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Tai Sabaki Seminar the Art of Evasion

Sensei Pardue Tai Sabaki

Sensei Pardue – Tai Sabaki

Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a seminar in Tampa Florida. Sensei Tyrone Pardue did a three hour course on Tai Sabaki “the art of evasion”. It was a delight to focus on the evasive side of the arts. All too often we are driven with the concept of how am I going to slam this block and make my Uke suffer.

While there was plenty of Uke suffering, our focus was on getting out of the way. Throughout the day the base application followed the same starting foundation:

  • Move your head aside – either backwards or sideways
  • Shift your center first and then let the legs and core follow
  • As you reestablish your stance develop a rotational block
  • Use your reciprocal energy and strike back through the target

Many arts focus on driving hard block/strikes. These are fine and certainly have their place. What was presented in this overview was utilizing your core to develop rotational force and hence allow your full body to move out of the way and let the block structure turn and counter the strike.

Hands on Head Drill Tai SabakiThe day started off quite simple, place your hands on your head with your feet together. Now have your Uke do a full step through reverse punch and try to hit your core. Your objective was to pay attention to the timing of the Uke’s strike and shift your center.

This was done by thrusting your opposite hip “center” from the punch and moving off line from the strike. The effect of this thrusting hip repositioned your body and began the development of rotational force. As you progressed through the drill, the foot work became more critical. What became evident from the instruction and our application was the placement of a structure foot and a residual rotated foot.

This two foot methodology allowed you to counter rotate by leaving the structure foot alone and turning the softer foot as your core rotated. The maneuver allowed you to strike with the full effect of your core and rotation. It also added a good eight inches to the depth of your counter punch.

As we practiced this technique with counter punches to the Uke it was easy to see everyone’s commitment to their counter punch rise. Invariably the Uke was forced further back by the counter punch and potentially unseated from their stance.

Front Kick with counter Tai SabakiWe eventually moved into hand/wrist grabs with take downs. No mats were used and everyone enjoyed falling on the hard floor.  Commitment to your break-fall was necessary and I found it refreshing to be falling on such a hard surface. All too often we can become complacent in relying on the soft mats.

Their writs lock position was a bit different from my background but with a quick change in technique problem solved.

I would like to thank my Uke whom I had for the entire class. I won’t mention him by name but it was a true pleasure to work out with a Green Beret. His desire to learn from the instructors and his dedication to detail made my visit to their dojo all the better.  And he seemed to take a simple pleasure in pounding me off the floor.

Sensei Tyrone Pardue is the Chief Instructor of the American Wadoryu Karate Academy. He has studied Wadoryu Karate-Do under Yoshihiko Iwasaki, Masafumi Shiomitsu and Tatsuo Suzuki since 1975. He was Team Captain for the Iwasaki School of Karate between 1982 and 1999. He was a national and European Champion in Kata and Kumite.

Awards & Titles
Irish Wado-Kai Open Weight Kumite Champion 1984, ’85 and ’86
Irish Wado-Kai Kata Champion 1984, ’85, ’88, ’90, ’91 and ’92
European Kata Champion 2000 and 2001
Iwasaki School of Karate Team Captain 1984-’89
Awarded Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Renmei Shido-In (Internationally recognized instructor) 2005

Class Photo Tai Sabaki