Sadly, juking has little to do with the juke box pictured above. The word “Juke” (an English or Creole, not Japanese term) refers to performing some form of false or temporary movement that places your opponent out of position. The term is used in football to indicate a movement that causes an opponent to be deceived, make an over commitment, or become misaligned. In boxing the term refers to a feint or shift that is intended to deceive or fake out an opponent.
We use the term, in part, in the same manner. Anything you do to momentarily deceive, disorient, or trick an opponent might be considered to be a Juke. In football and boxing these are, for the most part, non-contact movements. One typically performs a Juke before performing the true intended action, perhaps running around an opponent in football or punching an out-of-position opponent in boxing.
But we use this term in a more aggressive hands-on way as well. If you are in contact with an opponent you might drive a very short (perhaps as little as ¼”) strike, parry, or check into your opponent to disorient them, compromise their current Optimal Structure, thwart their counter-attack, or position them for a subsequent movement. Here the goal is the same, but direct manipulation of the opponent is used to obtain the goal.
Because a juking action is short in both the extent of the strike and its duration, it is possible to apply multiple jukes in a very short period of time. You might be able to apply seven juking actions in a second or two. If each juking action is applied in a different direction and with a different purpose it is quite easy to disorient and severely distort the structural integrity of your opponent. This is a very effective tool for gaining an initial upper hand in a close-quarter conflict and can be used at any time during a conflict to establish control and dominance over an opponent.
Juking is also an excellent way of causing an opponent to become rooted. A series of short and abrupt movements will often cause an opponent to shift weight onto one or both legs in a manner intended to prevent your further manipulation. They have, in effect, rooted themselves to help prevent further juking. We’re utilizing one effect to cause another and the opponent is doing exactly what we want.
A Juking Example
When you work with a training partner you will find frequent occasions where your partner is unwilling to move as you would prefer. Let’s say you are standing in front of your partner with your right hand around the person’s neck. You tug inward with your right hand in an attempt to make your partner lean or shift slightly forward. But your partner is stubborn and refuses to move.
One solution is to immediately press forward very briskly with a short thrust of your forearm toward your local octagon angle one. This can be accomplished with a very quick flick or extension of the wrist. This juke will create movement that is in direct opposition to your original movement attempt and is likely the direction in which the opponent is being resistant. You are pushing your partner into the direction they are already pulling. This will, in all likelihood, cause immediate instability. Your partner may become momentarily weightless.
But you would not want to stop there. Now you may wish to press the palm of your right hand briskly but with limited movement into the side of your partner’s neck. This will move him or her to their right. This juking motion is likely to cause additional instability in your training partner. If you now pull inward with your right hand your training partner will likely move as you have wanted in the first place. This entire sequence can take place in well under half a second. The moment you notice resistance on the part of your partner you could initiate these rapid juking motions to ultimately get your partner to become more compliant.
In no case did your hand move more than perhaps half an inch. Yet your training partner will feel an immediate sense of disorientation and confusion. In that confusion they will become weightless and lose focus on their original purpose. In the meantime you have moved them as you intended.
For juking to be effective it usually needs to be applied either in direct opposition to your intended manipulation attempt or at right angles to that attempt. If you want someone to move or tilt to the right then you might move them back, forward, and/or to the left before moving them to the right. The person then attempts to compensation for your rapid-fire motions and will no longer be resistant to your final movement direction.
Juking is seldom effective if you move a person along the same x,y,z coordinate twice in a row. For example, if you juke a person to his or her right you will momentarily cause some instability. If you subsequently move them to their left again then you will stabilize their structure, which may not be beneficial for you.
This doesn’t mean you can never move them to the right and then to the left, but it means you would prefer to have an intervening movement of some type. Perhaps you want to move the person right, back, and then left, or right, down and then left. That intervening movement will make the movement toward the left quite disorienting and likely to result in further structural distress.
Generally speaking you want any juking movement to be orthogonal to the immediately previous juking movement. This suggest that any individual juking movement should be orthogonal to both the prior juking movement and the subsequent juking movement. Ideally all three juking movement will be orthogonal to one another, but this is not always possible, beneficial, or useful.
How many jukes should you do in a row? Naturally, that depends on circumstance and your intentions. You might only juke someone twice before you get the compliance and structural alignment you are seeking. At other times you may find you need to juke someone five or six times before you are satisfied with the outcome.
In Tensoku Ryu we have a technique called Accordion that is nothing more than a series of seven jukes. This takes someone who approaches aggressively down to the floor in one to two seconds. No other method aside from juking is utilized. Once the juking begins the opponent will have a hard time gaining composure and structural integrity and will often have little choice but to fall when and where you wish.
You will also want to consider using vertically oriented juking movements. You may therefore consider moving someone forward, back, left, right, up, or down. You might also move someone relative to octagon angles five, six, seven, or eight. The benefit is not derived particularly from the angle you select, but rather from the constant shifting and redirection that occurs from a juking sequence of two or more movements.
As you gain more experience with juking you will want to begin paying attention to how a juking movement changes a person’s structural alignment. Did the movement cause a person’s knee to bend? Did the person lean forward or back at the hips? Did the head move unexpectedly? Did the motion cause shoulder rotation? Did the person move his or her hands in a way that is beneficial (or detrimental) to you?
In the Accordion technique practiced in our Kuikku Bouei Nidan Kata practitioners notice that juking motion has caused an opponent to bend both knees. The next juking motion applied forces the knees to move forward (of the opponent), bending them more prominently and priming the opponent for the next juking motion which will press the head further away and downward, causing the opponent to have no option but to fall.
Juking is a very powerful tool that can be applied with little expenditure of time, energy, or movement. Yet these small movements, used in concert, can be terribly disruptive to an opponent. In most cases a person at the receiving end of a short series of jukes will be ill prepared to deal with your subsequent actions.