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The Palm Heel to the Jaw, called a Shotei strike in many systems, and a ‘Hebi’ strike in others, is a powerful rising strike that can be used by a shorter person against a taller one.
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...THIS VIDEO WILL SHOW YOU THE EXECUTION OF THIS STRIKE...
A ‘FULL BODY’ STRIKE
There are many things to remember when using the Shotei. The first important point is that the Shotei in the Ninja combat arts is a ‘full body strike’, that is to say, it is necessary to use the whole body to generate power for the strike. It is particularly important to use the thighs to drive the body upwards, and to this upward movement, add a swing that uses the shoulder and lats, and finally, to add to this the driving power of the arm itself.
MOVING AGAINST GRAVITY
Remember that when applied to the jaw, the Shotei is moving AGAINST gravity. Strikes and kicks that move against gravity require much more power than strikes or kicks that move WITH gravity. To all basic students – this is a very important lesson.
DAMAGING THE NERVES OF THE SPINE:
This requires deception and cunning. You must get your opponent to believe that you are not a threat. He must not be in ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode – at the most, he should be in the mindset of a predator who is sure of his prey. Your specific aim is to get him to relax the muscles of his neck. Even better than getting him to relax is to not let him get tense in the first place – if you see a situation is inevitably leading into combat, maintain emotional control, keep the ‘emotional temperature’ of the situation as low as possible, and strike BEFORE the opponent is geared to fight.
If you strike in this way with the Shotei to the Jaw, with the opponent’s neck muscles relaxed, his head will snap backwards, causing permanent damage to the nerves in the neck. This is a whiplash injury – a person who suffers this injury will have dizzy spells and see flashing lights before his eyes at random intervals for the rest of his life.
BREAKING THE JAW
Another damaging way to use the Shotei to the Jaw is to strike when the opponent’s jaw is open. This can be done by getting the opponent to talk, and then striking when the opponent is in the middle of a word. When the jaw is clenched closed, it has considerable strength, but when it is hanging open, it can be broken relatively easily. Remember this, my students.
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Who sets his sights on the mountain,
Had best look also to the ground at his feet;
Who would seek to climb the great snow clad slopes,
Had best have strong legs that propel him upwards;
Remember then, O Deshi,
In the rising cut of the weapon or hand,
Strength arises from the ground,
And from the limbs that touch the ground.
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