Kuikku Bouei Kata Series

Richard Munson developed the Tensoku Ryu Kuikku Bouei Kata in 2015 to press home the need for speed, precision, and defensive skills while engaging in conflict. The phrase Kuikku Bouei translates to “Rapid Defense”, or more generally, quick defense. The Japanese word “Kuikku” is borrowed from the English language and is pronounced very much like the word “Quick” (the final ‘u’ is essentially silent). The word Bouei may seem hard to pronounce at first but it is not especially difficult. It should sound something like “boy-ee” would sound in English.

These Kata stress the importance of a comprehensive guard position. Unlike previous Kata you may have learned, these Kata do not hold the hands in a set or chambered position. Instead, the guard is always up to offer protection from your attacker. You may elect to have your hands open or closed when in a guard position. This open and closed hand structure can be varied throughout the Kata. You may find it advantageous to have a closed-hand guard in some situations and an open-hand guard in others.

These Kata rely heavily on the use of the Octagon for positioning and movements. They are not based on the I-Beam Kata model like that found in the Pinan Kata, nor do they use a simplistic orthogonal model like that found in the Tensoku Ryu Kihontekki Kata. At first, you may find the variety of angles and movements quite confusing. This will pass with time as you come to understand the purpose of each movement. Try to think about why you are doing a sequence of movements. It will help you.

Stances should be well and properly formed and should be at a level that will support associated movements and activities. You may decide to use lower stances for tournaments or demonstrations and more varied stance elevations when practicing the martial aspects of these forms.

The importance of speed is also a major focus of these Kata. But speed can be a little tricky. You generally want to move with great speed, but sometimes you can move too quickly or too soon. In these Kata, you should think about how and when your opponent will be in a position to properly support an intended movement. The Bunkai for these Kata can be quite complex and is not necessarily obvious, and as always you may find multiple Bunkai for any given movement or sequence. Think of different ways in which a given movement might be employed. Be creative and thoughtful!

This Kata series is comprised of three forms. Each Kata has a different but distinct theme based on the ETD Model.

The Shodan version deals with using minimal force to escape or prevent an attack. It relies on the Escape portion of the ETD model throughout. Generally speaking, every sequence involves moving in some manner to escape from a grab or to avoid some intended action on the part of an opponent.

The Nidan version uses the force necessary to prevent the opponent from continuing an attack. This version relies on the Thwart portion of the ETD Model. The sequences in this Kata deal with stopping or aborting a planned attack from an opponent and then working to ensure the opponent will not be in a position to attack further.

The Sandan version is intent on doing significant damage to an opponent from the outset to ensure he or she cannot continue with their planned destructive attack. This version of Kuikku Bouei relies on the Destroy portion of the ETD Model. The movements in this Kata might be utilized if you were in grave fear for your safety or the safety of others.

As you learn these Kata you may question whether a movement is an escape or thwarting action. While one may legitimately argue that a given movement in one version might be better suited for a different version of the Kata, you should see a distinct difference in the level of intensity and carnage associated with each version. This may not be entirely apparent to you until you have learned all three versions.

You should not make the false assumption that somehow the Sandan version is a more advanced or better version than the Shodan version. These Kata are intended to demonstrate, in part, that you have options in almost any situation. When minimum force is required, that is all that should be used. When you have no choice, you may need to employ other options. If anything, the Shodan version could be considered the more advanced version of these Kata. Avoid thinking that more destruction is somehow better.

I once had a student ask me if these Kata weren’t just a sneaky way to include self-defense techniques in the Tensoku Ryu curriculum. Well, that is partially correct. But it is only part of the purpose for these Kata.

But let’s explore the idea of techniques a bit more because, as you will discover, it is quite relevant to these three forms. Within Tensoku Ryu we do not formally teach or require that students learn specific self-defense techniques. Tensoku Ryu is an art based on concepts and patterns of movement rather than on planned movements to be employed in common scenarios. We do not disparage techniques, but we have a different learning model that we generally employ.

But techniques are indeed valuable. They teach you specific motor skills and how one movement can readily flow into another. We think that is extremely valuable. Those motor skills are hard to come by if you are only thinking conceptually. The best way to acquire these skills is to have a choreographed sequence that offers a repetitive practice methodology. Techniques afford students that learning opportunity.

Within Tensoku Ryu we have numerous optional techniques that students can learn. Our techniques manual provides several hundred different techniques that students may optionally learn and practice. Each technique has three versions. An E-version, a T-version, and a D-version. Each version is directly related to either the Escape, Thwart, or Destroy portions of the ETD Model.

The techniques used in the three Kuikku Bouei forms draw from these techniques. All of the techniques in the Shodan version are E-version techniques. Likewise, the Nidan version only relies on T-version techniques and the Sandan version exclusively uses D-version techniques. You may notice that some of the same technique names appear in all three Kata. The motor skills and behaviors represented by techniques of the same name will vary greatly from one Kata to the next.

This is done purposefully so that you will realize that any given attack can be handled in many different ways. The motor skills you need to develop for each of the three different technique versions vary greatly, providing you with an increased set of these fundamental patterns of movement. Finally, this great variety of movement allows you to see and experiment with many different conceptual elements that help make each technique even more useful and effective.

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