* Sabaki is a unique method of meeting an attack by combining
defence and offense into one.
* Sabaki uses one of four fundamental circular movements in response to
an attacker's thrust. These movements carry the defender to the outside-
left or right of an attack, moving either slightly forward or backward.
* In each case, the defender move's to the attacker's back side. This limits
the defender's exposure to frontal attack. In addition, it allows the defender
to develop a "blind spot" in the attacker's position.
* Once the defender has developed this "blind spot", he/she can take strategic
advantage of this position by entering that "blind spot" and countering
effectively with various combinations of punches and kicks.
* No matter what the distance - short, medium or long - this strategy of
moving outside and to an opponent's "blind spot" is essential.
* In Ashihara Karate the practitioner learns to be aware of three types
of distances and the Sabaki that applies to each.
What does Sabaki mean?
Sabaki is a difficult concept to translate from Japanese. Broadly speaking,
Sabaki refers to movement, often involving a concept of control, sometimes
implying preparation for a subsequent movement. For example, Sabaki can
be used in reference to training a horse. The rider performs certain movements
in an effort to control the animal, in order to make the animal behave
as he/she wants it to.
Kancho Hideyuki Ashihara has adopted the word
Sabaki to epitomize the essence of this style of Karate. In Ashihara
Karate, Sabaki describes the movement made by a defender stepping out
of line of an attack, into a position from which he/she can launch a counter-attack.
This controlled movement, in preparation for a subsequent advance, is the
of the strategy of Ashihara Karate: the combination of defence and offence
into one ... SABAKI.