Henka waza of Kumite gata 1

What is the meaning of 変化技?

If you are returning to our blogs and videos often, you know that we usually start by explaining the meaning of the Japanese word. This blog is no exception. 変化技, which means Henka waza is usually translated as variation technique. But how far can you take "variation"? Let's have a look at the Kanji.

 = Hen = unusual, change, strange
化 = Ka = change,  take the form of
技 = Waza = technique, art

変化 Henka = change;  variation;  alteration;  mutation;  transformation; metamorphosis

In this case I feel that the Kanji don't tell you anything specific, but translations like change and transformation sort of do the trick. That said, always keep in mind that Budo words are sometimes used in a quite different way compared to when they are used in everyday life. I (AJ) got called "Henna gaijin" which means weird foreigner, but apparently that is a good thing.. Henna gaijin means that you are different from the others/standard/regular foreigners, but in good way. 

Anyway.. You can see from the Kanji that when technique is executed in a different manner than the usual, it is called Henka waza. In the video presented in this blog, where I show Kumite gata 1 and the variation, I also explain about Henka waza but in a different way than this introduction.

Variation of applying Kuzushi

The technique that we demonstrate in this blog is a variation of Kumite gata 1. Instead of moving back to the inside, AJ sensei moves to the outside of the opponent and pins his opponent (Roeland sensei) by body positioning using his shin to apply Kuzushi. In the video, I talk about the body position so for this blog I would like to check the diffent kind of technique used to apply Kuzushi. Let's compare how the lower body is used for the end movement of the official Kumite gata 1 and the variation.

The first picture is the last movement of Kumite gata 1. This kind of Kuzushi is completed using three elements:

  • Correct body alignment
  • Correct body positioning
  • Using your upper leg to contact the inside of the thigh. 

The second picture is the last movement of the Henka waza. This kind of Kuzushi is completed using three elements:

  • Correct body alignment
  • Correct body positioning
  • Using your shin to contact the side of the lower leg. 

Note that the alignment and positioning is key and that the body part used to contact and control the opponent depends on circumstance. Of course, length of limbs and height are a big factor.

Variation of Kumite gata 1

Finally, let's have a look at the photoseries and the video of a variation of Kumite gata 1. 

0a. Ukemi moves forward into Migi hanmi chudan gamae.
0b. Torimi moves backward into Migi hanmi chudan gamae.

1a. Ukemi executes Jodan tobikomizuki.
1b. Torimi executes Jodan nagashi uke and Nakadaka ipponken 

2a. Torimi moves his body by twisting and applies a leg switch (this picture is a transition) and grabs Ukemi's wrist and positions his left hand behind Ukemi's elbow simultaneously.

2b. Torimi pins Ukemi using body positioning connecting his shin and applying Kuzushi. At the same time, Torimi controls Ukemi by taking hold of and twisting his wrist while applying force with his left hand.

Footage shot at the 24th Wado Course