Shotokan: Jitte

  • Fist in Hand – Stand with both feet touching from ball to heel with the toes forward. The knees should be straight. The left hand should be over the right fist. The elbows should be at the sides of the body, and the tallest knuckle on the left hand should be directly in front of the chin. Do not bend the wrists and point the elbows out sideways. Instead, keep the elbows in pretty close to the sides of the body and the wrists straight.
  • Try One of These – Step back with the left foot slowly as you bend the right knee to assume a front stance. As you move the foot, begin moving the hands. The left hand should move forward in front of the right fist. The right fist goes upward as the left open hand goes downward. Begin changing the right fist into a palm heel strike shape as if hooking the opponent with the back of the wrist. Pull the left hand back to the waist slowly as you hook the right hand downward until the palm heel is chest high. Begin this action quickly and then slow it down to a crawl as you come closer to completing it.
  • Double Palm Heel Block – Step with moderate quickness to the left 90° angle to assume a front stance with no width. The feet should be in-line with each other. Face your hips and shoulders to the 45° angle, and quickly pre-position your hands for the palm heel blocks. Then, slowly block downward with the right palm heel and upward with the left. When completed, the forearms should be at 90° angles to one another. The right arm should be straight and the left should be bent at 90°.
  • Ridge Hand Strike – Open the left hand so that the fingers aren’t tucked in like they were. Place the left hand over the right elbow. Move the left foot about halfway to the right foot. Step out with the right foot into a horse riding stance facing the same direction you were facing when you started. Look to your right. Draw the left arm back strongly. Use your right hand to ridge hand strike with the palm upward to the right middle level. The ridge and should focus as the right foot becomes still.
  • Palm Heel Strikes – Place the left foot half way to the right foot again. Step to the left at a 90° angle with the right foot into a side facing horse riding stance. You should be looking over your right shoulder. Strike to the middle level from right to left with a palm heel strike. The left hand should be in a fist and drawn strongly at the left side. Swing the right arm around in a large circle to make the strike. Do not strike outward in a linear fashion from the hip. Step forward into a side facing horse riding stance again so that you are looking over your left shoulder and strike again the same way. Step again with the right foot and repeat. The timing of these three moves is either an even one of 1–2–3 or an uneven 1—2-3.
  • Do the Shuffle – Step with the right foot over the left toward your left. Look straight ahead. Even though you are stepping to your left, your nose now points in the same direction as your shoulders. With your right foot crossed over your left as you go in the other direction, stab upward with both fists and cross the arms at the wrists to make an upper level x-block. You should come to a full stop briefly at the x-block – do not perform this in a fluid, unstopping fashion with the next technique – but don’t pause for any length of time, either. Now step out to the left with left foot into another horse riding stance. Block down and outward with both fists in side downward blocks directly from the original x-block posture. Now step to the left with the right foot, but do not cross the feet. Instead, just bring them together, and step shuffle out with the left foot to make another horse riding stance. As you step, fold the arms across the torso with the right  arm under the left. Block outward with two high level inside blocks. The result should be the mountain posture. The  shoulders should be at 90° as should the elbows.
  • Mountain Attack – Turn the torso to square and raise the left knee. Keep the arms in place in physical space. You’ll have to twist on your spine rather than turn the shoulders with the hips. The knee raise is a snapping action, so stomp it down strongly as soon as the knee reaches maximum lift. Continue turning the hips and then, at the last moment, turn the shoulders and the arm posture to perform what looks like a sort of outside block with the left arm. Step 2 more times stomping and turning as above.
  • Stand Up – Straighten the knees, bring the right foot in to the natural stance posture, and look over the right shoulder. Bring the arms down in the downward blocks on either side of the body, quickly at first and then very slowly.
  • Knife Hand Block – Shift the left foot to the left and out a little so that you rotate into a front stance facing the direction you were previously looking. Knife hand block with the right hand.
  • Staff Block – Lower the right hand and open it so that the palm is rounded and the thumb is sticking out. The right elbow should be relatively straight. Thrust the left hand out in the same shape to the level of the throat at the same time. The left elbow can be straight or bent at a 90° angle – it is not important. The reason for bending the elbow is to keep the hands lined up when viewed from the side – nothing more. Choose your favorite way to do this. This technique and the last should be a 1-2 count.
  • Grab the Staff (Old Way) – Turn both hands over by rotating the wrists and forearms so that both thumb sides are down. Pull both hands back as if you are holding a staff – but do not shape the hands that way – leave them open with the thumbs out as before. Bring the right hand by the waist first, and then bring it up over and beside right shoulder. The left hand should follow until it is pointing back under the right hand, open, with the left arm across the lower abdomen at the right waist. As you do this, your left foot should come up to your right knee. The sole of your foot should be pointed toward the knee. Your torso should rotate 90° clockwise so that you are looking over your left shoulder. Move slowly and continue to decelerate as you move.
  • Grab the Staff (Modern Way) – Pull both hands back without turning the wrists. Instead, as they come back, move the left hand downward and the right hand upward. They should finish in the same position. The difference is that the older way to do this looks like you are grabbing something and torquing it down and back up again. The newer way to do this looks as though you grab hold and then pull it straight back, sliding your hands up and down to trade their positions with each other. Move the foot and torso and decelerate as above. Either way you grab the staff is acceptable. See your organization or instructor for guidance, or choose which way to  do it for yourself.
  • Staff block – Step forward with the left foot into a front stance quickly. Stab out with both hands open with the right hand on top this time and the left on bottom. Some people let their rear foot slide a little when step forward so that they cover more than a stance length of distance. I think the reason for this is because they are trying to get back to the starting point of the kata. Do this or not – your choice. Grab the staff and staff block again two more times. When you finish, your right foot will be forward and your hands  will be out in a staff block position.
  • Swastika Position – Turn 270° by pulling the left foot in to the right, pivoting and then stepping out with the left foot to the left side so that it becomes the front foot in a back stance. Do these blocks simultaneously from a folded position. In the folded position, both hands are in sword hand postures and the right hand is palm up and reaching downward. The left hand is palm inward and beside the right ear. The folding action is a snapping technique. Downward block with the left arm and inside block to the upper level with the right arm. Shift your body weight over the other leg, pivot on the heels, and rotate to face the opposite direction in another back  stance. Reverse the blocks after folding the hands as above.
  • Upper blocks – Step to the left 90° angle with the left foot and assume a front stance. As you move, cover for the upper level rising block by raising the open right hand. Block as the foot lands. Step forward and block again. Turn 180° by pivoting on the right foot and moving the left foot as you turn counter clockwise. Upper level rising block as you pivot. Step forward and upper level rising block again and kiai. The timing for these four stepping/turning blocks should be 1–23–4.
  • Finish – Pivot counter clockwise as you pull the left foot in toward the right. Finish when you have pivoted 180°. As you turn, pull the foot to the right and assume the closed-leg-stance. Bring the left hand back over the right fist as in the beginning.

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