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Thread: Question about "knife-hand"

  1. #1
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    Default Question about "knife-hand"

    I don't have much experience with hand-to-hand combat MA, so this question might be really elementary level, but I was really curious so I had to ask:

    Is there a method/move where one strikes with the inside of the "knife-hand"? Like... not with the outer edge of the hand, but with the inside "edge" with the thumb tucked in?

    My guess is that it would take a lot of practice to execute such a move properly (if it even exists) without breaking some bones in the wrist/thumb.

    Thanks!
    Jonathan Lee

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    Default

    The short answer: yes. It's commonly called haito. I believe it's more of a "softening up" rather than "finishing" technique, but can be fast and unexpected (and pretty scary).
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

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    Wow... so it DOES exist. Is it used only as part of solo-kata or in actual competition/sparring? Is it ever used to break boards or bricks?

    Thanks in advance for the answers.
    Jonathan Lee

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    Default Shinjo Sensei - Uechi Ryu

    If you haven't seen him do it then it is something to behold and that is Shinjo Sensei (Uechi Ryu) breaking boards with his thumb knuckle.

    Not exactly "haito" but still interesting.

    Best,
    Tim
    Tim Black
    Kokusai Shinjinbukan

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    Default Uechi-ryu Shinjo

    Hello Tim, all:

    The technique used in Uechi-ryu by Shinjo sensei is called 'boshi-ken' commonly rendered in English as 'coiled thumb strike'. It is a typcial Nahate type strike found in Uechi-ryu, Kojo-ryu and Tou'on-ryu among others.

    Regards
    Mario McKenna
    Vancouver, BC
    Kowakan Karatedo

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    Hey,

    In my system (GoJu Ryu) we use the haito - in basics and sparring, not in kata. You hit more with the wrist and base of the thumb than the thumb itself (at least in our system) and the target is the neck or ribs...I find it useful in sparring because it draws the hands up and to the side. I dunno, that's my 2 cents.

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    Default Haito

    In Goju-ryu, haito is found at the end of the kata saifa.

    Kindest regards
    Mario McKenna
    Vancouver, BC
    Kowakan Karatedo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iai-nut
    ...Is there a method/move where one strikes with the inside of the "knife-hand"? Like... not with the outer edge of the hand, but with the inside "edge" with the thumb tucked in?
    Yes, many schools have such techniques. One version is called, in English, "Ridge-hand Strike."

    Quote Originally Posted by Iai-nut
    ...Is it used only as part of solo-kata or in actual competition/sparring?
    I've seen it used effectively in competition on a few occasions. I also recall seeing on TV a brief clip from one of the early UFC fights where a fighter used it against a very large opponent (Kimo something?) and knocked him out.

    HTH.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Default Haito

    We use the haito strike a lot in Wado ryu... at least in my class anyway. Especially useful for fast attacks to the nether-regions and other soft areas such as the eyes and throat.

    I like it! The technique, that is... not being walloped in the goolies with it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Waugh
    Hey,

    In my system (GoJu Ryu) we use the haito - in basics and sparring, not in kata. You hit more with the wrist and base of the thumb than the thumb itself (at least in our system) and the target is the neck or ribs...I find it useful in sparring because it draws the hands up and to the side. I dunno, that's my 2 cents.
    I've seen the strike made with the ridge of the hand rather than with the wrist. Remember to protect the thumb by tucking it way under the palm of the hand.
    In sparring, haitos can be very tricky to block. They start out palm up, looking like a low linear punch and end up like a round-house to the temple or jaw. The power (more like a snap) comes from timing the rotation of the wrist at the moment of impact.
    Greg Dow

    Self Proclained Grand Master for Life - S.P.C.A.A.A.
    Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Adolescents Addicited to Anime

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    Wow, thanks for all the info!

    A friend told me that there is a 2-person exercise where person A blocks an incoming punch from person B with the knife-hand while moving to the side. Then, person A moves forward in the same motion, striking the throat/adam's apple(if it's there) with the haito.

    Does that sound about right? It seems like such a move would use wide, swinging movements with the arm more or less stiffly outstretched.

    My next question is, is there a "situational advantage" of the haito over other kinds of strikes? In the example above (I hope I interpreted it right), couldn't the same attack just be made with a fist?

    Obviously, I am pretty much a beginner when it comes to hand-to-hand MA to be asking these very basic questions... I'm just curious if the knife-hand or haito might have advantage over a fist in certain situations.
    Jonathan Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iai-nut
    ...I'm just curious if the knife-hand or haito might have advantage over a fist in certain situations.
    It depends on the target, and on the direction from which the strike comes.

    For direct linear attacks the seiken (fore fist) is a logical weapon. For a strike from a tangent the shuto (knife hand) and haito (ridge hand) are logical.

    Tangential strikes can also be done with other body weapons of course. One reason to use a shuto or haito is to concentrate the energy on a narrow area.

    HTH.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    and if targeting the throat, it may slither in where a fist would not make it - if the person has their chin down, but not completely.

    I've seen and used both wide and narrow-arc swings.

    mew
    Margaret Welsh

    "It's more fun when they do it to themselves." Barbara Hambly

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    I was taught to use thumb knuckle to the temple as actual bunkai. It is pretty rare that we use inverted ridge hand as a strike. It is usually shown as a wrist reverse against a grab.

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    In Soo Bahk Do/Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan we seem to use this more than the shuto or knife-hand, not sure why.

    Jesse Peters

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