SABAKI & FIGHT CONTROL: The Signature Concepts of Ashihara Karate
IN Japanese martial arts, sabaki is often referred to as 'positioning / angling' the body, with reference to the opponent.
In Ashihara Karate, this concept is extrapolated to mean 'handling' or 'controlling' someone or something.
In practice, sabaki involves the use of controlling techniques (e.g. breaking balance, positioning, deflection, etc.) to tactically move away from the line of attack and into positions of maximum advantage (e.g. the blind spot), where the opponent can be better managed.
Sabaki in Ashihara Karate often involves moving in 'circles'. In escaping the attack, the practioner moves forwards or backwards diagonally to either side. Thereon, a counter-action, a punch, kick or throw can be delivered with minimum resistance from the opponent.
The 4 Motions, as this concept is referred to, is represented in the official logo of
New International Karate Org. (NIKO),
the world governing body of Ashihara Karate.
"Circular movements means that, rather than meeting an opponent head-on, you should try to circle and move around him, pull him forward, turn him.. In other words, always try to stay at his side or back, those positions being the most difficult for him to attack.
If you can get into a safe position from which your victory is assured, there is no need to continue to inflict pain. However, unless your opponent realizes that he has been bested, he may resist forcefully, then you will have to knock him down. He will also have to realize that, having now been controlled, any further attack to him in that position will cause him massive injury."
~ Hideyuki Ashihara