釵受け打ち Sai Combinations (Blocks+Strikes) Drill

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This set of Sai Combinations is a set of Kobudo Kihon or basics. Kobudo is the use of traditional Okinawan Weapons including the Sai (metal truncheon).

This is the third of three Sai drills that we practice in the kobudo program I run at The Academy of Traditional Karate. This set of combination Sai blocks and strikes is a good drill to continue refining your Sai techniques after mastering the basic set of Sai blocks and basic set of Sai strikes.


Sai Combinations Freeze-Frame Step-by-Step Breakdown

Sai Combinations is a kobudo Sai Kihon drill which focuses on three sets (low, middle, high) of Sai block and strike combinations. There are five low block/strike combinations, four middle block/strike combinations and three high block/strike combinations. The stances are all Zenkutsu-dachi (front leaning stance), stepping forward slightly offline and then striking back to the center. The Sai combinations are practiced on both the right and left sides with four repetitions of each block/strike combo. Only the first of each repetition is shown below but all four are shown in the practice video.

[Note: The photos below are freeze frames from the live action practice video, so they are not as perfect as if they were specifically posed photos for each move.]

Opening Sequence

Kiotsuke (attention) for the Sai Combinations Drill
A) Kiotsuke (attention): Stand at attention in Musubi-dachi with both Sai closed in L hand.
Rei (bow)
B) Rei (bow).
Yoi (ready positon)
C) Yoi (ready position): Bring Sai in front of you. Take one closed in each hand. Bring hands down to the sides and step out to L Soto Hachiji-dachi (like Pinan kata).

5 Low Blocks

Closed low block with left hand — Sai Combinations
1A) Block: Closed low block with front-hand. (Sai facing out to side)
Closed reverse strike with right hand — Sai Combinations
1B) Strike: Closed reverse strike with back-hand to solar plexus.
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2A) Block: Open low block with front-hand.
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2B) Strike: Open over head down strike with same front-hand, down center.
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3A) Block: Double closed low split blocks with palms out, backs touching, knuckles down.
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3B) Strike: Double closed mid/low strikes, front-hand low, palm up, back-hand higher, palm down. (Like end of FK II)
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4A) Block: Closed outside low block, front-hand. Scoop in.
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4B) Block: Arc up/out to closed chest block.
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4C) Strike: Same front-hand closed strike to solar plexus.
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5A) Block: Double open low cross blocks. Front hand Sai on top.
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5B) Strike: Double open swinging down strikes. Swing back, up, over and strike down to both collar bones.

4 Middle Blocks

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6A) Block: Closed chest block with front-hand. (Sai outside)
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6B) Strike: Closed reverse strike with back-hand to solar plexus.
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7A) Block: Closed outside chest block with back hand. (Out to in, keep Sai in)
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7B) Strike: Closed strike with front-hand to solar plexus.
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8A) Block: Open chest block, hitting down with front-hand. (Flip sai out)
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8B) Strike: Open middle stab to stomach with same front-hand.
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9A) Block: Cross arms, front-hand in front.
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9B) Block: Separate into double closed chest blocks. (Sai outsides)
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9C) Strike: Double closed strikes to solar plexus (Both palms down)

3 High Blocks

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10A) Block: Closed high block with front-hand. (Sai on top of arm)
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10B) Strike: Reverse closed strike with back-hand to solar plexus.
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11A) Block: Open high “roof” block with front hand. (Sai point down to the side)
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11B) Strike: Open diagonal down strike with with same front-hand. (Around head to collar bone)
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12A) Block: Cross arms by forehead, front-hand forward.
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12B) Block: Separate into double closed high blocks.
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12C) Strike: Double closed blunt strikes. (Front-hand low, palm up, back-hand higher, palm down) (Like end of FK II)

Closing Sequence

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A) Yoi (ready position).
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B) L step in to Musubi-dachi while taking both Sai closed in L hand.
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C) Kiotsuke (attention). Both Sai closed in L hand down by side.
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D) Rei (bow).

Sai Combinations (Blocks & Strikes) PDF Reference Sheet

The following PDF reference sheet is a distillation of all the moves in the drill to use as reference while learning and practicing the Sai drill. It is useful to help you remember what all the moves are until they are committed to muscle memory or for review to remember them after returning to the drill if it hasn’t been practiced in a while. I had created this reference sheet when I was first learning the drill myself. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

Download Sai Combinations (Blocks & Strikes) Drill PDF Reference Sheet:

Sai-Combinations-12-10-22


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