have you tried this technique or implemented it at all, or just been the victim, lol. My sensei has told us he used to use that same combination, but it is very risky. It takes a lot of committment to execute it properly.

Pirahna - these punches are not the same. There is no jumping in the one-legged punch. The karateka tries to stay as low to the ground as possible.

Harry Cook
5th June 2002, 11:43
I certainly did use it, but as referees became less tolerant of face contact it became risky in terms of disqualification or penalties. As you said it needs a lot of commitment and determination and the chance of landing a strong punch is quite high, so I developed a kind of variation where I would use the kick and punch as a fake or blinder and then follow up with a sweep and punch to the body which would score without re-arranging the opponent's features. Of course keeping the hips low sets up the sweep nicely, especially if you go for both legs at the same time.
Harry Cook

5th June 2002, 15:18
This punch and then a foot sweep is one combination my sensei has been preaching about, lol. It works so nicely b/c you get the person moving backwards. He's also had us do a (after a rt punch) left leg thai kick, and it also sets you up beautifully for another rt punch, lead this time. The foot sweep and the thai kick have to be my favorites.

Have you ever used this technique outside of competition?

Harry Cook
5th June 2002, 16:20
The shin across the thigh - I used this once against a Japanese street punk outside Ichigaya railway station in Tokyo who objected to my existence. As for the one legged punch and follow up one of my students, a policeman, used this (as well as other miscelaneous techniques) to subdue a large drugged up prisoner who decided he didn't want to be locked up. However in general a lot of fighting gets physical at close range and so the mae-geri or whatever could be easily replaced with a knee, and the punch with an elbow; the key thing is attitude and adaptability coupled with a fast response. These were attributes highly valued by the Shukokai practitioners, so there was/is a natural carry-over into non-competition fighting.
Harry Cook

5th June 2002, 20:44
cool cool. I told my sensei I was gonna check this out, lol. One person out of the thousands of e-budo users isn't too bad!

Were you shown this technique or did you just pick it up from those tournaments?

5th June 2002, 20:52
cool cool. I told my sensei I was gonna check this out, lol. One person out of the thousands of e-budo users isn't too bad!

Were you shown this technique or did you just pick it up from those tournaments?

Harry Cook
6th June 2002, 01:14
My first experience with this technique was in the tournaments - on the wrong end of it! Shukokai was designed for tournament fighting and so anyone involved in regularly fighting in competitions in the early 1970s in Britain would have some experience with these techniques. I was shown the basic Shukokai combinations by a couple of Shokokai dan grades who also fought in the British Univerity championships and league. I believed then, and still believe that ignorance of others methods, techniques etc is a prime way to be beaten in a fight, whether tournament or otherwise.
Harry Cook

6th June 2002, 01:27
Were these like full-contact tournaments or the point fighting like in AAU today?

Cross training IS the key to sucess. Definatly.

Harry Cook
6th June 2002, 08:50
All of the tounaments in the early 1970s were based on the idea of a single point (ippon) or two "half points" (wazari) and in theory the blows were expected to be pulled short or muted. However in practice you had to hit with a good solid dig to the body to score and a firm "touch' to the face. As the mubobi rule (ie always protect yourself, do not leave an opening) was strictly observed a heavy blow to the face which drew blood could still score if the referees or judges decided that the contact was caused through sloppiness on the part of the defender. Accordingly contact could be quite heavy, and as very few people wore hand pads or whatever the knuckles tended to land somewhat forcefully. Looking at modern point fighting, which I think is more technical and possibly faster, many of the techniques which were scored in the early 1970s in Great Britain would probably result in a warning or disqualification.
Harry Cook

6th June 2002, 17:31
cool thanx for the insight!

10th June 2002, 17:44
Originally posted by Harry Cook
Shukokai was designed for tournament fighting and so anyone involved in regularly fighting in competitions in the early 1970s in Britain would have some experience with these techniques. Yours,
Harry Cook

Harry - Hmmm. It's odd. You say shukokai was designed for tournament fighting, yet where my sensei trained, tournament fighting was frowned upon!

He trained under Kimura in NJ, and I guess they did some pretty hardcore fighting in the dojo. One year he and some buddies from the dojo went to an AAU tourney for kicks, and Kimura said nothing. They won, and went to nationals, and he won a gold as did a couple others, a few silver and bronze. There was a big write up in the paper, and Kimura never said anything to them! It didn't count b/c it was viewed as like a game vs. what they were doing in the dojo!!

Harry Cook
10th June 2002, 23:00
Certainly the perception in Great Britain was that Shukokai was primarily concerned with success in competitions. When G. Parker wrote in booklet in 1976 he said that the combinations shown in his work "are very fast and effective and are designed to meet the needs of modern competition Karate." (page 1). Chojiro Tani in his book Karate-Do says that "Karate will not improve its value as a sport or Budo if new theories are not introduced. Athletics, swimming, golf and many other sports are improving daily but I believe karate is far behind these popular sports." (page 1).
Shukokai was introduced initially into the UK through the efforts of Tommy Morris. He visited Japan in 1967 and wrote up his experiences in Karate and Oriental Arts Magazine Annual (1968). He explained "The teaching department of the Japan Shukokai felt that traditional karate training was not entirely suited for modern day tournaments, and made an exhaustive study of the "All-Japan" competitions on film and made some interesting discoveries...These and many other points too numerous to mention decided Tani Sensei that a new approach to contest was necessary."
Tommy Morris wrote in Karate magazine number 10 1969 that Kimura "and other top instructors of the Shukokai research department felt that karate was not progressing the way it should, particularly in the field of competition...Kimura sensei's personality and unique approach coupled with the Shukokai's enlightened outlook as regards the old traditional training methods point to Shukokai being a real force to be reckoned with in Europe within the next year or so."(pages4-5)
From these and many more reports on Shukokai it is easy to understand that Shukokai was perceived as deeply involved in tournament karate, but of course that is not to say that success in tournaments was a total preoccupation of Shukokai stylists. As a sytem of karate other aspects were important, but certainly in the early days it made its name in competitions. Of course as Kimura sensei grew older his interest in tournament success almost certainly diminished; I think that he used tournaments as proving ground for his new ideas and training methods, and once he was satisfied that Shukokai could more than hold its own in tournaments he found new areas of interest. Certainly that is what happened to other Japanese Shukokai/Shito Ryu teachers in Europe.
Harry Cook

11th June 2002, 15:49
Wow dude. Did you write that all from memory:D? Once again, thanks for the knowledge!

Harry Cook
11th June 2002, 21:46
Memory? No, but I have got a fairly extensive collection of books, magazines etc assembled over the last 35 years or so and I tend to remember where most of the information is. I'm glad the information is of use.
Harry Cook

Michael Clarke
12th June 2002, 01:53
Don't want to nit pick, but there should be a difference made between the name 'Shukokai' and karate system that the late Tani sensei developed, which was 'Tani-ha shito-ryu'.
Over the years many people have said their training in Shukokai karate, but that was the name of Tani sensei's association, not his method.
Shu=train, Ko=like so, Kai= group, 'the group that all train in a particular way'
You can never quite translate Japanese to English in an exact way, but the above should give you an idea of Tani sensei's thinking when he formed his group in 1948.
I started training in Tani-ha Shito-ryu in january 1974. At that time the system was more or less together world wide and the methods taught were by and large the same. Soon afterwards however the usual happened and people started to go their own way. The late Kimura sensei was the first Japanese sensei I ever met and trained with, and his method was always a little different from the other Japanese I trained with later on.
As for the punching style at the start of this thread. The basic combinations that Tani sensei came up with were practiced in every lesson back then. 1-10A, 1-10B, and 1-10C. They formed a big part of my early grading tests.
In 1976 and 1977 I represented England (Shukokai World Karate Union) and took part in a lot of competitions around the U.K. and in Europe.I was picked to fight against Japan in 77, but the visit to England was cancelled by Tani sensei due to illness.these combinations were used a lot, but not all the time. As I recall it now, they werre more like set-pieces in a soccer match or a 'play' in American football?
I had a chance to meet and train with Tani sensei twice and I even sat down and interviewed him too.
Like Harry said, the style suited competition very well, and so many people switched styles when it arrived in Europe that it may well seem that the style was formulated just for that purpose. When I put this to Tani sensei he was clear that this was not the case. He looked at other sports to see the way they moved their bodies in order to generate power. Golf in particular was a sport he drew a lot from.
The double hip movement in Tani-ha was(still is?) unique.Also the many other concepts that Tani sensei employed, kick shot, shoulder shock, snap etc.... are all ways to increase power from ones movement. Power is the one thing that you can not use in a competition, even back in the 1970's it got you disqualified (believe me, I know!) Kimura sensei himself met the same fate on his first turn out, even though he did go on to become All Japan Shukokai champion.
The combination 4B has to do with the concept of 'hikite' and less to do with standing on one leg.It will not allow you to hit anyone harder than you can already hit, but it may well allow you to hit them when you could not make contact using other methods of delivery.
All the best,
Mike Clarke.

13th June 2002, 02:00
On the contrary, Mr. Clarke, I find that my 1B is stronger than the regular reverse punch, as you effectivly add more body weight and momentum into the strike.

Michael Clarke
13th June 2002, 12:40
Well that's great.
My comment about being able to hit harder (or not) was put badly I think?
Maybe I should have said that we have it within us an ability to hit only so hard. It's a cocktail of speed, distance, shock,timing,opposit and equal reaction, breath, intention,and bringing your bodyweight in to back up you're technique.
It would seem to me that you have found that you can do this better using 1B than with a regular reverse punch. But I know folk who would say the opposit to that. The question is, are we generating the maximum force with the minimum amount of energy?
If your increasing you're output using a particular technique you will perhaps favour that method, but you can still only deliver the maximum amount of force your particular body can generate regardless of which method of delivery you use.
The fact that you achieve a stronger punch with the 1B combination, does not mean that 1B is inherently stronger or more powerful than the next guys reverse punch. I just means that you're 1B is stronger than you're reverse punch.
After a while it's all academic anyway because if you connect with either, your opponent should feel they have been hit.
Mike Clarke.

13th June 2002, 18:54
I just means that you're 1B is stronger than you're reverse punch.

That's all I was saying dude.

max force with min energy? I'm still working on that:) My sensei is unbelieveable at that, and hopefully, someday, I'll get there. I had my start in TKD, so my kicks are already pretty good, but my punching lags. I have made incredible gains in punching power using the Shukokai method, vs the boxing method I was using before, using the body instead of the arm...

13th January 2005, 07:21
Mainly for Michael Clarke but anyone w/ reliable info, please wade in...

For the past 2 years I've been trying to improve my Kimura method, mainly under the guidance of Eric Tomlinson, a former Brit who now leads Shito-ryu Shukokai Union-USA. Despite my 16-yr history in another branch of "Shuko-kai" that is dedicated to competition (as a result of the sensei's point of focus), I'm making up for lost time. But one point has eluded me. Shukokai's signature kamae utilized the lead hand in an open shuto-like position. I was told by Tomas Weber (formerly under Nambu) that the position allows one to push the opponent away to react to jammed techniques & pursue w/ more attacks. Another stated that the open hand facilitated better blocking while another stated that it was an attack that could become a palm-heel strike (teisho-uchi). Of course none of these explanations is "wrong" but do you happen to know Tani's explanation?

Thanks for any & all info.

Ed Smith
SSU-USA, California

15th January 2005, 00:07
I'd just like to state that as a student of Harry Cook, he does know everything!! and from memory! lmao
We are often regaled with great stories of history and philosophy.
You know, I reckon he should write a book...oh, wha? he has??? oh, ok

Dave Weider
15th January 2005, 00:26
Mr. Cook, you mentioned Japan. Might I ask where, when and in particular with who did you study. I'm curious because you seem to teach a nice hybrid of techniques and I'm at the point where I'm looking to branch out and I have the chance at a job in Tokyo. I know it was a while ago for you but it might be nice to get some idea of the things you did? Thanks in advance.