Kiado-Ryu Karate

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Sep 13, 2021 - Feature of the Week

Don't Just Stand There!

Ee-yo-ca-be-he, yo-ka-be-be. What? Ee-yo-ca-be-he, yo-ka-be-be.

Don’t bother looking it up in the dictionary. You won’t find it there.

This phrase—Ee-yo-ca-be-he, yo-ka-be-be—is a fundamental concept taught at the Karate Institute of America. It represents one of the most critical aspects of fighting, not just in the Kiado-Ryu Martial Arts system, but in actual combat. It is not a new concept. It’s been around forever. Yet, it is still often ignored in self-defense encounters, actual battle and competitive sports.

Any idea what Ee-yo-ca-be-he, yo-ka-be-be means? The title of this article tells it all.

Translated, Ee-yo-ca-be-he, yo-ka-be-be means: if you can’t be hit, you can’t be beat. In one word . . . MOVE! Don’t Just Stand There like “Bob” the punching dummy.

It’s axiomatic. If a guy can’t hit you, he can’t beat you. It’s as simple as that. Yet, how many fighters understand and actually apply this aspect of combat to their fighting regimen? Answer: more often than not, it seems. Many “modern” fighters just stand face-to-face and slug it out like a couple of mindless troglodytes. It’s crazy.

As Sun Tzu reminds us: War is a grave concern of the state. It must be thoroughly studied. To study something means to think, to use the mind not the body. As has been said in many of these KIA features, “Great fighters are great thinkers.” They move beyond the physical, incorporating thought, examination, study and analysis to their warrior craft. Movement and motion are major components of that craft.

Now, there may come a moment in a fight when standing and slugging it out is useful and appropriate, but as a primary method of combat, not so. Standing and slugging it out is often a failed tactic, especially if you’re trying to duke it out with 7'4" 520 lb. André the Giant, may he rest in peace.

In making the phrase Ee-yo-ca-be-he, yo-ka-be-be come to life, you must MOVE! Move to protect, move to confuse, move to probe, move to shape, move to avoid, move to ambush, move to defend, move to disguise, move to attack, move to retreat! That movement must be anchored in study, analysis and intelligence.

In Kiado-Ryu Martial Arts, movement is to fighting what breathing is to living.

The operative question then becomes, “How do you move?” Without being too technical at this point, think in terms of angles and directions; fakes and ruses; stutters and stops; front crosses and rear crosses; quick changes—front and back; paths of attack, withdrawal and ambush; modes of motion; hand and arm scissors; rising and falling body postures; stance variations and widths; rollouts and roll-ins; hip placement; open and closed center lines and multiples guards, just to name a few.

Needless to say, there’s more to movement than meets the eye. Fighting is a science and movement is a critical component of that science. Therefore, if you find yourself in a combative situation, Don’t Just Stand There. MOVE, but do so intelligently.


© Richard Andrew King and Kiado-Ryu Martial Arts