”Setten – Contact Point”
In my previous article on kaname, or vital point, I covered several different types of kaname:
間合いの要 – Maai no Kaname, The Vital Point of Distance
動きの要 – Ugoki no Kaname, The Essence of Movement
空間の要 – Kukan no Kaname, The Crux of the Kukan
There are specific exercises and drills associated with these kaname that will develop a keen understanding for each of these.
After you have worked through these kaname (and remember these are not the ONLY kaname, just some of the ones I have chosen to talk about!), there is another idea that is critical to our understanding of taijutsu, “setten” – the contact point.
Whether it is a punch, a cut, or a grab, wherever the combatants “make contact” is a kaname. For it is at this point that you either pull your attacker into your game or he pulls you into his!
This contact point is valid whether you are attacking or defending (as Hatsumi Soke says, there really is no difference, you are using good taijutsu or you are not). This setten is where the skill you developed in utilizing the previously mentioned kaname will become important.
For instance, if you are being cut at with the sword, the place where the sword will cut you is the contact point, so as you can imagine it is critical to alter that point!
Or imagine being cut at with the sword, as you raise your sword to block, the point where you will block becomes the setten, one option you have is to create the belief that you are actually going to forcefully block but at the moment of contact, you drop your power out, causing your opponent to push farther than he intended with the cut, giving you a momentary opening to counter-attack.
Or, on the flipside, as you are cutting with the sword, you give the illusion of cutting a certain way and to a certain place, but at the moment when you would make contact you change, allowing you to alter the shape of the kukan, again breaking your opponent’s mental and physical balance, creating your opening to continue with the true attack.
I am sure you can think of many examples yourself of how to manipulate the “setten” or contact point. If you haven’t already, take the time to really observe Hatsumi Sensei, and watch how he is constantly creating the illusion of doing one thing but then doing another. This is the kaname of the “setten” or Contact Point.